Libros Mutantes 2016

Text and pictures by Maria Santos

Libros Mutantes is arguably one of the most interesting dates for art book lovers and independent publishers from every corner of Europe.

The Madrid based fair is one of the youngest and international ones dedicated to independent printed matter and their intricated relationship with audiovisual arts. On its seventh edition, the mutants came back to La Casa Encendida for yet another intensive weekend of page flipping, lectures, workshops, and of course, parties. There was a strong German and Dutch presence thanks to Bom dia, Boa tarde, Boa noite, Gloria Glitzer, Onomatee and Pinar & Viola, just to name a few, integrated within a predominant spanish crowd. All in all, we have some 80 exhibitors.

As in previous editions, Perspectivas Mutantes gave publishers and artists an opportunity to present their line of work while offering them to use other formats. On their lectures, they often explored the visual, but also other influences that have been capital for their production such as tradition, craftmanship and music.

Manuel Raeder had many stories to tell about his publishing endeavors  We were lucky enough to have a chat with him, for which you will have to stay tuned.

Pinar & Viola added the touch of irreverent modernity that -judging for the looks of the audience- some were pretty much craving. Pailleten, electronic music and glitchy aesthetics, all splashed with a good dose of humor and spontaneity.
Link to the Diplo video directed by the Netherlands-based duo: Diplo & Oliver Twizt - Go

Pierre Vanni was also another great musical embassador. The arft director hailing from Paris presented his works for Audimat and Las siestes electroniques.

As in previous editions, Mutantes said farewell to a whole weekend of stand-rummaging with their classic Fanzine to go event. This year featuring: Ana Galvañ (ES) Juan de Porras Islas (NL)  Ruja Office (ES/CN) Manuel Donada (ES) Silvia Perez (ES)

Bpigs had the oportunity to chat with Berlin-based artist Stefanie Leinhos about her impressions on the fair.

Being her very first time at Libros Mutantes, Stefanie had a real good impression due to the fair´s unique approach to the exhibitor, the viewer and the presentation of the books:

"I wasn’t sitting behind a table with my books, as I am used to do, but standing behind the visitors who where flipping through my publications. It felt very uncommon for me and it was sometimes hard to get in touch with people without disturbing them. At the same time I think it is a nice constellation for visitors as they do not feel observed so much" - says Stefanie.

When I ask her about her favourite thing about the fair, she is certain that that would be all the inspiring people she got to know, especially other exhibitors that she got to know during lunchtime and dinner. On a special note, she was happy to be hosted by one of the participating exhibitors: Virginia from Sandwich Mixto, responsible of the riso workshop offered during the weekend.

Sunday afternoon was all about kids taking over the corner designated for them and artists drinking hangover beers and wearing dark glasses after the party on Saturday night (not to forget Fuet´s presentation on Friday night, cause they do accumulated).

The late afternoon was also about half empty stands, which is nothing but a really good sign. After all, no less than 8.000 visitors swung by the fair attracted by the over 100 different self-publishing projects on display.

We can only expect more and better next year. See you in 2017, Mutantes!

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