Frances Stark - Her writing is not specifically sited in visual art, but is rooted in the condition of contemporary life encountering along the way the literary tradition, music and philosophy

Frances Stark, Collected Writing: 1993–2003, Book Works, 2003.

Collected Writing: 1993–2003 brings together many of Frances Stark’s texts for the first time, including essays on artists and artist’s [sic] text pieces. Stark’s writing is not specifically sited in visual art, but is rooted in the condition of contemporary life encountering along the way the literary tradition, music and philosophy. These provide the backbone to much of her thinking, as do the problems faced by being both an artist and writer today. These themes are presented through a pseudo-autobiographical style which frequently presents itself as poetic musings, that create meandering, off-centred texts that are often humorous and at the same time highly readable. This book also includes facsimiles of ‘The Unspeakable Compromise of the Portable Work of Art’ as well as specially designed pages by Stark, making this anthology a fascinating insight into the artist’s practice. The book includes a forward [sic] by Matthew Higgs.

UH_OH059 copy

Frances Stark, UH-OH: Frances Stark 1991-2015. Frances Stark and Ali Subotnick, Hammer Museum, 2015.
Companion to an exhibition that documents Stark’s 25-year long career, this book contains 125 works in which Stark employs words and images to create provocative and self-referential works that speak to the complexities of daily life. This book includes full-page detailed images that provide an insight into the highly tactile and complex nature of Stark’s work. Also included are newly commissioned essays, and a collection of brief reflections by a variety of prominent artists and writers whom Stark asked to revisit specific topics they’ve discussed or written about previously. Filled with high-quality reproductions and thoughtful commentary, this book is the definitive resource on Stark’s accomplished, varied, and affecting body of work.

Frances Stark, The Collected WorksWalther König, 2007.
The Los Angeles-based artist and art writer Frances Stark has gathered an international cult following for her prolific prose and her smart, honest and intimate artwork. This engaging artist’s book is conceived as a companion piece to Stark’s Collected Writings 1993–2003, fashioning itself as a graphic counterpart that draws from the artist’s paintings, collages, drawings, videos, poetry and more, from 1993 to the present. Through provocative and diaristic text notes printed alongside Stark’s sometimes humorous, often self-scrutinizing images, The Collected Works addresses the paradox of reproducing visual art that is essentially non-photogenic by nature—because of its tactility, detail or scale. The book formally addresses how verbiage flows in and out of the work(s), and leaves no space for the legitimizing language of the critic or curator. Neither a typical catalogue nor monograph, it pushes for a third form, a new art work constructed from existing pieces. [source]
Available from Textfield.

A Torment of Follies, Ed. by Annette Südbeck, Secession, Vienna, 2008.
This exhibition catalogue disguised as an artist’s book presents recent work by the Los Angeles artist, writer and all-around favorite, Frances Stark. Taking as her starting point the novel Ferdydurke by the esteemed Polish author Witold Gombrowicz, Stark explores two key aspects of the novel, according to Andras Palffy, President of the esteemed Viennese exhibition space, Secession — “the individual’s right to uncertainty or immaturity and all possible forms of masquerade” and “deception towards one’s environment.” Whereas Gombrowicz took on the sinister political developments of 1930s Poland, Stark aptly and humorously attacks the hierarchies, systems and pigeon holes of the contemporary commercial art world. Of special note are the very effective optical illusions embedded in the images reproduced here. [source]
Available from Textfield.

But what of Frances Stark, standing by itself, a naked name, bare as a ghost to whom one would like to lend a sheet? Ed. by Alex Farquharson, Jim Waters, Abi Spinks and Fiona Parry, Nottingham Contemporary, 2009.
Published on occasion of the exhibition But what of Frances Stark, standing by itself, a naked name, bare as a ghost to whom one would like to lend a sheet?
Available from Nottingham Contemporary.

Frances Stark: This could become a gimick [sic] or an honest articulation of the workings of the mind, Ed. by João Ribas and Frances Stark, MIT List Visual Arts Center, 2010.
Los Angeles-based artist and writer Frances Stark (born 1967) addresses the doubts and anxieties of creative labor, in self-portraits that she elaborates into cross-disciplinary explorations of language as both subject matter and material. The elliptical, digressive style that typifies her writing is echoed in the experience of her installations, in which themes emerge across brief citations from pop music and literature. Interlinked works, often hand-drawn, or hand-inscribed, are executed with a formal vulnerability and fluency of composition that affirms the observation posed in this volume’s title: This Could Become a Gimick [sic] or An Honest Articulation of the Workings of the Mind. Published on the occasion of an exhibition at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, this anthology offers a selection of the Los Angeles-based artist’s writings from 1997 to 2010, including important out-of-print and hard-to-find texts. 

Frances Stark, My Best Thing, König Books, 2012.
This intimate publication focuses on Frances Stark’s pivotal feature length video My Best Thing, a digital video animation, which traces the development of two sexual encounters that progress into conversations about film, literature, art, collaboration and subjectivity. British curator Mark Godfrey captures the density of this recent work by Stark with an in-depth essay considering the artist’s use of online sex-chat rooms as vehicles for her creative process. Godfrey addresses Stark’s resolve in representing her broad and at times clashing interests from her recently found enthusiasm for the controversial dancehall musician Beenie Man to her homage for the highly respected feminist painter Sylvia Sleigh. In conveying the complexity of her interests Stark manages to imbue these commonly disparaged internet sites, as well as their users, with positive, productive and social characteristics. In Stark’s depiction, as Godfrey states, ‘strangers meet, communicate, share ideas rather than brand preferences, and change how each one sees the world.’ This publication focuses on Frances Stark’s pivotal feature-length video My Best Thing, capturing the complexity of her work with an in-depth essay by British curator Mark Godfrey, who considers the artist’s use of online sex-chat rooms as vehicles for her creative process.

