Fotograf Magazine

MISS READ: Berlin Art Book Festival 2018

The 10th anniversary exhibition of independent publishers, which took place
during the first weekend of May, was installed in the heart of Berlin, in the
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, for the second time. And it is already clear that
we will be able to see it there next year again. The lovely event seems to
prosper in this environment of a cultural centre open to all arts and genres.

This year’s edition presented almost three hundred small and
independent publishers, artists, and DIY workshops. The festival took place
during the 6th edition of the Conceptual Poetic Days, an event exploring
the imaginary boundaries between visual art and literature. On this
occasion, a special scene, with an acoustic layer that wafted all over the
building and created unusual music background, was built on the site.

Compared to other exhibitions, Miss Read seems more conceptual
and distinctive, yet open and varied. The event, located in the centre of
Europe and affordable to publishers (strongly supported by the municipal
budget while Berlin is one of the few European capitals that can be visited
without paying disproportionate costs), also offers an opportunity to better
confront the exhibited art with European production. Europe, however,
though obviously largely represented, was not the continent that dominated
the exhibition. There were also exhibitors from Latin America, and the focus
on Japan also affected the number of participants from this Asian country
that reached almost thirty.

This year, the exhibition celebrated ten years of its existence, and on
this occasion, an extensive anthology, Publishing Manifestos, presenting
interesting articles by various authors, from El Lissitzky to the most
contemporary artists, was published. The role of the main editor was
assumed by Michalis Pichler, a Berlin artist and author of many books,
who works on the border between visual art and literature. Publishing
Manifestos also contains summarizing information about all the activities of
the Miss Read exhibition from 2009 to the present.

In the context of Central Europe, the structure of this book fair is
unprecedented, and we can look forward to the next, eleventh edition at
the beginning of May 2019.

Tomáš Hrůza