Liam Gillick

Pourquoi Travailler ?

In his second publication with the team of Three Star Books, Liam Gillick offers a philosophical text entitled Pourquoi travailler? (Why Work?). His argument is presented materially as well as in carefully reasoned prose, to conclude that both different types of labor --and also less- might behoove those in the culture industry today. Gillick’s text addresses the issue of production for the “knowledge worker,” and sheds a searing light on the forms of labor that cultural production now entails. Professedly uninterested in art history, an atheist with a predilection for secular imagery (even when excavating medieval iconography), Gillick has produced what might even be considered a sacred text of his own. This is as much due to the form chosen as the content in which his thinking is framed. Gillick's essay on labor began as a symposium contribution, was then printed as a small give-away publication, and is freely available in English on the Internet. In its Three Star Books manifestation, it is presented as a rarity. The text, typeset in the special Gillick Helvetica New that the artist himself designed, is printed in letterpress on the finest of Richard de Bas handmade paper. These sheets are gathered together in a bound cover created from white goatskin parchment, each cover pleated by hand. The resultant volume, fitted with over a dozen black and white images executed after woodblock prints, is held together in a near-sculptural form, by a fluorescent orange Plexiglas case. Citing the earliest of printing traditions —woodcut— Gillick has selected images from the dawn of the mechanically produced book to go along with his both crafted and yet electronic book. Some images clearly depict scenes of "labor." Others are difficult to fathom, and seem almost arbitrary or counter-productive to "illustration." His real contribution is a melancholy insight into the life of the twenty-first century artist, whose every waking thought can be determined as work, whose every plane ride can be dedicated to drafting a powerpoint presentation, and whose every utterance is always hijacked into understanding and elucidating a greater project. The decision to stop and "not work," might be the only luxury still out of reach.



Published Winter 2011 - 2012

Edition of 30 copies
with 2 artist's proofs 
Each book is signed and numbered by the artist.

Book description:
Format: 41 x 29.5 x 2.7 cm - 16.2 x 11.6 x 1 in.
Paper: Moulin Richard de Bas
Cover: goatskin parchment
Slipcase: PLEXIGLAS®
Letterpress printing: Atelier Vincent Auger
Composition: Helvetica Neue Bold and Gillick Helvetica New
Text and design: Liam Gillick

5 different colors available:
- Blue Royal
- Orange
- Green Fluo
- Lavender
- Red Fluo

About the artist
liam-gillick-pourquoi-travailler-y
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Pourquoi Travailler ?
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    Pourquoi Travailler ? - Plexiglas© slipcases
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    Liam Gillick
    Pourquoi Travailler ?
    Edition of 30 copies + 2 artist's proofs and 3 copies hors commerce
    Pourquoi Travailler ? - hand-made parchment cover
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    Liam Gillick
    Pourquoi Travailler ?
    Edition of 30 copies + 2 artist's proofs and 3 copies hors commerce
    Pourquoi Travailler ? - interior pages
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    Pourquoi Travailler ? - interior pages, hand-made paper
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    Pourquoi Travailler ? - interior pages
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler ? - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler ? - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler ? - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages, printed in letterpress
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    Pourquoi Travailler - colophon
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages
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    Pourquoi Travailler - interior pages
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    Pourquoi Travailler - back cover
INDEX (1/26) ENLARGE
Pourquoi Travailler ? - Plexiglas© slipcases