Jean-Michel Wicker
BBiblioteca ffanafffantastica

Opening Thursday March 23, 2017 from 6 PM till 9 PM
Exhibition from March 24 to May 6, 2017

Jean-Michel Wicker’s exhibition BBiblioteca ffanafffantastica brings together several works involving the medium of print for which the artist has worked out a number of iterations, including fanzines, scrapbooks, antibooks, book-objects, and flyers. The display will also feature supports, both literal and figurative, that have something to do with books, and other elements that extend the gesture of consultation, reading and writing, even the function of storage. This includes bookcases, display stands, showcases, tables and chairs. Other objects or useful ordinary materials like electric wires, clothing, key rings, neon lights, lamps and tarps will be transformed, cobbled together, and combined with a wide range of supports in their usual and unsurprising form or reappropriated and put to other uses. Those supports include paper, cardboard, plastic, papier-mâché, and shells. In a practice that entails manipulating words and letters, an approach that could be likened to Lettrism or Concrete poetry, Wicker has been extending and deconstructing horizontally and radically the conventions of the print medium, the framework and codes that govern writing, through endless plays on letters and the invention of a personal notation and typography. Beyond the page and the book, Wicker goes further, taking over the exhibition space and proposing environments that mix and merge publications, sculptures, furniture, lighting, vitrines and display tables, and temporary constructions. The artist also explores other spaces, though far less systematically, including the space of performance (anti-live performance n°2: emcee jeanne moreau chante mimi e kleine, Artists Space, New York, 2013) and film. His exhibition at the CEC features his film anti theater 1 (2014), a portrait “in chapters” of a slow, inner reading in silence. The screening is combined with a series of scrapbooks in display cases.

Wicker injects into all of his work certain letters (e, b and B) like viral recurrent elements, thus recreating an alphabet that multiplies and diffracts in both the exhibition space and books. The book is considered in its most alternatives forms, even reinvented in many cases, with, for example, the A4 fanzine (Lolita’s fanzine, 2007) and the flyer, but also the newspaper or magazine, artist’s book, album (scrapbook), paper scroll (scroll book or scroll collage, for sale by the meter—70 m long for the exhibition e industrial, Cubitt Gallery, London, 2014), poster, and note or collage book. These “books” can be unique or produced in series, but are frequently reused, revisited, and reworked in a continual process that runs its course when each series is quietly exhausted (the artist leaves the end unannounced), or even destroyed. These album-books are like personal journals or diaries. Playing with multiple typographic combinations and layouts that spill over several pages, Wicker’s works, his books and more specifically our edition of #picturebook1, disseminate comments on and questions about recurring themes like identity, sexuality, autonomy, freedom, resistance, and transgression in the larger and richer field of culture and anti-culture. While the different assemblages of letters offer multiple typographic études like musical scales, the repetitive system is put to the test, creating nearly abstract geometrical pages. The artist’s #picturebook1 likewise features sketches and freer drawings, and lays out images, details, and signs that appear from one page to the next, a surprising variation on the page layout. And like inserts or pages printed outside the confines of a book, Wicker’s paintings and collages also develop in series. They may change into full-blown structures or grow in thickness, frequently being covered in papier-mâché as if smothered in paste, and become objects. The printed works are mixed in with temporary mechanical sculptures in installations which often include furniture that is made by hand from humble, so-called “poor” materials.

Springing from the book format, the surface of the page, the repetition of letters (e, b and B) and the reappropriation or creation of images, this stream of typographic combinations, collages (images borrowed from magazines, ads, record covers), plays on graphic design (acronyms, logos), quotes and self-quotes, mixes, juxtaposes, repeats, regenerates, and circulates on several supports (print work mostly), as well as on the internet (website:, and through the role of the publisher (le edizioni della luna, Nice, 2006-2008; le edizioni della china, Berlin 2008-2011; Ballabella papers, Berlin, since 2009) and in multiple collaborations with writers and musicians. The exhibition space can also become a space for projecting this diffracted writing. The page can also be a garden (Casa Jungle, Nice, 2003-2009).

