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Lenz publishes books on contemporary art, photography, architecture and design.
Our imprint includes catalogues, monographs, theory and artist books.

John M Armleder It Never Ends

Edited by Yann Chateigné Tytelman
Texts by John M Armleder, Bernard Blistène, Yann Chateigné Tytelman, Yves Goldstein, Guy Gypens, and Anna Loporcaro
Design Sunny-side-up

2023, English / French / Dutch, softcover, 21 x 26 cm, 246 pages
ISBN: 979-12-80579-19-5

Between an artist’s book and a catalogue, this publication follows up on John M Armleder’s multidimensional exhibition at KANAL in 2020–21. Through archival pictures and in depth conversations, the unusual form of the book is designed to recreate the immersive experience of this collective experiment, and proposes a dive into something akin to a large self-portrait, conceived through the works of more than a hundred artists.

It Never Ends was a “carte blanche” experiment by Swiss artist John M Armleder at KANAL – Centre Pompidou in Brussels. This collective and multidisciplinary exhibition took place over nine months over the six floors of KANAL – Centre Pompidou’s “Showroom”: a spectacular 6000 m2 space at the forefront of the former 1930s Citroën Garage, made visible one last time on this occasion before closing for renovation.

Painter, sculptor, installation artist, performer, archivist, curator, collector, publisher, librarian, gallerist and more, John M Armleder (b. 1948, lives and works in Geneva, Switzerland), one of the most unclassifiable artists of our times, seems to have lived multiple lives. A founder of Ecart, the seminal artist-run space that became the Swiss hub of the Fluxus constellation, he shaped the developing-image of abstraction while being a major actor of the Neo Geo movement, before affirming the relational engagement of his co-operative practice through large-scale installations.

The exhibition—incorporating a program of artist’s commissions, collective exhibitions, concerts, and performances within an immersive landscape made up of a series of specially designed large-scale installations—was devised by Armleder as a multidimensional and lively artistic proposal in constant movement. It Never Ends, the artist’s most ambitious project to date, unlike the more conventional formats of the solo show, the retrospective, or the artist’s choice, offers a more hybrid experience: a collective self-portrait in a sense, and a way for the artist—for whom issues of hospitality, collaboration and friendship have always been central—to (re)present himself, through the works of others.

It Never Ends was due to open in April 2020. Postponed because of the pandemic, it finally took place in September of the same year, and was organized in two parts, lasting until April 2021. While its shape, its accessibility and its resonance changed, it seemed necessary to devise a publication that would not only be an archive of this atypical project but also a continuation of this collaborative dynamic. Hence, this unusual volume, conceived by Brussels-based designers Sunny-Side-Up, was imagined to emulate the immersive experience of Armleder’s curatorial experiment, through its lush visual documentation and in depth conversations with the artist and curators. Put together like two books in a single object, it can be read “in stereo,” allowing a subjective and ever-changing course amid the texts and pictures that were produced specifically for it. Featuring an extensive and unpublished interview with John M Armleder, and the works of a constellation of more than a hundred artists. Among many others, these include: Domenico Battista, Bureau Barbier Bouvet, George Brecht, John Cage, Maurizio Cattelan, Isabelle Cornaro, Olga de Soto, Philippe Decrauzat, Thomas Downing, Tim Etchells, Sylvie Fleury, David Helbich, Dick Higgins, Mette Ingvartsen, Karen Kilimnik, Felix Kinderman, Christian Marclay, Olivier Mosset, Maurizio Nannucci, Calixto Neto, Stephen O’Malley & Kali Malone, Amy O’Neill, Yoko Ono, Genesis P-Orridge, Charlemagne Palestine, Mai-Thu Perret, Ugo Rondinone, Mieko Shiomi, Carolee Schneemann, Ben Vautier, Lawrence Weiner…

Published with KANAL – Centre Pompidou, Brussels

Photos: Lola Pertsowsky

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