5 months ago

Diplomatic World_nummer 56.

Peter de Cupere, Scent

Peter de Cupere, Scent in context - Olfactory Art Pascal Van Loenhout, UN/CUT Erik Vernieuwe & Kris De Smedt, A layer for my throat 144 Hall during World Aids Day. Another collector’s item is Thomas Vandenberghe’s journey to Bangkok which leads to a conceptual publication where the art photos are well hidden at first glance. In 2018, Stockmans will publish − in cooperation with Opera Ballet Flanders − a prestigious publication about the Aviel Cahn years at the Opera. The book Opera/Out of the Box will be presented in October and shares Aviel Cahn’s broader vision on the complete process of Opera and its stakeholders, in Flanders and beyond. The attachment to the project creates a very personal bond between the publishing house and its protagonists, the artists. “For every book we make, I can write at least one other book that tells the story of the ‘making of’ process, of the interactions and gives insight into many lives”, shares Devos. Devos’s private life, full of passion for Art is intertwined with his art and book projects. Recent art projects brought him to Cuba, Argentina and Brazil, travelling with 40 top Belgian contemporary artists to prestigious museums for his project, The Importance of Being. “We find motivation in that bond and in the reactions of the people involved in the process and of course those of the public.” Recently, Royal Opera House De Munt/La Monnaie in Brussels commented on Stockmans’ luxurious edition of Danielle van Zadelhoff’s hardcover photobook : “… The book is an example of how dark full bodied photos should be printed … the love for making books is reflected by the finishing touch … delivering a pair of gloves with the book, to protect the fragility and luxury of the dark printed images. This respect and love for printed matter is connected to our vision on the arts.” When reading this comment from De Munt/La Monnaie, Devos comments that, “It made my day because it is wonderful to share these publications with the right people, people who appreciate art, process, quality and true beauty.” FINDING A BALANCE The financing of an artbook is always an intense exercise when a project starts. Sometimes the book is completely financed via the budget of an institution, gallery or sponsor. But often this is not the case, so it is always a 10.000 pcs puzzle (or even jigsaw) to realize a project and not lose money on the investment of the book. Traditional distribution models mean that the books are put into the market with 40 to 65% discounts to shops and international distributors. Recently we published a book

Danielle van Zadelhoff, Monography with a therapeutic goal, for a young woman. Thanks to crowdfunding she was able to bring in the basic amount to start the production of the book. It was beautiful to see how Maaike Ottoy was able to create her own community that supported her dream to publish a lovely and colourful book. catches some of the visiting audience or organizing a popup high-end hairdressing environment with famous hair stylist Pascal Van Loenhout. These type of events create a buzz and awareness that is necessary in our niche. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD? One of the biggest challenges for a publisher of art books is channelling their books into the market. Per definition, the market is niche oriented, hence small, and limited to an audience that engages and is passionate about art. The internet and web shops put a lot of pressure on the traditional bookshops, but generating traffic can be stimulated when stories and events complete the experience of a book. The idea is to make it worthwhile for the audience and readers to come out to the bookstore and bypass the internet sale of books. Stockmans collaborates with bookshops like Copyright Bookshop (in Antwerp and Ghent) and Theoria (in Kortrijk) and creates events to highlight some of its publications via traditional book signings, talks, performances and even art expositions. During the Antwerp Book Fair in 2017 (which attracted 143.000 visitors), Stockmans created a sense of belonging, for its artists, team and visitors. Performances included instant drawings with Jarno Kettunen from Finland who As a publisher and calendar maker with a strong personal approach, focusing on content and quality, we believe that organic growth is the path to follow for Stockmans. We are already surpassing the borders of Belgium and intend to continue this. Again, all of this goes in parallel and is simultaneously a paradox with the search for economies of scale in the graphic industry where critical mass and production speed are key words. When Bruno Devos indicates that we are protagonists of “slow printing”, it does not mean the production of a book takes ages, on the contrary. A good illustration is the creation and production of Peter de Cupere’s 3 kg heavy olfactory bible, 472 pages, filled with 1.500 illustrations and more than 500 art works, including 11 scratch and sniff smells. This hefty task took only 5 weeks in total to design, print and bind, which nobody else could perform in the publishing sector. 145