“i see life (or reality) as a comic book or cartoon, and exhibitions as fanzines (made in 2 dimensions, shown in 3D and experienced in 4 ; the form is an environment, an image with multiple points of view that the visitor can experience on his own) politics are xeroxed (xeroxed politics).” Jean-Michel Wicker

Jean-Michel Wicker
Artist’s book, offset, 27 × 28.5 cm, 396 pages, including 360 pages in colour and 36 pages in black on LuxoArt Silk 150 g/m2 paper, glossy colour cover, LuxoArt Silk 350 g/m2, 10 inserts, colour, 26.5 × 28 cm, LuxoArt Silk 130 g/m2, publication of an arbre de vie produced by Jean-Michel Wicker in collaboration with Marlie Mul, a text by Harry Burke, and a recipe for Alsatian plum pie by Charlotte Wicker (French), English, an edition of 500. Graphic design: Maximage Société Suisse, London. Printing: DZA Druckerei zu Altenburg, Altenburg. Edition of the Centre d’édition contemporaine, Geneva, June 2017.
The French artist Jean-Michel Wicker was born in 1970 in Riedisheim. He lives and works in Berlin. Since the 1990s his work has focused on all forms of production, including publishing, typography, performance, and gardening. Wicker is the founder of the publishing houses le edizioni della luna, Nice, le edizioni della china, Berlin, and Ballabella papers, Berlin.
His recent solo exhibitions include Edouard Montassut, Paris (2017), Bergen Kunsthall (2015), Sandy Brown, Berlin (2015), Künstlerhaus, Stuttgart (2015), Cubitt, London (2014), New Theater, Berlin (2014), Artists Space, New York (2013), Kunsthalle Bern (2012), and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2010).
He has also exhibited in group shows, including the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2014), Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen (2011), and Kunsthalle Zürich (2011).
The Jean-Michel Wicker exhibition BBiblioteca ffanafffantastica enjoys the generous support of the Fonds cantonal d’art contemporain, DIP, Geneva, and the Leenaards Foundation, Lausanne.
The publication #picturebook1 was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Leenaards Foundation, and Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip Aarons.
Special thanks to Valérie Knoll, Kunsthalle Bern; David Keshavjee and Julien Tavelli, Maximage Société Suisse, London; Niels Wehrspann, Lausanne; John O’Toole, New York; Matthieu Neyroud, Zsuzsanna Szabo, Steve Leguy and Beat Lippert, Geneva.
The CEC is supported by the Loterie Romande, the Department of culture and sports of the City of Geneva and a private foundation in Geneva.


Complete list
of exhibitions


Fabian Marti
Such a Good Girl


Open accrochage, editions
The CEC at P.A.G.E.S. Salon du livre d’artiste et de l’imprimé contemporain, Genève
Spring Sale Time
LE CEC à la LA Art Book Fair 2019
Matthew Lutz-Kinoy
What to wear to a concert? Tips for concert outfits: wear your best punk jacket with the right patches !
“A patch meant to be fixed to the back of your jacket depicting relevant cultural affiliations”


Matthew Lutz-Kinoy
The Meadow
Salon MAD#4 (Multiple Art Days)
Paris 2018
Victor Man invites Navid Nuur
Valentin Carron, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, François Curlet…


Jonathan Monk
Directional Advice
Thomas Hirschhorn
Edited by the CEC!
Focus: Mélanie Matranga
Jean-Michel Wicker
Book Launch c/o Section 7 Books, Paris
Jean-Michel Wicker
Book Launch c/o SALTS, Birsfelden/Basel
Presentation of the edition
Jean-Michel Wicker
Jakob Kolding
The Outside or the Inside of the Internalised Externalised
Jean-Michel Wicker
BBiblioteca ffanafffantastica
Presentation of the edition
Jean-Michel Wicker
Belle étiquette


Presentation of the book
Mathis Gasser
In the Museum 1 2 (3),
Regulators 1 2 n
Presentation of the edition
Artists’ Voices
Valentin Carron
Deux épaisseurs un coin
Mathis Gasser
Sept sont tombés vers le ciel
Works on paper
Artists’ Voices


Artists’ Voices
I Never Read, Art Book Fair Basel 2015
Jason Dodge
David Maljkovic
Konstantin Grcic


Raphaël Julliard
Oriol Vilanova
Renoncer à te décrire


Artissima, Turin
NY Art Book Fair
David Hominal
Through The Windows
Jonathan Monk


Salon Light #9, Paris
NY Art Book Fair
Oscar Tuazon
Salon des Dames
Jeffrey Vallance
The Vallance Bible
Nouvelles éditions
Oscar Tuazon
Book Launch c/o Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich


Aaron Flint Jamison
Philippe Decrauzat
Book Launch c/o Motto Zürich
Abstractions sentimentales et quelques éditions, Cneai, Paris
Philippe Decrauzat
Gerard Byrne
For example; a sketch of Five Elevations, 1971-72
Presentation of the book
Sgrafo vs Fat Lava


