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2010, English
13.5×20 cm, 272 pages, 159 b/w ill., softcover
ISBN 978-1-934105-16-0
Sanghon Kim
Piet Zwart Institute; Willem de Kooning Academy
Out of print

Options with Nostrils brings together a collection of previously unpublished essays, both theoretical and visual, by artists, curators, a writer, a scholar, and a group of postgraduates from the Piet Zwart Institute’s Fine Art programme in Rotterdam, who together founded the “Office for the Unknown.”


Published as the outcome of a one-year-long project which curator Alexis Vaillant developed upon the invitation of Vanessa Ohlraun at Piet Zwart Institute in 2010, it investigates notions of the unknown and the unpredictable and looks at ways in which these notions enable a critical view on the conditions of art making within what one may call the “contemporanism” we live in. Revealing this process, the publication presents a series of proposals, ideas, shifts, and continuities. Labyrinthine in structure and outlook, Options with Nostrils aims to destabilize the belief that there is an order of things in response to which the artist holds a decisive position, maybe because, as Sarat Maharaj has said, “the artist has an unknowability, the ability to unknow.”