May 23rd 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ESTHER SHALEV-GERZ,
KING & KING
A new sculpture
Installed in the United States

May 16th 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES:
SAVE THE DATE
BAD+
July 6-10 2022
HANGAR 14

May 9th 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES:
LINDA KARSHAN
Backstage filming ‘Two Feet Walking’
By Ishmael Annobil, Filmmaker
In response to the architecture of Murray Edwards College
Cambridge University
8th April 2022

May 2nd 2022

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
HELMUT FEDERLE

April 25th 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES:
BENEDICTE DELAY WITH JASON BUTLER
‘ONE ON ONE’
Exhibition at ArtHouse Jersey
14 April – 2 May 2022

April 11th 2022

NATURE NOTES:
HELLO TO SPRING, PARIS

April 4th 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES:
A WALKED DRAWING, ‘TWO FEET WALKING’,
By Linda Karshan
In collaboration with Filmmaker, Ishmael Annobil
In response to the architecture of Murray Edwards College,
University of Cambridge

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March 28th 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ISHMAEL ANNOBIL, 'INSOMNIA'
Coming soon at L'Interstice, Arles
Opening on April 15, 2022

March 21st 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES:
JASON BUTLER, ‘ONE ON ONE’
Launch new ArtHouse exhibition space
Jersey, England

March 14th 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ART & LANGUAGE, "THESE SCENES", 2016
Acquired by Centre Pompidou

March 7th 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ESTHER SHALEV-GERZ
Bauhaus-Museum,
Weimar, Germany

February 21st 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES:
LOSING DAN GRAHAM
1942-2022

February 14th 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES:
THE DEVELOPMENT OF BAD+
BORDEAUX + ART + DESIGN
New dates: July 6-10 2022, at HANGAR 14

February 7th 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES:
2000 THANK YOU NOTES
7 February 2022

January 31st 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES:
NEW SPACE FOR JSVCPROJECTS

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January 24th 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ROBERT STONE
Debut with Haines Gallery at FOG Design + Art 2022
San Francisco, CA

January 17th 2022

BEHIND THE SCENES:
MISCHA KUBALL
nolde / kritik / documenta
A project by documenta archiv, Draiflessen Collection and Mischa Kuball
NEW DATE: FALL 2022

January 10th 2022

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

January 3rd 2022

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022!
WARM WISHES AND NEW ADVENTURES

December 13th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
MINYADES
An exhibition of paintings by Richard Höglund
The Bonnier Gallery, Miami
December 2021
A Catalogue Essay

December 6th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
MISCHA KUBALL
ReferenzRäume
Museum Morsbroich
5 December – 24 April 2022

November 29th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ABOUT THE TREES
Thanksgiving 2021

November 25th 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

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November 15th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
THE WORLD MAP
Thanks to Mr Hide

November 8th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
KOEN VANMECHELEN LABIOMISTA, GENK (BELGIUM)
The book launch and debate
“NOT TO BE MISTAKEN”, November, 4th

October 25th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
OCTOBER 2021
"Linda Karshan: The Covid-19 Conversation"
Still in the limelight

October 18th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
IDE TO POLAND
POSTSCRIPT PARIS

October 11th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
IDE TO POLAND III
Out of the oven
Warsaw Sept 28-Oct 3

October 5th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
HELMUT FEDERLE
NOVARTIS Campus – Forum 3, Basel
DIENER & DIENER - WIEDERIN
2005

October 2nd 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
BETWEEN LISTENING AND TELLING
Esther Shalev Gerz
Nuit Blanche Paris,
Tonight

September 27th 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

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September 20th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ART BASEL HALL 2.0C1
René Schmitt and ART & LANGUAGE
THESE SCENES, 2016

September 6th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
MISCHA KUBALL
Wolfsburg and Utopias

September 2nd 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
IDE TO POLAND
A new expedition on the CERAMIC & FOOD ROUTE

August 30th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
IDE TO POLAND
A new expedition on the CERAMIC & FOOD ROUTE
Bright blue and white ceramics fill the dining room with warmth and visual appeal

August 23rd 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
IDE TO POLAND
A new expedition on the CERAMIC & FOOD ROUTE
Starts today in Warsaw through 3 October

August 2nd 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ESTHER SHALEV-GERZ
SUMMER IN PARIS

July 30th 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

July 26th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
ARCO MADRID,
1st Art Fair in 2 years

