Baragouin: X Artists’ Books Publish New Book by Kim Schoen

Baragouin book spread

‘Baragouin’ is available for purchase at X Artists’ Books.

Artist-centered publisher X Artists’ Books has released Kim Schoen’s (Art MFA 05) Baragouin, a book companion to Schoen’s video work of the same name.

Baragouin is based on Schoen’s 2021 video installation commissioned by the Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst (Edith Russ Site for Media Art) in Oldenburg, Germany, after receiving the gallery’s annual six-month work grant in 2019. The experimental video work, which was filmed in a now-closed LA-based sculpture showroom, launched in tandem with the international group exhibition Language for Sale at the Edith-Russ-Haus, which ran from March 22–June 12. Baragouin, which translates to “gibberish” or “unintelligible” from French, served as the centerpiece of the exhibition, which emphasized “nonsense” and “rhetorical and linguistic moments of transition.” 

More about Schoen’s works from X Artists’ Books

The video Baragouin presents these sculptures—which are copies of copies of original works of art—as an important collection of art and records their “voices”—a pastiche of verbal nonsense and phonetically imitated sounds of languages from around the world. The sculptures range in style and geographic origin from Buddhist to Rococo, Neoclassical to Modernist. Baragouin, the book, catalogs these sculptures as a fictional collection and gives them each a clear art-historical provenance based on morphological resemblances.

The 120-page hardcover book features design and typography by fellow CalArtian Ella Gold (Art MFA 19), and includes an essay and “provenance” work by LA-based writer, art historian, and educator Edward Sterrett.

Schoen is a Los Angeles- and Berlin-based artist whose works engage the “rhetoric of display.” She has exhibited her work at venues including MMoCA, Madison, Wis.; Kleine Humboldt Galerie, Berlin; and Young Projects and Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles. Schoen is also the co-founder, publisher, and editor of MATERIAL, a journal of writing by artists. In 2012, she was among the various CalArtians involved in the experimental art initiative KNOWLEDGES, which invited the public to experience nature and science through a contemporary art lens at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Los Angeles.

Baragouin is available for purchase at X Artists’ Books.

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