Press preview: 16.10.2023, 9.30h
​Opening hours: Thurs & Fri 12-19h, Sat & Sun 11-19h

HOW(EVER) is an annual event dedicated to celebrating publishing as an extension of artistic practice. Taking place concurrently with the Frankfurt Book Fair, the art book festival offers a glimpse into contemporary approaches to bookmaking and art publishing. The title HOW(EVER) pays homage to the eponymous journal founded by poet Kathleen Fraser (1935–2019) in San Francisco in the 1980s, a radical platform that championed the work of women writers.

At the heart of this year’s presentation of HOW(EVER) is the emblematic K67 kiosk designed by architect Saša J. Mächtig in 1966. Born in Ljubljana in 1941, Mächtig is a key figure in Slovenian industrial design and architecture. His formative years were marked by the decades following the break-up of the former Yugoslavia from the Soviet Union in 1948, a period of intense social and ideological change. At that time, the city and domestic space were the focus of reflection and experimentation in the field of architecture and urban planning, with the aim of improving the quality of life. Mächtig’s belief in technology, mass production, systematic urban growth and dynamic, mobile structures led him to design the K67 kiosk, a modular structure that could be assembled in a variety of linear or spatial configurations in public space. By the time production ceased in 1999, more than 7,500 kiosks had been manufactured in various forms and for a range purposes, defining the streetscape of many city centers in Eastern European countries. In an effort to preserve this cultural heritage, the studio of K67 Berlin has been restoring these historic design objects and making them available to the public since 2018.

Over the course of four days, Portikus will be presenting a curated selection of publications in an installation whose centerpiece is Mächtig’s restored K67 kiosk. In keeping with HOW(EVER)’s singular concept, around 100 artist books, publications and a limited-edition of merchandise designed by Amsterdam-based trio Experimental Jetset will be on display and available for purchase at any given time. As soon as a visitor acquires a book, it will be replaced by another, thereby highlighting the circulation of printed matter and creating ever-changing dialogues between the publications. 

The Portikus Art Book Festival is accompanied by a series of free public programs: 

Friday, 20.10.2023, 18.00–19.00h
Conversation: System for Urban Imagination: Kiosk K6
Saša J. Mächtig · architect, Ljubljana, Slovenia
moderated by Nina Sieverding · editor, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Saturday, 21.10.2023, 16.30–17.30h
Book presentation: Thus Waves Come in Pairs. Thinking with the Mediterraneans
Barbara Casavecchia · editor and curator TBA21–Academy, Venice, Italy
Markus Reymann · director, TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Madrid, Spain

Saturday, 21.10.2023, 18.00–19.00h
Conversation: Comradeship: Curating, Art, and Politics in Post-Socialist Europe
Zdenka Badovinac · curator, Ljubljana, Slovenia
moderated by Damian Lentini · curator, Munich, Germany

Sunday, 22.10.2023, 15.00–15.30h
Presentation: Why Artist Books Matter
Eva Linhardt · curator Museum Angewandte, Kunst Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Curated by Liberty Adrien & Carina Bukuts
Assistant Curator HOW(EVER): Lili Rebeka Toth

HOW(EVER) – Portikus Art Book Festival is generously supported by Javna agencija za knjigo/Slovenian Book Agency and the Slovenian Ministry of Culture in the context of Slovenia’s Guest of Honor appearance at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2023, Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst as well as Städelschule Portikus e.V..

Poster Design: Nejc Prah

Image: Newspaper and tobacconist's kiosk, second generation of kiosk K67 at the three Bridges, Ljubljana. Courtesy: Museum of Architecture & Design, Ljubljana

Installation views: Wolfgang Günzel