Books are a big part of our lives, whether we decide to look at them from a distance on a shelf,  whether we use them for education, entertainment, help, as companions, to see the world from a different angle, they are there and hopefully will always be.

When I started Uni over a decade ago (the decade thing is still spinning  in my head, am I that old?), I was still using dictionaries, encyclopedias, and the library  was not just a place where you bring your laptop to study. But the way I was using books for my education back then, was very basic if I may, they were tools like Google is nowadays (another hint at my age) helping me writing essays, papers, learning information about artists, art movements, history, philosophy, but I was not using them to think and to go further with them than finding the information I was looking for. Maybe the pressure of Academia puts you in a situation where you have to be efficient and learn fast, not doubting and go deep.

Ironically, it’s only after graduation (when the stress and pressure were gone) that I realised how much I loved art in all its forms, and that I decided to start my own education without being constrained by the frame that a University can imposes you.

I wanted to share with you some books that helped me through this self-education (and still are as I believe in NEVER stop learning), they are not all obviously about art or artists so everyone can relate and see them as open windows on a world that we don’t always understand.

Disclaimer: I linked the books to Amazon for you to buy it if interested, but I of course highly recommend you to get them at your local bookshops if you can.


“A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf

Important book about why women need to have their artistic voice, and possesses intellectual freedom.

“A Brief History of Curating” by Hans Ulrich Obrist

An History of curating through the interviews of key writers and curators:”this publication comprises a unique collection of interviews by Hans Ulrich Obrist mapping the development of the curatorial field–from early independent curators in the 1960s and 70s and the experimental institutional programs developed in Europe and the U.S. through the inception of Documenta and the various biennales and fairs.

“Art & Visual Culture 1850-2010: Modernity to Globalisation” edited by Steve Edwards & Paul Wood.

‘1850-2010: Modernity to Globalisation’ includes essays which engage directly with topical issues around art and gender, globalisation, cultural difference and curating, as well as explorations of key canonical artists and movements and of some less well-documented work of contemporary artists.

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“Art Is a Problem” by Joshua Decter

In this volume of selected essays, interviews, curatorial texts and reviews, spanning 1986-2012, Joshua Decter examines contemporary art in relation to its various ideological, public, discursive, and social contexts.

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“La societé du spectacle” by Guy Debord

La société du spectacle) is a 1967 work of philosophy and Marxist critical theory by Guy Debord, in which the author develops and presents the concept of the Spectacle. The book is considered a seminal text for the Situationist movement.

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Posted by:evakirilof

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