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On and Off the G​rid with Unbidden Tongues

February 19 – April 10, 2022, Kunstverein München, Munich

Unbidden Tongues inaugurates On and Off the Grid, a new yearly program of presentations and events at Kunstverein München dedicated to various form(at)s of publishing. Occupying the window display in the Hofgarten, and by that the only permanently accessible space of the institution, the format attempts to provide a platform for the introduction, examination, and (re-)negotiation of the materials and processes involved in publishing.

In the window, a foreword-type text read: 

'Perhaps I should preface with something like this: Unbidden Tongues is a series of publications whereby the work of individuals is isolated in single, dedicated titles. Here, instead, the five women who have so far been featured in the series—namely artist Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, poet and typesetter Karen Brodine, artist and philosopher Adrian Piper, social historian Janet McCalman and poet and filmmaker Theresa Hak Kyung Cha—are gathered together beyond the margins of pages or the conclusiveness of binding, and without the specifications of who made what. Consider it an essay plan, a set of references, a kind of bibliography. In doing this, what is both shared between the women and the focus of Unbidden Tongues hopefully becomes clear. There is language, its administration, the instruments of its organisation and the disavowal possible in its utterance. There is also an attempt to engage with the means of publishing: to work with the reprint as a form in order to navigate the limits of distribution (cost, geography, generational amnesia, as just some examples). Often enlarged, translated, duplicated and adapted for optimum readability, the exhibition copy— the art institution’s very own form of reprint—is ultimately busy with the mechanisms of distribution too, of ensuring access is granted beyond the conditions governing the original. As such, littered here are exhibition copies of documents and works reprinted in large format for the sake of this instance of publication—one playing out in public, yet one also rendered static, paused behind glass.They are copies, naturally, yet also still originals—in the spirit of the starting points they each offered the five titles published by Unbidden Tongues so far.' 

Unbidden Tongues was previously published by Publication Studio Rotterdam and, from #7 onwards, is published by Kunstverein München. To mark this collaboration, a special re-edition of the poster accompanying the 1992 exhibition by Adrian Piper at the Kunstverein was made available.


Furthermore, on Saturday, April 9 from 4–6pm, the event Unbidden Tongues #6: Cutting Out Reading the New York Times will took place.

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