Wiels | EN

The inevitable structure of the book*

28 04 2012 00:00 01:00

An afternoon conference on the structure, demands and implications of the book from the perspective of artistic practitioners. With lectures by Simon Hempel, artist, Hamburg; Mette Edvardsen, choreographer, Brussels; Theo Cowley, artist, Brussels; and Simon Thompson, artist, Brussels.



Simon Hempel uses the artists' book as an alternative structuring device analogous to his spatial installations where the emphasis is not on the singular photographic image, the tableaux - but on the notion of the table, the sequence linked to serial images. Photography is reviewed as medium emblematic for the division of subject and object that predominates western thinking.

Simon Hempel is an artist based in Hamburg, DE. He studied at Universität Hamburg, HAW Hamburg and Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht. His work has been presented at Kunsthaus, Hamburg; Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Hamburg-Harburg; Goethe Institute, Madrid; and Deichtorhallen, Hamburg. His artist's book 'Plants and soil - The visual development of a structure' was published in 2009. A new artist's book will be published in 2012 with the support of the Department for Culture, Hamburg.


Mette Edvardsen is a choreographer and dancer based in Brussels. Her work is situated within the performing arts field, also exploring other media or other formats such as video and writing.

Conceived as an integral part of a performance, the book Every now and then' is being read by the audience sitting in the theatre while the performance evolves on stage. The book is direct, tactile and persistent, giving the audience another access to the piece. How do we read the theatre space when we think of it as a page in a book? And the other way around, how do we experience the performance on the page? With every turning of a page a new space appears in layers on top of each other. How can we imagine such architecture? Pages after pages of spaces bound together in a complex architecture called book'?


Theo Cowley is an artist based in Brussels, working mostly in film, video, and performance. He recently published 'Compo de rheto' a book based on another book held in the national library of France, made in 1600/01 by an actor known for playing the role of Harlequin in the commedia dell'arte. Both these books, his own and the original, have a specific yet undefined relationship to performance, theatre and history. Certain problematics come to the fore regarding the changing status of these books.


Simon Thompson is an artist who lives and works in Brussels. He will talk about Blanchot, the book to come and the non-relations of the work and of the book.

Organised by Theo Cowley
Part of the Wiels Artist-in-residency program

*Maurice Blanchot, Le livre à venir (The book to come)