The exhibition This is the Cover of the Book, which I curated together with Moritz Küng, presented ca. 50 books – artists’ books, photobooks and reference books – that are related in different ways to artists’ book publishing. The title refers to the seminal Book by George Brecht (New York, 1926-Cologne, 2008), published in 1964/1972 in an edition of 50 copies. In this piece, Brecht reduced the object and the content of the book to its very essence by limiting its content to mere statements about its different parts, therefore turning, as it were, form and format into subject matter.
In Brecht’s Book, the book refers merely to itself, thereby establishing a tautological play. This is also the play the books selected for this exhibition display in front of the visitor: This is the Cover of the Book presents books on whose covers a closed or open book, book spines, book shelves or facsimile covers are displayed.
With works by classic Dieter Roth, Ed Ruscha and Hans-Peter Feldmann, book-works from emerging artists as Bernhard Cella, Dora García and Ron Terada, as well important source books like Artists Books (1973) – the catalogue that mentioned for the first time the term “artists’ book”– or the seminal manual Estéthique du Livre d’artiste 1960/1980 (1997).