All Books

Liam Gillick


Book, 21.5 x 14.1 cm, 241 p, language: English, publisher: Book Works, London, ISBN: 978 1 906012 17 5.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2021/420).

Literary synopsis

Collected here for the first time are Liam Gillick’s major fictional texts: McNamara Papers, Ibuka, Discussion Island/Big Conference Centre, The Winter School, with Erasmus is Late and Literally No Place. Within each history, and the utopias and alternative visions of society envisioned by writers, filmmakers, philosophers, and scientists are presented and speculated on, often through the fictionalised voices of secondary historical characters. Traversing genres of fiction and critical discourse, ideas are explored in a nonlinear, open-ended discursive format, in which the textual structure mirrors the structuring of the presented ideas. In each text Gillick’s concern is to explore complex, paradoxical historical moments and the ideologies that shaped them, reflecting on how the redundant utopian elements of the past continue to structure contemporary society and remain impulses within speculations of our post-utopian future.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

During the last fifteen years, the British artist Liam Gillick has created parallels between his personal shows and his own writings. Many of his exhibitions have run simultaneously with the publishing of a book. Frequently, the books are included in the installations, along with flat-color panels, text sculptures, architectural structures, videos, and designs. This parallelism seems to be a self-conscious artistic practice and it is at the core of his artistic production. The books are neither merely supplementary materials, nor incursions in a quite different field of creation. Gillick’s exhibitions, on the other hand, cannot be reduced just to his installations. Even if the artworks or books can be enjoyed as autonomous pieces, isolating Gillick’s artistic productions or underestimating the structure of the whole looks like a rather deceivable approach. The structure of his works seems to be precisely this parallelism between the writings and the visual images. He provokes the search for dialogue among the installations, novels, scripts, and essays he writes.

– Ernesto Menéndez-Conde

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