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One Thousand Books Art Book Festival in Copenhagen 0

One Thousand Books Art Book Festival
Carlsberg, Copenhagen

April 10 - 13, 2014

“The level, number and quality of art books from Northern Europe is already high, and it is important to have a space to make them known”, explains Sara Glahn, who together with the publishing house Lodret Vandret are the team behind the One Thousand Books Art Book Festival taking place from April 10 to 13, in Copenhagen.

Twenty-eight independent publishers from all of Northern Europe will meet up in Copenhagen’s supermarket Rema 1000, on the Carlsberg grounds, to sell books, greet their audience face to face, and to share ideas and strategies with one another.

The One Thousand Books Art Book Festival in Copenhagen aims to elevate the level, number and quality of art books coming out of the region by hosting an event in which players in the field can meet, connect and share ideas and perspectives on current issues in the field of publishing.

What makes the One Thousand Books Art Book Festival different from other, similar events in Europe?

One Thousand Books is not so different in it’s content from other art book festivals around Europe – we have a book market, we have talks and workshops and so on. But we show smaller releases, particularly ones selected from Northern Europe and which are not so well known and represented. What is different about the book festival is that the actual book market part of the festival takes place inside of a real supermarket, and not at a conventional art institution. In this way we hope to reach an audience not aware of these fantastic independent publishers and their books.

“The isles of the supermarket act as a visual and conceptual backdrop as the art books are sold alongside everyday groceries, to both bibliophiles and the un-expecting shopper alike”, it says in the press release. Could you tell us more about the spatial layout of this market, as well as describe its ambiance?

The fact that a supermarket is never quiet makes the book market a vibrant place at all times. The setting also allows for more questions from regular shoppers, whom both want to know what is going on here between the diapers and frozen peas, as well as about the books that they see on the tables. It’s like meeting a good friend while shopping for milk; chat about how your day went and what you are making for dinner, but then immerse yourself in the beautiful and exciting books. 

What are the highlights of this event that could be interesting for an ordinary book buyer?

Our first question to this question is “what’s an ordinary book buyer”? At the market we have people who have come specifically for the book market, while others have come to buy groceries, but both of them may buy books. The audience coming specially for the event may have already heard about some of the book releases, or may have even seen one or more of the books, so for them, it may be interesting to have a longer conversation with the people behind the publishing of the book. For others, it may be the events related to the book market – this year we have five talks, an exhibition with the renown Danish magazine Pist Protta, a workshop where you can design your own book, and two more literal approaches to books and design that we've called “The Factory” and “New Literature”. Additionally, you can read poetry when you visit the bathrooms. 

One Thousand Books Art Book 2013

The first edition of the One Thousand Books book fair took place last year – in 2013. What have you learned from last year's experience? What parts are you  going to use again, and which ones will you certainly abandon when organizing this year's event? Have there been any novelties added to this year's program?

We have extended the fair to the level of a festival this year, meaning we're going to include more book- and publishing-related events in the program. The first year's approach was to see how big is the interest for independent publishing, and when we realized how great the enthusiasm was, we planned for a bigger program this year. A lesson learned from last year was to place greater focus on the content of the new releases, and not to simply present everything that is out there, but to select a smaller number of books that all are of high quality and that represent a good variety. This is also the approach we've taken with the Various Artists Table – a table for self-published books. A distinct difference from last year's approach, in which we accepted a lot of books (more than 25), is that this year we had an open call, from which we then curated a table with just 14 self-published books. We find that showing a smaller, more carefully chosen selection gives the audience a better overview of what art books can be. 

What do you enjoy the most about organizing this art fair?

We enjoy seeing how many and beautiful are the books and publications/publishers  out there. The ideas, printing methods and artistic approaches are many and inspiring. We also enjoy the fact that we are able to give a space to the audience and the publishers in which to meet and share their ideas, face to face. A special thing for this year is our collaborative publication, in which all of the participating books and publications contributed a few of their own pages, and which will be released on the opening day of One Thousand Books 2014.