Sandeep Bhuller is the co-founder of Cambridge Book, a contemporary art book collection and consultancy firm in MIT’s media lab. She is also the Art, Design and Architecture buyer for McNally Jackson Books in New York and previously worked as bibliographer for Printed Matter.
How did you first get interested in contemporary art?
I grew up around it, so I suppose there was just a series of events, relationships, and a number of books that focused my attention on what was being produced in a certain style or with a particular attitude. I would not describe this as an interest in contemporary art per se, rather in the representation of certain ideas that I think are worthy of an artist’s labour and an audience’s attention, and most significantly, in how those ideas are expressed as printed matter or in book works.
What was a highlight from your time working at Printed Matter?
Watching Dina Seiden hump a Richard Prince print while Todd Colby and I directed her gestures through a kind of perverse poetry like two schoolchildren giggling about a dirty picture in the corner of the classroom. That was at a launch I did with Kunstverein NY a couple of years back. Also, meeting Richard Kostelanetz, who is now a collaborator and dear friend. I was having him sign a contract and he called me over to him as “the slight Indian from England,” which amused me greatly. The vast stream of materials that came across my desk at Printed Matter brought some exceptional highlights every day, and has certainly framed the work I’ve done with Cambridge Book and McNally Jackson.
Do you live with any artwork at home?
All of the artwork and book works I have collected over the years are safely stowed away in an oak flat-file. The molding on the walls and a few stag-horn ferns are sculpture enough.
An upcoming show you are excited to see?
Well, this is not upcoming, but I am going to talk about it anyway! The EcstaticAlphabets/Heaps of Language exhibition at MoMA that just opened is fantastic. It is so wonderful to see a collection of work surrounding language, which has been treated as a fairly marginal or fringe practice, given institutional recognition and surveyed historically. I have been consulting on a new MA in Creative Publishing, Theory and Criticism at the New School for Social Research, so this show really reinforces the objective of the course and brings to the fore a rich history of artists’ publishing practices and experiments into the malleable quality of language.
Artist quote or words to live by?
Not too much. Carson Salter and I have adopted this as a credo for Cambridge Book.