3Q&A with Jessica Willams

1. Which of the qualities of the book (as a form and a concept) do you appreciate the most?

The inherent intimacy of books is perhaps my favorite thing about them as a format. The one on one experience is something special.

2. Tell us about your most recent publication/book work/fanzine!

While in Philadelphia for a two person exhibition this past May, I produced a quick artist’s book on the gallery’s Risograph machine. The publication is called “Not ready for this world” and is a mash-up of poems I wrote in 2012 and photographs from the island of Svalbard taken last year. It is a two-color and two-paper little book, with the available materials and tools dictating the form and expression of content. This particular Risograph wasn’t hooked up to a computer, so everything was scanned using the built-in flatbed scanner.

Not ready for this world , 2017

Not ready for this world, 2017

3. What are your experiences when it comes to book fairs?

In 2005, while an art student in New York City, I interned at Printed Matter: making coffee, running errands, sorting books and the like. By that time, I had already been making my own zines for a few years. Every Friday I loved spending hours in that little on 22nd Street, which has since moved to a much bigger space on 11th Avenue. In the fall of 2006, I received a call from my old boss there asking if I could work at this new thing they were putting together: the first ever NY Art Book Fair. Before this fair, which acted as a bridge between the high and low, young and old, the majority of the others that displayed artist’s books were either internal for the industry or specialized in blue-chip printmaking editions.

Slow Education , 2013

Slow Education, 2013

Tokyo Art Book Fair 2013

Tokyo Art Book Fair 2013

In 2011, I started my first artist’s publishing venture called North, South, East, West (NSEW). In the four years that I worked under that name, I traveled to fairs in places like Oslo, Copenhagen, Vilnius, Antwerp, Tokyo and Milan. Each fair was different and I felt like I learned something new each time, both when it came to artist’s books and the respective host countries. In 2014, the last year of the press, I finally returned to the NY Art Book Fair as an exhibitor. Full circle. Last year I began publishing again, but under a new name: Hverdag Books. This new press is primarily a personal project and thus far I have only published my own works through it. With Hverdag I have traveled to Bergen and soon Shanghai.

Bergen Art Book Fair 2016

Bergen Art Book Fair 2016