On Sunday 8 December, the Artist Self-Publishers’ Fair (ASP) will present its fifth edition at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. Over the course of a day, from 11am-7pm, the event will platform over 80 British and international independent artists, all of whom are self-publishing their own works. The fair intends to avoid the restrictions and market dominance that permeates much of the contemporary arts sector. The publications that will be presented aim to be affordable, free from the constraints of a traditional gallery, and the images and texts are produced and published by artists who understand both the restrictions and freedoms of the printed page.
ASP co-founder Dan Mitchell told Something Curated: “Sara MacKillop and I founded ASP in 2014 after the demise of Published and Be Damned. We recognised the need for a fair that was for artist self-publishers only, so not small or independent presses, there are loads of fairs that cater for their needs. We wanted to help foster a sense of community – peer to peer – having the artist in one room with their publications is essential.” Mitchell notes there are three key requirements for ASP’s participants: “You must be an artist, the work is self-published, and the publication is for sale.”
He continues: “We also look for new releases and work that ‘gets’ self-publishing. ASP isn’t about photo books or illustrated work, or about trying to make an alternative high-end publication on the cheap, it’s more about if the work sits well within and adds something to the totality of ASP. It is hard to say what this is, it is a kind of you’ll know it when you see it. Broadly artists that make self-published work reject an exploitative relationship with a publisher, they need the independence to be able to risk exploring total control of the work, but have it sit within the multiple and drifting effects of making works that can be identified, even very loosely as published work.”
Mitchell expands: “As ASP has a remit for artist self-publishers only, we like to keep the lines between artists who self-publish and small independent presses as clear as we can. This isn’t straight forward as it can be hard to define what the distinctions are, but our hope is the fair speaks for itself.” On Saturday 7 December ASP will be hosting Opposition to the Commodity, an afternoon of readings and performance, from 2pm till 6pm. Through a series of presentations, artists, writers and publishers address radical notions of accessibility and opposition to the commodity. Performers include Ruth Angel Edwards, Adam Gallagher, Emily Pope, Recycling Plastic Inevitable, Oliver Rees, James Whittingham and Angharad Williams.
The full list of artists presenting at this year’s Artist Self-Publishers’ Fair are: 53 Beck Road, 54 The Gate, Adam Gallagher and Friends of the E.A.R.F., Alan Lodge, Alex Pollard, Ana Bandeira – Eurostar, 2019, Arnaud Desjardins, Arts of the Working Class, Banner Repeater, Behind the X, BÃ©rÃ©nice BÃ©guerie, Bronze Age, Bus, Callum Leo Hughes, Chateau International, Christine Ratcliff, Clark Keatley, Clod, Control , Cypher, Dan Szor, David Lindert, David Osbaldeston, Dick Jewell, eeodo, El von Brown, Ella McCartney + Rory McCartney, Emily Pope, Evening Class, FDBNHLLLTTFMATERIALISMS, Gallery Malmo, Good Press, Gregor Wright, GRRRR, Hard Mag, Hate Magazine, Hexus Journal, hi-noon, Hitozine / Books Peckham, HOLY! HOLY! HOLY!, Intellitrash, Judas Companion, Juno, Le Bourgeois: Catherine Osterberg and Jacques Rogers, Les Lilas – Boris DÃ©traz, Less Than, 500 Press, Lizzie Homersham & Daniel Neofetou, Lost Dad, Luke Dowd, Markus Vater, Melanie Coles, Michalis Pichler, Muslim Sisterhood, Nervemeter, OCR, Open Space, Owen Piper, Phillipa Horan, Pound Shop, Racheal Crowther, Rachel Cattle, Richard Parry, Richard Porter, Richard Roberts, Sara MacKillop, Schizm, Setsuko, SEX+, Sick Mondays, Simon Popper, Spyros Rennt, Starship, Steve Richards, Stuart McKenzie, Talker & ztscrpt.
Opposition to the Commodity / Artist Self-Publishers’ Fair – ‘The Fifth’ | 7-8 December 2019
Feature image via Michalis Pichler