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In the past 10 years we had the pleasure to get to know a lot of the amazing people behind the magazines and publications we try to gather in our store for you, we have seen countless covers on our shelves and browsed myriads of pages. In News & Novelties we want to share some of our latest finds and conversations. Find inspiration in our reviews, enjoy some interviews with amazing people and get to know about our latest activities in Berlin and around the globe.

The Museum Is Not Enough

The Museum is Not Enough

"When I was first starting out, I decided to call myself a center.", recalls the Canadian Centre for Architecture. "At the time the choice was clear, but it's only now that I've fully realized what it means not to be a museum. I really think that in our world being a museum is not enough."⁠ ⁠ The bold statement oscillates in the room for a moment until CCA continues: "What I am for is questioning what is going on around me - and uncovering alternatives. I try to act as a frame for making sense of, anticipating, and projecting on the world. I do this by focusing on architecture. (...) Architecture is a way of reading and redefining the present, the society in which we're living and working. But if I want to read the world through architecture, I have to decide what I am looking for."⁠ For the first issue CCA decided on the significance of the archive as a site for the production of new ideas, display strategies in architecture exhibitions, the need for mediation in art, and the impact of the digital in current museum practices.⁠ Buy
Hong Kong Barricades - Lele Saveri

Hong Kong Barricades

Lele Saveri
In October 2014, Lele Saveri was invited to spend a month teaching in China. On his way to take up the post, he made a stop in Hong Kong, where just a few days earlier, one of the first in a series of civil movements had erupted - movements that rocked the status quo in Hong Kong and brought relations between Hong Kong and Beijing into international focus. Saveri spent the whole of his time in Hong Kong documenting this pivotal moment, now known as the Umbrella Revolution. He walked the streets day and night, talking to protestors and taking picture after picture. Collected here are his photographs: of protestors - in masks and helmets, superhero costumes or t-shirts emblazoned with ‚God Save The Queen‘ - of the weird misshapen barricades that began to take over the city’s infrastructure, of tourists and citizens just going about their daily business. Presented alongside a short essay by Hong Kong activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Joshua Wong, this slim volume of striking photographs provides an essential, sometimes disturbing, sometimes alienating document of the beginnings of one of the most important protest movements in modern history - a document made only more powerful in hindsight, as the Hong Kong protests have continued, in the face of ever more brutal retaliation, to demand essential reform of their democratic and human rights. ⁠ Buy
Social Design Cookbook - Attila Bujdoso

Social Design Book

Attila Bujdoso
When Antti Tuomola wanted to open a restaurant in Helsinki back in 2011, he found himself caught up in bureaucracy that did not leave any space for innovation. So he gathered some friends to find a solution to enrich Helsinki's culinary scene without the troubles to open a permanent restaurant and may it be just for one day. As a result 40 people turned their private homes into temporary restaurants for "Restaurant Day", inviting strangers into their kitchen. By 2016 "Restaurant Day" turned into a worldwide cultural event.⁠ But this book is not about "Restaurant Day". "Restaurant Day" is solely exemplary for most of the 18 social design practices and tools explained in this book such as bottom-up, social-city, and smart-citizens. And like in any good cookbook author Attila Bujdoso does not only explain the ingredients and seeks to inspire you, but also gives you the recipes on hand to successfully create your own social projects.⁠ Buy
Kim Jong Il Looking at Things - João Rocha

Kim Jong Il

Looking at things
Like any model dictator also notorious Kim Jong Il sought to orchestrate his own figure in the media. But since he did not really seem to like words or maybe the sound of his own voice, who knows, he was less than rarely seen giving speeches. Instead he staged himself as the observer of his county. If you now think that this means him looking at great scientific achievements or military gear, you are far from it. Not that he did not also do that but he seemed to "go and visit" everything that there is to see in his country.⁠ A feared dictator with a hardly changing facial expression, wearing blindingly dark sunglasses, and followed by an entourage of bodyguards and officers while he is looking at random things is unwillingly comical, in combination with caption such as "Kim Jong Il looking at a radish", "Kim Jong Il looking at a dvd labeling machine", "Kim Jong Il looking at women bras" it makes us laugh with tears. So for today we will probably do nothing else than looking at Kim Jong Il looking at things. Buy
Almost 30 #2 2019 - The Value Issue