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July 23rd 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

July 19th 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

July 16th 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

July 12th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
IN THE ARTIST'S STUDIO
JASON BUTLER "THE COLLAGES"
Pop-Up Exhibition, Jersey

July 5th 2021

STILL BEHIND THE SCENES:
NINA NOWAK'S EXHIBITION
Galleri Susanne Ottesen, Copenhagen

June 28th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
PER KIRKEBY UNREALISED BRICK PROJECTS
Galleri Susanne Ottesen, Copenhagen

June 21st 2021

NEW ARRIVALS:
MISCHA KUBALL

June 18th 2021

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
HELMUT FEDERLE NIETZSCHE-HAUS SILS-MARIA
Schwabe AG Basel, 2004 Peter André Bloch & Jan Thorn-Prikker
on the occasion of Helmut Federle's "Edelweiss im Nietzsche-Haus, Sils-Maria" exhibition in Nietzsche's Haus, Sept 2004 to July 2005

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June 14th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
L'INTERSTICE ARLES OPENING
JOSETTE SAYERS AND GUILLAUME ZUILI'S PHOTOGRAPHS
Brave and fearless

June 11th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
CONGRATULATIONS ISHMAEL ANNOBIL
DIRECTOR for "LINDA KARSHAN: COVID-19 CONVERSATION"​
WINNER BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY AT MYKONOS INTL FILM FES

June 4th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
THE LAUNCH OF REAL TIME AND THE 3BS

May 31st 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
FLOWERS OF PERHAPS
LIOR GAL
ENGELS PLEIN, LEUVEN BELGIUM

May 24th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
MATHILDE BRETILLOT DESIGNS NEW MUSEUM FOR LA MANUFACTURE DE GIEN

May 17th 2021

THIS TIME TWO YEARS AGO:
DRAW ART FAIR, LONDON, 2019, DESIGNER MATHILDE BRETILLOT AND ARCHITECT MISKA MILLER-LOVEGROVE

May 10th 2021

NEW ARRIVALS:
WETTERLING, STOCKHOLM

April 25th 2021

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
HELMUT FEDERLE
ABSTRACT PAINTING OF AMERICA AND EUROPE
Ritter Verlag, Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Vienna Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, 1988

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April 11th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
LUKAS HOFFMANN, CNAP ACQUISITION AND TWO EXHIBITIONS

April 9th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ESTHER SHALEV-GERZ, WEFRAC 2021

April 2nd 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
"LINDA KARSHAN: COVID-19 CONVERSATION"
selected by Nawada and Hollywood Boulevard Festivals

March 29th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ESTHER SHALEV-GERZ
CNAP ACQUISITION,
"Describing Labor", 2012

March 26th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
A STUDIO VISIT WITH DEANNA PETHERBRIDGE

March 22nd 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
JSVCPROJECTS & INTERNATIONAL DESIGN EXPEDITIONS

March 2nd 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
HELMUT FEDERLE IN NEW YORK

February 22nd 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
RICHARD MILAZZO OBSZINE #3
The Sadness of Bad Thinking

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February 15th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
RICHARD MILAZZO OBSZINE #3, ART, POETRY, AND THE PATHOS OF COMMUNICATION,
The Art of Impeachment

February 1st 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
WITH POET/CURATOR RICHARD MILAZZO
REVISITING OBSZINE #3

January 12th 2021

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
POETRY IN SEDITIOUS TIMES

January 5th 2021

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND SOUVENIRS FROM 2020!

December 31st 2020

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
DECEMBER 31, 2020
JASON BUTLER'S EXHIBITION
Meyer Schapiro, “Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist and Society

December 18th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
LIOR GALL, BRUSSELS, 2020

December 11th 2020

HIGHLIGHT:
LOVE LETTERS
A new participative project by artist Koen Vanmechelen

December 4th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
LINDA KARSHAN AND THE BROOKLYN RAIL

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November 27th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
NOVEMBER 2020, LINDA KARSHAN
The Covid Conversation, A New Film

November 6th 2020

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
PARIS, NOV. 6, 2020
ABËTËI by Ishmael Fiifi Annobil

October 20th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
MATHILDE BRETILLOT
Designs new offices for Parfums de Marly, Paris

October 12th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
BERLIN STUDIO VISIT - LUKAS HOFFMANN

