Rooftop Press – Miss Read

Rooftop Press

Founded by artists Timo Vaittinen and Tuukka Kaila, Rooftop Press explores publishing as a platform for artistic expression and collaborative work. We are interested in exploring how books can have a meaningful presence in the contemporary art ecosystem. We use the platform for working closely with other artists to investigate the potential of publishing in relation to their practice and to help realise works intended for book form. We also treat the initiative as a framework for our own artists' publications. Rooftop Press maintains a micro-press in Helsinki with facilities for risoprinting, perfect binding and finishing. With changing partners, Rooftop organises an international artist-publishers' event Bookies to help strengthen the position and increase understanding of publishing as artistic practice within the Finnish contemporary art landscape.
Letters and Banners
Dave McKenzie, Letters and Banners, Rooftop Press with PUBLICS, 2023 © Dave McKenzie

Documentation images of the book Letters and Banners. The loose leaf cover opens up into a poster with a series of open letters on the inside. The book explores public and private address, negotiating intimate everyday conflict brought about by racial and class related tensions.

Jessie Bullivant, Attached, Rooftop Press, 2022 © Jessie Bullivant

Documentation images of the book Attached. Attached is a collection of texts that document a diverse range of artworks made by Jessie Bullivant (AU/FI) over the past decade. By replacing the default photographic documentation with written accounts, the artist raises questions about how immaterial artworks are preserved, accessed and ultimately remembered, allowing space for nuances often lost in photographic documentation.

As an incomplete survey of the artist’s work, the book blurs the boundaries between art and its documentation, between a conventional monograph and an experimental artist’s book. It gives an exciting glimpse into a committed artistic practice tackling a variety of issues from representation, power and access to subtle social interactions.

Superchair at Under the Leaf 2022
Rooftop Press after Ken Isaacs, Superchair at Under the Leaf 2022, Rooftop Press, 2022 © Rooftop Press after Ken Isaacs

At Under the Leaf art book fair in 2022, Rooftop Press presented a Superchair with a concise reference library of artists’ publications assembled for the occasion. If books are understood as gatherings of ideas, thinking and making, the Superchair provides a cozy, hospitable space to meet these ideas and make friends with them.

This iteration of the library was put together during Berlin Miss Read and Malmö Artist’s Book Biennial on the preceding two weekends. Borrowing from Aby Warburg’s rule of the good neighbour, whereby books are organised on shelves in such a way that they can contribute to the meaning of others around them, the selection encourages browsing and free association as ways of intuitively wandering between the titles. Together, they approach the idea of residue taking various byproducts of industrial and societal processes of both human and non-human actors of late capitalism as raw material or as focal points of artistic investigation.

Created by the architect and designer Ken Isaacs in 1967, the Superchair is a nomadic, multipurpose living structure based on a three dimensional matrix that’s both easy and affordable to make. The chair originally sought flexible solutions to the inefficiencies of modernist, single-purpose furniture design and a break with the midcentury cultural stagnation of individualism, capitalist expansion, and unsustainable material consumption. The selection of titles in the reference library suggests a small bibliographical survey into some of these concerns, which remain largely unsolved today.