For Some Perverts the Sentence is a Body: On the work of Frances Stark, By Mary Leclère. Glassell School of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2007.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Structures that Fit my Opening and Other Parts Considered in Relation to Their Whole at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, December 15, 2006–February 11, 2007.

Hey Hey Glossolalia (After). Ed. by Mark Beasley, Creative Time, 2008.
A two-part publication co-produced and designed by Mark Beasley and Dexter Sinister will accompany Hey Hey Glossolalia. Volume one, entitled Hey Hey and released in conjunction with The Voice (After Mercedes McCambridge), will provide a critical and art historical groundwork for the performance series, deepening the audience’s understanding of the topics at hand and furthering their engagement with the events. It will also establish a platform to involve additional artists in the project who are exploring the subject of the voice on the written page. Artist Adam Pendleton will curate a section of this volume that will focus on gospel music and the use of the voice in song, inviting 10 artists to contribute artworks based on the theme.
Volume two, entitled Glossolalia and released in September, will include documentary material from the entire program—photographs, lecture notes, first-hand accounts, and other ephemera—capturing the spirit of these happenings. 
More information available from Creative Time.

Conversation Pieces
Conversation PiecesRevolver, Berlin
If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution proudly presents its second publication in the field of performative art practices entitled Conversation Pieces. Drawing from the exhibitions and performances presented by If I Can’t Dance during Edition II – Feminist Legacies and Potentials in Contemporary Art Practice (2006–2008), twelve critical thinkers confront twelve artists from the perspective of historical and present-day feminism in art. Accordingly, twelve collaborative essays reflect on the state and importance of feminism for the practice of art and show how artists today reactivate the past via visual and conceptual ‘homage’ and explore current ideas of political mobilization and engagement. “Conversation Pieces” is a fruitful starting point to discuss topics of subjectivity, social roles and the politics of performance.
The interview essays in the publication are by Dieter Roelstraete & Alexandra Bachzetsis, Vanessa Desclaux & Will Holder, Lisette Smits & Karl Holmqvist, Peio Aguirre & Jutta Koether, Diana McCarty & The Otolith Group, Emily Pethick & Maria Pask, Pádraic Moore & Sarah Pierce, Paul O’Neill & Falke Pisano, Patricia Grzonka & Stefanie Seibold, Jan Verwoert & Frances Stark, Binna Choi & Haegue Yang, and Frédérique Bergholtz & Katarina Zdjelar. [source]

CONTRA MUNDUM I–VII, Oslo Editions, 2010.
The inaugural volume from Oslo Editions, Contra Mundum I–VII, documents a series of talks held at the Mandrake in Los Angeles on the theme of “contra mundum” or “against the world.” Taking its cue from Evelyn Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited, Contra Mundum posits the world-making potential of (anti)sociality as a subject position and the value of a notion of collectivity grounded in “association without relation.” So doing, the book considers a diverse range of topics, including the furniture of Donald Judd, Private Issue New Age music, animal subjectivity, misanthropy and the trope of self-banishment in Shakespeare, apocalypticism and the zombie film, pirates from Blackbeard to Somalia, and the post-punk vocalist Mark E. Smith. Featuring contributions from artists Rupert Deese, Elad Lassry, Anthony Pearson, and Frances Stark, and critics Aaron Kunin, Matthew Taylor Raffety, and Evan Calder Williams. 

Selected writing by Frances Stark:
Notes Towards the Eroticism of Pedagogy
In Hey Hey Glossolalia (After) (2008) Download PDF
Interview: Amy Yao and Frances Stark  In North Drive Press #4 (2007) Download PDF
On the Future of Art School (2007) Ed. Frances Stark. Available from Lulu. Download PDF
A Little Untoward History: On Chinatown’s Recent Influx of Art and its Potential 
In Recent Pasts: Art in Southern California from the 90s to Now (2005) Download PDF
Always the Same, Always Different  In Course of Empire: Paintings by Ed Ruscha: United States Pavilion, 51st Venice Biennale (2005)  Download PDF
AT THE RIM OF THE FUCKING PARADIGM  In Uncertain States of America: American Art in the 3rd Millenium (2005) Download PDF
A Craft too Small Originally published in Bas Jan Ader: Implosion (König, 2000; out of print). Available in Collected Writing: 1993–2003Download PDF
I’m taking this opportunity to feel some holes in addition to filling them: On Raymond Pettibon
Originally published in Michael Craig-Martin und Raymond Pettibon (Kunstverein Düsseldorf, 1998; out of print). Available in Collected Writing: 1993–2003Download PDF
The Architect & the Housewife
Originally published by Book Works (1999; out of print). Available in Collected Writing: 1993–2003Download PDF
Professional Me  Originally published in artext, no. 67 (November 1999–January 2000; out of print).  Available in Collected Writing: 1993–2003. Download PDF
Knowledge Evanescent  Originally published in artext no. 68 (February–April 2000; out of print). Available in Collected Writing: 1993–2003Download PDF
Pull Quotable   Originally published in artext, no. 74 (September–October 2001; out of print). Available in Collected Writing: 1993–2003Download PDF
By others
For Some Perverts the Sentence is a Body: On the Work of Frances Stark (2007)
By Mary Leclère. Available from Dexter Sinister.   Download PDF