Public Space/Two Audiences. Works and Documents from the Herbert Collection. Inventaire

book, 432 pp., 17 x 22.7 cm

Published on the occasion of the exhibitions at MACBA (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona), Spain (08.02–01.05.2006) and Kunsthaus Graz, Austria (10.06–03.09.2006), 432 pp. 3 editions: 810 Catalan + 1,870 English + 1,220 German.

It was Anton Herbert who asked me in 2004 to work on a book about his collection. For more than one year we worked together. From the beginning it was clear to us that the book should be an independent publication in relation to the exhibition which was scheduled for 2006. This meant that the documents and works in the book were presented in a complete different sequence with its own structure and accents. We worked with the specific possibilities of the book as a medium. The book was a kind of ‘second show’.
For one year I worked with the material from the enormous archive from the collection. This meant that, next to designing the book, I was involved with the editing (choice of works and images, photo-shoots, etc…). This way of working made it possible to bring form and content close together.
For me this book was also exceptional because the element ‘time’ wasn’t underestimated by the collectioneur. It’s very rare to have that much time to create a book. At the same time Anton Herbert himself was very much involved in the process. He was very much aware that the quality of the book depended a lot on the quality of the material he supplied and the considered choices we made after discussing, proposing and looking for solutions all the time.

Description of the book:
Located in Ghent, Belgium, the Herbert Collection consists of works by artists, mostly from the conceptual, minimal, and arte povera movements. In its first part, besides contributions by Anne Rorimer (‘Minimal Art, Arte Povera, Conceptual Art: Reflections on the Herbert Collection’) and Diederich Diederichsen (‘Artistic Theories of Public Space A Prehistory of Interactivity’), the book presents the transcription of a round table during which Manuel J. Borja-Villel, Peter Pakesch, Anton Herbert and Hans-Joachim Müller as moderator discussed various issues related to private and public contemporary art collections. its second and largest part shows a selection from the huge amount of visual works and documents in their collection. The pictures and texts are put into a clear structure. Each artist is presented separately, starting with a title page which is illustrated with a portrait, a rare document or some ephemera. The exterior of the book has a ‘blank’ look, due to the cover which shows a drawing (Dan Graham) and some scarce type. On the other hand, the accumulation of text and images inside the book is dense. Turning over the pages one is surprised to see the extensive, huge amount of information.
This hefty catalogue of the most important works from one of the world’s finest collections of Minimal, Arte Povera and Conceptual art includes work by Carl Andre, Giovanni Anselmo, Art & Language, John Baldessari, Robert Barry, Marcel Broodthaers, Stanley Brouwn, Daniel Buren, Jean-Marc Bustamante, André Cadere, Hanne Darboven, Jan Dibbets, Luciano Fabro, Gilbert & George, Dan Graham, Rodney Graham, Douglas Huebler, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Joseph Kosuth, Jannis Kounellis, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Mario Merz, Reinhard Mucha, Bruce Nauman, Giulio Paolini, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gerhard Richter, Edward Ruscha, Robert Ryman, Thomas Schütte, Robert Smithson, Niele Toroni, Jan Vercruysse, Didier Vermeiren, Lawrence Weiner, Franz West, Ian Wilson.