October 7th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
BERLIN

September 24th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
GALERIE NÄCHST ST. STEPHAN ROSEMARIE SCHWARZWÄLDER, VIENNA
Friederike Mayröcker, Curator Hans Ulrich Obrist - until 10 Oct
Schutzgeister/Guardian Spirits

September 9th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
JSVCPROJECTS AND KOEN VANMECHELEN
The Battery Channel Podcast

September 1st 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ARTISTS IN THE STUDIO, JERSEY

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August 25th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
MANIFEST OF THE TRUE

August 18th 2020

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
3 LOVE POEMS IN THE SUMMER

August 11th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
SUMMER NEWS

August 4th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ROD MENGHAM,
Awarded the Cholmondeley Award for Poets

July 28th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
JILL SILVERMAN VAN COENEGRACHTS RECOMMENDS

July 21st 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
LINDA KARSHAN
Studio visit

July 14th 2020

BEHIND THE SCENES:
STEFANO CIGADA,
"Frammenti" at the Museo di Roma in Trastevere

January 2nd 2020

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!

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September 9th 2019

BEHIND THE SCENES:
PER KIRKEBY,
"Brick Sculptures"

September 2nd 2019

BEHIND THE SCENES:
IDE TO PUGLIA
"Ceramic & Food Route",
Recent Summer 2019 Highlights

August 26th 2019

JSVC HIGHLIGHTS:
ART & LANGUAGE, LONDON

June 17th 2019

BEHIND THE SCENES:
DRAW ART FAIR LONDON

April 22nd 2019

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ART & LANGUAGE, EXHIBITION AT GALERIE MICHAEL JANSSEN, Berlin

March 4th 2019

BEHIND THE SCENES:
DR. SUSANNE A. KUDIELKA,
Private art collecting is a passion

July 25th 2018

BEHIND THE SCENES:
KOEN VANMECHELEN
“It’s About Time”

July 4th 2018

BEHIND THE SCENES:
DAYDREAMING WITH STANLEY KUBRICK,
Exhibition at Somerset House, London

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all posts title image
ABËTËI by Ishmael Fiifi Annobil, Cover, Hiñmëë Wulu, (The omnipresent eye), 2015

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
PARIS, NOV. 6, 2020
ABËTËI by Ishmael Fiifi Annobil

November 6th 2020

LOOKING FOR COURAGE

Mark the moment. A sick feeling in the pit of the stomach comes from political upheaval. Waking in disbelief, Wednesday at dawn, again like the morning of Trump’s election in 2016, on the heels of the Brexit vote in the UK. Not like the fall of the Berlin Wall. I was still in NYC. Events we can’t absorb in real time, like Sept. 11.

This afternoon at my desk waiting for votes in Pennsylvania, my state before the art world and New York became home. Counties I remember names playing field hockey against their teams in Junior High School. Biden from Scranton. I am from Meadowbrook a northern suburb, known for Abingdon vs Schempp which took Bible reading out of public schools across the country in 1963, the Fall my mother took us to Jenkintown to watch JFK campaign.

Recently we watched mass rallies of Trump followers mask-less and closely packed together. Strange in light of record cases daily across the USA. Here, lock-down again across Europe we stay far from each other, faces covered dutifully protecting everyone… A disconnect between what we see and what we know, wider each day. I want to scream at the top of my lungs. A friend explains VPN so I watch MSNBC in real time and ballot counting in real time while my European clock carries on. What about the terrorism in Vienna, I ask, and weeks before here in France.

Flailing, trying to make sense of so many people voting for Trump. I feel surprised by my naive panic. A country divided. I wait for Biden to win, each ballot counted like gold. “We take voting and elections seriously”, brave public servants say into the cameras. Dutiful normal men and women sort, scan, move ballots from one tray into another. This is democracy. I am proud and humbled. Still terrified.

Part I

ABËTËI, Ishmael Fiifi Annobil

ABËTËI by Ishmael Fiifi Annobil
Frontispiece, Kwëmö Flëñ, (Look Askance), 2004

Tossing and turning around myself in these fraught days I reached out for this extraordinary volume of self-created emblems. I have spent more hours this week than usual looking for signs, that all would be well maybe, eventually. Reaching for this book and its teachings, which I share with you in small part here, is an attempt to connect with powerful forces for good, needed in large measure now. Ishmael sent me this book months ago, and it has been just an arm’s length from where I am sitting now, looking out the open window to a bright still sunny Paris afternoon.

