Quasi-Book: Artist Publisher in Residence
Tiraspol–Prague–Chisinau based Kolxoz Collective – Viktor Vejvoda (Czech Republic), Maxim Polyakov (Moldova) and Anton Polyakov (Transnistria) – have been awarded the Viaindustriae and Mahler & LeWitt Studios Quasi-Book: Artist Publisher open call opportunity. The residency supports experimental and alternative approaches to artists’ publishing, facilitated by research in the Viaindustriae Archive / De Donno Collection and participation in Quasi-Book, a hybrid art space – running for the duration of the Festival dei Due Mondi 2021 – which presents studio activity and hosts events and exhibitions, as well as the daily running of a bookshop.
At the core of Kolxoz Collective’s practice is a belief in the radical potentiality of printed matter to create communities and act as a platform for socio-political self-reflection and conversation. As well as self-publishing, they stage events and performances: creating temporary publishing houses and distribution centres, hosting workshops, open studios and social spaces such as coffee bars and clubs. Their current research focusses on methodologies for facilitating collaboration and they often make use of readily available or defunct technologies. The following statement by Kolxoz Collective provides an outline of their ambitions:
Kolxoz: Short for коллективное хозяйство [kollektivnoye khozyaystvo] meaning «collective economy».
Kolxoz Collective is a Tiraspol–Prague–Chisinau collective that works inside the cycle of cultural production – from research, creation and replication to distribution, theoretical formulation and presentation: Turning every step of this process into a manifestation of perception of surrounding realities. The aspiration of Kolxoz is to prevent its own self–isolation and to keep contact with the status and issues of society.
Kolxoz explores the potential of limits.
Kolxoz explores possibilities of mobile autonomous technology to communicate out of formal zones.
Kolxoz explores outdated and forgotten tools, practices, ideas in order to keep their purpose in a new context.
Kolxoz explores collectivity as a format of work, as a work of art, as a search for alternatives, as a practical response to challenges that cannot be dealt with by a single person.
Kolxoz is Trud
Trud is Kolxoz
Recent projects include: It’s nice to be bridge. But people walk over it. Jeronýmova 88, Praha ~ Žižkov, Czech Republic; ‘Up to Ground, Down to Cosmos’ a Semi-nostalgia, almost melancholic, autumn necrologue salon 3rd space studio, Zpace-Atelier, Muzeul Zemstvie, Chisinau, Rep. Moldova (both 2020); and ‘Spalatorie Velo’ Public presentation of Kolxoz Manifesto publication and postcards. Public washing and catharsis of bicycles. Flat Space, Chisinau, Rep. Moldova (2021). Forthcoming projects include: OSTRALE Biennale O21, Kombinát in ISO container, Dresden, Germany; Moneyfesta, All nomads are workers, Kitchen, Vienna, Austria.
Quasi-Book: Quasi-Book will act as a hub for the activities of the Mahler & LeWitt Studios and VIAINDUSTRIAE throughout the Festival dei Due Mondi 2021. It is conceived as an experimental artist’s bookshop, events space and gallery, connected to the former studio of Sol LeWitt in the old town of Spoleto. As a prolific bookmaker and a co-founder of the Printed Matter bookstore in New York, LeWitt is closely identified with the book as an art form. The Festival dei Due Mondi is an international, multi-disciplinary arts festival founded by the composer Giancarlo Menotti in 1958. In the context of the pandemic, wherein the Italian government considers books as ‘essential items’ and permits bookshops to remain open even in ‘red-zones’, Quasi-Book is interested in supporting experimental approaches to artists’ publishing which help to facilitate communal reflection and action. Quasi-Book embraces our need to make, read, use and distribute books as tools for artistic investigation. We are interested in the role publishing plays in creating discourse, disseminating ideas and encouraging debate, and in permitting co-generative, co-operative ways of working.
Viaindustriae: The VIAINDUSTRIAE Archive and the connected De Donno Collection – which contain historic and contemporary collections of artist’s publications alongside related artworks and ephemera, dating from Futurism and with a focus on Italian art – will be made available for research during the residency period and as a resource for programming in Quasi-Book. VIAINDUSTRIAE is a projectspace and publishing group specialising in experimental, contemporary approaches to publishing.