First stop: Artspeak, where we got our first taste of how the rest of the evening was to unfold: hot and cramped. To make things more interesting, Christian Kliegel’s ONSITE installation had the throng of guests stepping awkwardly on, around and through a series of stepping blocks that created different levels across the space. This was probably a good addition to AA Bronson’s show Learn to Read Art: A History of Printed Matter, which was essentially arranged on a shelf running the length of the wall, with the exception of a couple display cases mid-room. Trying to look through this collection of artist publications while standing on one of the taller blocks deffinately made for an interesting interactive experience, I felt like I was standing on a pedestal – to be viewed, but also to affect my viewing of the works.
Learn to Read Art is a show very much aligned with Artspeak’s mandate of bringing together the fields of literary and visual arts, as the works included are from the Printed Matter organization in New York (of which AA Bronson is the executive director), which seeks to examine the changing role of artist’s publications in contemporary art.
Overall, I think I would like to return to see this show outside of Swarm, as stuffing forty people who are drinking beer into a tiny space is not so condusive to reading books.