Almost 30 #2

"Your 20’s were mellow times with vague ideas for later when you’re older, and nothing seemed to worry you. Till the day the big 30 appeared at the horizon and scared the crap out of you."⁠ When you are almost thirty, you start wondering. Shouldn't I feel more grown up? Because once I hit thirty I must be grown up, right? Thirty sounds like having a career, inviting friends for dinner rather than going clubbing, planing children, knowing how to do taxes... But then you are almost thirty and you still feel far away from all of this. ⁠ Almost 30 is a mindset magazine that combines German and English texts about togetherness, dating, loneliness, and personal development - all the topics that really matter when you are almost thirty, because let's face it nobody really knows what that actually means – grown-up. So let's stop worrying about it.⁠ Buy
Bastard Cookbook - Rirkrit Tiravanija

Bastard Cookbook

The Odious Smell of Truth
Antto Melasniemi and Rirkrit Tiravanija do not just have both unusual names but are both artists working with food. So do not mistake this book, the Bastard Cookbook, with an ordinary cookbook. Even though it is full of recipes, photographs of food and chapters carrying unspectacular names like "soup" or "salads", it is far more than a mere collection of dishes. The two food artist challenge our obsession of authenticity and mix up tastes, traditional dishes, and recipes into food "bastards". You can turn your oh-so-familiar family recipes of meatballs with a little bit of curry paste into something very unfamiliar. But if we are honest about globalisation and peoples lives that are not limited to one place and one country anymore, we must agree that the proposed bastards are probably the new reality mix. Instead of being scared that traditional tastes would be lost, we should embrace these "bastards" as an addition, as a more. The future of cooking is definitely eclectic.⁠ Buy
Festac '77: The 2nd World Festival of Black Arts and Culture


The 2nd World Festival of Black Arts and Culture
'Colour has indeed always been a question of taste, not a question of judgement! [...] But it is not colour that makes history, it is the People, through their consciousness and their ability to master time and space.' Ahmed Sékou Toure, the first president of Guinea, knew exactly why FESTAC was of such importance for his people. People who society told not to be proud of their heritage and identity. After the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture got postponed twice - once because of the ongoing civil war in Nigeria, the next because the urban facilities for the festival were still under construction. In 1977 FESTAC, the largest pan-African cultural event, finally took place - and went down in history. Over the course of one month, more than 17,000 people from Africa as well as those living in the diaspora came to Lagos, united by only one desire: to celebrate with pride and dignity their arts and culture. Among the artists were legendary musicians Stevie Wonder, Sun Ra, Miriam Makeba and Gilberto Gil, to name just a few. Together with Afterall Books, Chimurenga has succeeded in composing, arranging and reproducing a huge accumulation of archival material in just one (not small) book, ranging from newspaper articles, manuscripts, speeches, unseen photographs, floor plans - everything at all which can be associated with FESTAC '77. This eclectic hotchpotch is not only a significant contemporary witness of Black Arts and Culture at the time but also a witness of our present time - the fact that even forty years later, we are still facing a world in which, sadly, the colour of our skin is misused as an indicator of who we might are. Buy
Karel Martens Re-Printed Matter (4th Edition)

Karel Martens Re-Printed Matter

"Form is the condition through which a common life becomes possible: through which a relationship between people comes about. Design determines the quality of our common life." Hardly anyone experiments more passionately and playfully with the relation of forms as Karel Martens himself has - for over half a century to date. For the Dutch graphic Designer Martens, working with grids, geometrical shapes and colours was at no time a mere accessory, a final appealing touch under the spell of advertising. Studying fine arts in Arnhem, at a time, when graphic design was not even considered as a career path worth following, Karel was fully drawn into the material (paper) world. 'Karel Martens Re-Printed Matter' pays tribute to Martens' mathematical, kinetic approach when it comes to setting the grid, arranging the types, designing books and posters, or the Dutch architectural magazine OASE. Buy
We are the Weather  - Jonathan Safran Foer

