Mo-Leeza Roberts novel Head describes the desperate future that clusters around Head Gallery like cockroaches swarming over a pig's head. It is at once critical and complicit, deluded and envious.
Jerry-rigging saccharine sci-fi, with a leavened mush of curatorial artspeak, artists, collectors, hanger-ons and other art world actors explode in ecstasy, pain, or self-induced eradication – all, according to the whims of the Head Gallery, which remains an anonymous and inviolate force, the overseer of events and a selfless accumulator of prestige and wealth. Familiar contemporary artists are reanimated for the future, giving the events described an unsettling familiarity. Any reader familiar with the art world should feel both seduced, and infected. It is like Dickens but with laughs induced by our approaching extinction, and like Salò, written, directed and starred in by Barbara Gladstone.
Head Gallery is based in New York and Shanghai. It advises collectors, appraises antiques, bankrupts sponsors, gives out MAs in curatorial practice, commissions spiritual tracts, does expert restoration where apoc-damage is concerned, plans corporate events and retreats, disappears interns, holds alcohol support group sessions, funds Scottish nationalists, and produces bestiality instruction videos. It is also dedicated to producing critical art texts and troll feeds that are split between a written textual element located on the website, expanded press releases, or exhibition description, and materialised elements installed in galleries. It operates in between a future set in 2078, and the present.
160pp | 184mm x 110mm
ISBN: 978 1 906012 67 0
Design: Fraser Muggeridge Studio, and Head Gallery
Bookworks is a leading contemporary arts organisation with a unique role as makers and publishers of books.
Established in 1984, they are dedicated to supporting new work by emerging artists, and their projects are initiated by invitation, open submission, and through guest-curated projects. Book Works consists of a publishing and commissioning department; and a studio specialising in binding, box-making and multiples. Their activities include publishing, a lecture and seminar programme, exhibitions, the development of an on-line archive, and artists’ surgeries and workshops held by both the publishing department and the studio.