Présentation de l’édition de Pierre Bismuth Something Less, Something More – DIY
Sgrafo vs Fat Lava
Céramiques et porcelaines Made in West Germany, 1960-1980
Susanne M. Winterling
They Called Each Other Horses
Changement d’accrochage: Heimo Zobernig
Fröhliche Gesellschaft,
Parrotta Contemporary Art, Stuttgart


Editions vs. objets
Erik van Lieshout
The Assistant
T. Quelques possibilités de textes
EDITIONS (suite…)
Présentation du catalogue
L’Effet papillon, 1989-2007,
castillo/corrales, Paris


EDITIONS (2004-2008)
Presentation of
L’Effet papillon, 1989-2007
at Maison de la poésie, Basel
Trisha Donnelly
L’Effet papillon, 1989-2007
Olivier Bardin
You belong to me I belong to you
Editions récentes


Gianni Motti
Perpetual Channel
Anne-Julie Raccoursier
Wireless World, BAC, Genève
Otra de Vaqueros (Redux), BAC, Genève
Habitat/Variations, BAC, Genève
Markus Schinwald, BAC, Genève
Andreas Dobler
In Deep Ink, BAC, Genève


The Missing Evidence
Accrochage des éditions 1995-2005
Marie Velardi
Futurs antérieurs, 20006


Christophe Rey
Ocean Bluff
Quelques éditions…
No More Lights On My Starguitar


Florian Pumhösl
Héliogravures et film
M/M (Paris)
Pour hoM/Me,
printemps-été 2004
Mai-Thu Perret
Love thy sister like thyself
Haroutioun Simonian
Performance (à huis clos) & installation vidéo


Filière papier – Filière expo
Monica Bonvicini
Accrochage de l’édition
Finger No. 12
Jakob Kolding
Amy O’Neill et Emmanuel Piguet


Karl Holmqvist
Soirée tropicale
Animation: Vidéos
Rosemarie Trockel
Edition, eaux-fortes, 1996
Monica Bonvicini
Bonded Eternmale


Social Hackers
Fabrice Gygi
Vidya Gastaldon & Jean-Michel Wicker


Editions 2000
Bring the Noise
Bourse du CGGC 1997-1999


Evil Talk: Beyond the pleasure principle
Thomas Hirschhorn
Elke Krystufek
In the Arms of Luck


One Step Backwards: Books,
prints, videos, 1998
LISTE 98, The Young Art Fair,
Usine Warteck, Bâle


Multiples of the Centre genevois de gravure contemporaine
Elena Montesinos
Tune out, Turn off, Drop in
Eté 97
Stan Douglas
Hinrich Sachs

B. Toguo Tamokoué
Gravures et Multiples


Heimo Zobernig
Alexandre Bianchini,
Nicolás Fernández,
Jérôme Hentsch
Alain Julliard
Kristin Oppenheim
Rosemarie Trockel


Thomas Hirschhorn
Les Plaintifs, les Bêtes, les Politiques
Karen Kilimnik
Editions of the Centre genevois de gravure contemporaine
Luc Tuymans
Le Verdict
Claude Lévêque
Sans titre
Estampes et photographies
Yves Gevaert éditeur, Bruxelles


Olivier Mosset
Claude Closky
Alexandre Bianchini

Hubert Mean
Alex Hanimann
Peintures, édition


Giuseppe Penone
Images de pierres
Sigurdur Arni Sigurdsson
Peintures, dessins
Gerry Schum
Fernseh und Videogalerie
John M Armleder
Ian Anüll
Dessins, sérigraphies et éditions
Claude Gaçon


Éditions, 1986-1992
John M Armleder
Jean Stern
Panini alle melanzane
Stephan Landry
Marie Sacconi


Laurence Pittet
Suzanne Lafont
Marcel Broodthaers
Œuvres graphiques, 1964-1975
Jean-Michel Othoniel
¡ Capotes !


Roman Signer
Installation hélicoptère, 1990
Jean-Marc Meunier
Sapins de Noël, 1988-1989
Anne Pesce
Pêcheur, c’est lui qui devient un poisson
Andreas Hofer
Installation – édition


Henri Michaux
Encres, gouaches, aquarelles, lavis
Emmett Williams
Andreas Gursky
Stéphane Brunner
Mori Shigeru