We are the Weather

Jonathan Safran Foer
"Saving the planet begins at breakfast" states the subtitle of "We are the Weather", the latest book of Jonathan Safran Foer. And while we chew on our Sunday brunch, we might initially take a defensive state - Really? Now Foer tells us that even our most favorite Sunday habit is a threat to life? - But stay calm, this book is not about food and eating habits. On the other hand it is also not meant to calm you. So we take that back.⁠ In the first part of the book, titled "The Unbelievable", Foer tells shortly historical turning points and personal stories, which all lead to the suspicion that the human mind is unable to emotionally engage with something that is terrifying by the facts but invisible in every day life and therefor not shaking our emotions. Like the climate crisis. "Our alarm systems are not built for conceptual threats." Which seems one of the reasons why we know about climate change and the threat it is to human life but are unable to take actions. And even though Foer just concluded that we are somehow immune to the devastating facts, he presents us with them nonetheless - through bullet-point lists. Arranged in small size bites and still far from being easily digestible.⁠ ⁠But instead of now presenting us with tools or action plans, what one might expect, to overcome our paralysis, we will read impressions and anecdotes of what means "Home" followed by a inner monologue titled "Dispute with the soul". And latest now it dawns us. What the hard facts are unable to do, Foer is trying (and succeeds at) - he emotionally shake us.⁠ ⁠ May that be the wake up call we all needed to finally take the steps necessary to safe our biotope, our home.⁠ Buy
The New Luxury - Highsnobiety

The New Luxury – Highsnobiety

The fashion world got turned upside down in recent years. While it all started with streetwear brands and street culture hacking luxury fashion, they now became a part of it. Balenciaga dad sneakers walk through every street of Berlin, Fendi prints Fila logos allover their designs, Louis Vuitton makes sweatpants, and Vêtements sells their clothes out of the back of a DHL truck in a counterfeit market setting.⁠
It is the era of hype and early adopters, which turns teens and twenty something into the new luxury customer willing to spend enormes sums and to queue up for days to get their hands on the latest limited drop. Exclusivity is not (solely) created through a high price tag but through knowledge. It is not so easy anymore to buy into the group of the fashionable, you have to know your way around, understand the hybrids and quotes, the dynamics and collaborations. So who else than street culture authority Highsnobiety could explain better the changing face of the luxury market.⁠ Buy
Sontag. Her Life - Benjamin Moser

Susan Sontag

Benjamin Moser
To offer you a small glimpse of all the beautiful titles which are dropping in our little store day after day makes up the most enjoyable part of our job. And honestly, the easiest - since they all are exceptional in one way or another. But sometimes - as in the case of Susan Sontag - there resonates an undeniable reverence, an uncertainty about where to start or where to end. How can one possibly find the right words to come anywhere close to one of the most sharp-witted, charismatic and controversial writers of the twentieth century? The sincere answer is: We'll not even try. The only thing we can do is highly suggest you to see the world through the eyes of an intellectual, a critic, a lover, a mother, a homosexual, a loner, a stubborn and above all, through the eyes of someone who fully dedicated her whole life to the written word. While you get hooked in Benjamin Moser's latest biography or in the numerous essays of Sontag herself, one thing is for sure, they are after all these years still a delighting, eye-opening read, so much we can promise.  Buy
About a Square - Eric Emery

About a Square

Eric Emery
How much square meters does one need to open a gallery? For curator and visual artist, Eric Emery, 20 m² were exactly about right. 'About a Square. Ten Years of site-specific exhibitions at zqm' visualizes the transformative journey of a tiny exhibition space in Berlin named 'zqm'. The acronym - meaning twenty square meters - stands for a dimensional pre-condition which was taken, from the very first exhibition by Leo 'Kicking Over an Andy Goldworthy Sculpture'  - and ever since - as a possibility rather than a limitation. Graphic designer Julie Joliat got invited to continue the tradition of young artists to curatorial create something out of a white blank. Her Carte Blanche turned out to be an artwork itself. With page numbers dancing out of the line, wildly composed visual references, a long interview between Ascanio Cecco and Eric Emery, this book is an experimental laboratory, to which luckily, none of the standard norms of an exhibition catalogue can be applied. Nor does it foster conventional ways of thinking. In summary, it's not the worst idea to survey your terrain in order to think out of the box - no matter how small it is. Buy
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