The Readymades (re-issue Sept. 2019)
The Readymades (re-issue Sept. 2019)
Finally, after being long out of print, The Readymades will be re-issued on September 1, 2019. Pre-orders now available, will ship in August.
Praise for The Readymades:
Holten's novel is one of the greatest works of art to come out of Berlin in recent years...You could say that LGB are the Next Big Thing to come of of Berlin, the timely projection of an embattled nexus - East versus West, the Real World versus the Art World, Purity versus Commodification, Literature versus the Visual Arts, Fiction versus Truth.
— Travis Jeppesen, June/July 2012 issue of Art in America.
The Readymades by John Holten: easily one of the most ambitious, interesting, well-executed novels by an Irish writer I’ve come across.
— Rob Doyle, author of Here Come the Young Men
Holten has expanded the scope of the contemporary novel so that it is not merely a comment on the present but a set of artistic strategies and processes sent out into the world at large.
— Brian Dillon, UK editor of Cabinet magazine and author of Sanctuary
In this confident debut novel, Holten has extrapolated a whole missing art movement and their contemporary European picaresque saga, using and abusing a number of literary genres. The action begins during October 2008 in Paris, with John, a young Irish publisher, meeting the jaded Serbian artist Djordje Bojić. Bojić tells John about the manuscript he is writing: the history of the LGB Group – an Eastern European neo-avant-garde collective that arose in the turbulent environment of mid-1990s Belgrade, when Bojić and his friends, recently returned from the war in Bosnia, started to produce art in order to escape the hysterical nationalism all around them. Bojić’s manuscript makes up the final part of the novel. Starting out as an academic attempt to document the LGB Group, the sober attitude of the art-historical account soon collapses, and the narrative gradually turns into a disclosing life-story of violence and existential decay. As the manuscript moves closer to the horrific truths of Bojić’s own war experiences, the testimony gradually fails, becomes full of mute lacunas in order to finally reach the ineffable climax of the testimony: the burdens of trauma, the dumbness of loss, and the ultimate silence of Bojić’s own death.
John Holten is a novelist, artist and occasional curator. His first novel The Readymades was published in 2011 by Broken Dimanche Press, which he co-founded in Berlin in 2009. It was followed up the novel Oslo, Norway in 2015. Holten has collaborated with many visual artists on texts and publications in recent years. In autumn 2017 he worked with Peles Empire, Hanne Lippard and Renata Har on a contribution to Conglomerate.tv. His work has appeared in the Malmö Konsthall, David Zwirner Gallery New York (with Aengus Woods), Villa Romana, Florence, Plan B Gallery, Berlin, San Serriffe, Amsterdam amongst others. He teaches the course Art Publications for Node Centre for Curatorial Studies since 2015 and in 2019 he has contributed a paper to the conference Books Books (Artist’s) Books as part of the Druck Druck Druck exhibition. He has been awarded Literature Bursaries from Arts Council of Ireland, most recently in 2017.
Darko Dragičević is a Belgrade-born, Berlin-based visual and performance artist, film director and teacher. His interdisciplinary projects and cross-media collaborations have been presented and awarded internationally. Dragičević teaches at institutions such as ZZT Centre for Contemporary Dance/HfMT Cologne, DOCH - School of Dance and Circus/Stockholm University of the Arts, Tanzquartier Vienna, Folkwang University Essen and Y-Institut/Hochschule der Künste Bern. He is commissioning editor of the Practice series for Goethe-Institut Serbia. First edition titled Failure as Practice was published in March 2019.