Screening & conference by Mela Dávila Freire
The Books of Ed Ruscha
Free, upon reservation
In the film The Books of Ed Ruscha (23’), directed in 1969 by Ed Ruscha (1937- ) himself, some of his iconic conceptual books are leafed through, unfolded and read by his accomplice Mason Williams. The books Twentysix Gas Stations (1963), Some Los Angeles Apartments (1965), or Every Building on the Sunset Strip (1966) reveal how the Californian visual artist invests the book medium to construct a photographic narrative of the everyday and banality of modern urban life in the United States, and to disseminate widely, democratically, an artistic work. A pioneering and seminal practice in the history of the artists’ books, as the researcher and art historian Mela Dávila Freire will analyze it following the screening.
As a consultant and independent researcher, Mela Dávila Freire has combined institutional responsibilities, notably at the MACBA (Barcelona) and at the Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid), with research, writing and curating in art archives, artist publications, bibliographic collections and other related subjects. Her areas of interest include the theoretical and practical overlap between archiving and art collecting, the ideological biases in archival structures, and the valorization of women’s work in the field of artists’ books. Her most recent publication, Mission and Commission: documenta and the Art Market, 1955-1968 (Polígrafa, 2022) deals with documenta’s activity (Kassel) as an early publisher of multiples and prints. She is also on the jury for the Bob Calle Artist’s Book Award.
To view the film Books of Ed Ruscha, click here