On the inside cover he writes: “Apart from the sayings, Saa Damöshi, Akãko Nö, Ashiedu Këtëkrë (which is an extension of Ashiedu Këtëkrë, the Efutu nickname for the Ga people), Miñjaa Dzi Shigbeemö, Ana Të Anaaa Ñwë, and Wöböle Kutu Wökpe, (which are old sayings of the Gadangme people, at large), all proverbs, adages, sayings, dicta, aphorisms, maxims, and slogans in this monograph, and all their accompanying emblems, including those accompanying the said old sayings, were created by Ishmael Fiifi Annobil in 2004”

“You, somnambulist/with open palms/Are swatting the frippery of cares/And facing me, your broken mirror/With a half sentence/Of which I never knew/But will finish.” (From The Ark, Seven Horn Elegy by IFA.)

I reach out for these emblems because I wanted to believe there was still something of the goodness I don’t see around me here, in the connections we take from the invisible. Ishmael has conjured them here, these traces of ethics, wisdom and uncanny grace. His capacity to incarnate these thoughts and truths from his deepest personal history and those of his ancestors brings me a kind of peace today that I want to share, because I know I am not alone in my unsteady fear. I turn to these signs and short bursts of human incantation that reads like prayer.

ABËTËI by Ishmael Fiifi Annobil
Akö Dade, (Bite the Iron), Resolve your differences face to face, however unpleasant. Stand up to adversity.

Part II

ABËTËI, PREFACE

“Artists are wired to receive suprarational signal. It is a mind and spirit interface thing. We do not question that signal because our souls agree with it. In time, we learn to decipher it for the world, and thereby articulate the essence of human consciousness: totem. Cave paintings of all periods attest to this fact.

Except, in the case of emblem art, the deciphering process is particularly ‘demanding’. This is because an emblem is a fusion of visual and verbal factors in a dialectical relationship – abstract but eloquent, tangible but enigmatic, rarefied but functional, and high-minded but vernacular. Moreover, an emblem is never fictive because it is a philosophical entity; thus, it cannot abide formalism or the luxurious reticence of post-modernism.”

ABËTËI by Ishmael Fiifi Annobil
Nilelö Lilëë, (Tongue of the Wise), The wise judge waits for divine inspiration before pronouncing on matters of the soul

There is a story that needs telling here, the creation story for these emblems that relates to the lost language and designs of the GaDangme Kpamo emblems that once adorned gateways and canoes of old Accra and flew through the air in Annobil’s childhood……”with their surviving twin form, Abe Buu (Proverbialism). A unique oratorical form, characterized by electric repartee, allegory, metaphor, allusion, insinuation and wit. It imposes decorum and circumspection on GaDangme family or clan, assembly. It helps move things ‘behind closed doors, as it were. I was lucky enough to witness this expressionistic art throughout my childhood.”

ABËTËI by Ishmael Fiifi Annobil
Miñjaa Dzi, Shigbeemö, (Divided We Fall)

Part III

It took the poet until 2004 to rise to the task of creating GaDangme emblems,

ABËTËI by Ishmael Fiifi Annobil
Dade Dzëö Nmlitsa Mliñ, Dzee Odonti Mliñ, (Iron Comes from Gravel, Not from Cotton Wool), True greatness comes from suffering or empathy with sufferers.

“Many of these emblems started life as doodles on paper, which I then replicated digitally as vector images, for the sake of structural integrity. In due course, I mustered the courage to realize pieces directly in the digital medium. I sealed myself away working fervently for fear of waking from the trance. Seven days and forty-four emblems later, I finally lifted my head. Why I stopped at forty-four I do not know but I suspect some kind of symbolic significance.”

ABËTËI by Ishmael Fiifi Annobil
Nu Fooö Të, (Water Cuts Stone), The efficacy of patience. Staying Power Tenacity

The proverbs and adages underpinning the ABËTËI represent aspects of GaDangme cosmology, moral codes and credos, as I have understood them since my childhood. I have striven to uphold the ideals of spiritual and material dualism, hospitality, territorial and political restraint, social balance, tolerance, probity, the centrality of motherhood, and above all, the omnipotence of The Deity. I therefore feel confident enough to present this work to the GaDangme people, to all Ghanaians, to all Africans, to the African Diaspora, and to the world at large.”

All emblems and images by Ishmael Fiifi Annobil from “ABËTËI”, published in 2016 by Totem.