On Publishing


Tique asks the same set of questions to an international art book publisher about its motivation, practice and role today.
This week: PEOPLE WITH NO COUNTRY / THEATRE IS OVER THERE, an independent visual arts publisher of the expanded Artist Book from Togo.

Location Elsewhere, Also: Lome, Togo
Website https://www.peoplewithnocountry.com

What motivated you to start publishing?

We have always liked the book as a thing. You can store or examine ideas in it. As format, its shape is an infinite arrangement of ideas. Publishing in this context means having things called ‘book’ in more than one copy, circulated to those other than just yourself. This is what we try to do, though not always successfully.

How do you define and develop your artistic program?

Publishing is part of our expanded artist practice. We apply it because it is DIY ‘installation’ of sorts. How one defines one’s practice is ongoing and we really cannot at this point pin any of it down. This is all part of the development of things.

What is your role in the creation of a publication?

Exactly everything.

What do you look for in a project?

Something that moves swiftly from scratch to published.

We don’t always stick to this, however. For example, we have unfinished books that were troublesome in the making, such as ‘Dead Colonials’, ‘Unfinished Houses of West Africa’ and ‘Capecoast’, books that required a lot of editing, aren’t ‘artist books’ in a sense and which we felt very compelled to ‘make’ since the history of West Africa is a subject after our own heart. Well, these projects are currently sitting as PDFs on our computer, written and unpublished. We have failed to published, perhaps for the demands of the contents vis a vis our marginalization. Or, the silence (from our not-belonging) vs our wrestling with our singularity against a world (of set claims e.g’ ‘countries’, ‘groups’, etc, that we are told we do not belong).

So this year we added THEATRE IS OVER THERE to our name to get a break. Any project under this name is the future.

Do you have any advice to artists planning to make a publication?

Stick to drawing.

What do you consider to be the biggest challenge as a publisher?

Distribution – and the problem of marginalization.

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