Design as an Attitude: Nominated books by Alvaro Barrington, invited by Alice Rawsthorn

06 December 2020

Guest Curator Alice Rawsthorn invites twelve of her friends from the fields of contemporary art, design and other areas of contemporary culture to nominate books for Dublin Art Book Fair 2020.

The list includes twenty titles nominated by Alice and a further seventy-seven books suggested to us by her invitees. Collectively these books add another incredible, fascinating and diverse dimension to the books that DABF 2020, Design as an Attitude gathers together. The nominated books are available to purchase on our Shop and come with short notes of recommendation, written by their nominees.

Alice Rawsthorn (writer and design critic), Paola Antonelli (Senior Curator of Architecture and Design, MoMA), Alvaro Barrington (artist), Hilary Cottam (social designer), Michael Craig-Martin (artist), Es Devlin (artist and stage designer), Conor Donlon (owner Donlon Books, London), Marie Donnelly (philanthropist), Andrew Durbin (writer and editor of frieze), Helen Marten (artist), Hans Ulrich Obrist (Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries, London), Zoé Whitley (Director, Chisenhale Gallery, London).

Selection by Alvaro Barrington, artist

Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider (Penguin Modern Classics)
“The quality of light by which we scrutinise our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives” are the first lines in Poetry Is Not a Luxury. Sister Outsider is filled with Lorde’s poignant observations about the world around her and the world. We have inherited a must read.

Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism Is a Humanism (Yale University Press)
An easy read. I first found this little book nearly twenty years ago and since then I have regularly returned to it. A conversation around freedom an extension of the biblical idea of free-will. An everlasting examination of many things that prevents us from being present such as expectations.

John Dewey, Art as Experience (Perigree Books)
Art is about the curiosity of being and community. Dewey was a major influence on the thinking of many great American artists best exemplified through Allan Kaprow, early Yayoi Kusama, the Happenings, the movement to be in the world, free love generation.

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (The New Press)
The killing of George Floyd has brought to forefront a conversation around the role of the police in Black American communities. The New Jim Crow gave much of the intellectual vigour to that conversation that helped to spark the Black Lives Matter movement.

Alvaro Barrington (born 1983, Caracas, Venezuela) is a multimedia artist whose work combines materials including textiles, painting, mixed media, drawing, photography, and print. Now based in New York, Barrington graduated from the Slade School of Art in 2017. Barrington’s work draws on his childhood in the Caribbean and pushes boundaries of display and engagement.