744 km

Bücher, Literatur, Exhibition, Milano

As part of SPRINT 2022

Bücher, Literatur, Exhibition

As part of SPRINT 2022

744 km
Stories from the Swiss-Italian Alpine Frontline

Istituto Svizzero in Milan hosts an archive of publications curated by VOLUMES – a collective committed to supporting and promoting art publishing – in collaboration with SPRINT–Independent Publishers and Artists’ Books Salon.

744 kilometers, that is the length of the border between Italy and Switzerland, which runs through the High Alps but also the lowest point in Switzerland. This physical and mental border metabolizes the shared histories and frictions between the two territories. Publications from artists, independent, academic and mainstream publishers of the last decades, tell us some of these different stories, projections and ideologies embedded within the topography.
The displayed selection of publications focuses on the following topics: geography, literature & myths, itineraries, border, immigration, conflicts.

Read the full curatorial text here.

Istituto Svizzero
Via del Vecchio Politecnico 3, Milan
Free entrance

Opening hours:

Monday-Saturday: 14:00-18:00

In conjunction with the display, the exhibition The Most Beautiful Swiss Books is on view at and Dropcity until 10.12.2022.


Within the framework of 744 km-Stories from the Swiss-Italian Alpine Frontline, Istituto Svizzero hosted a talk with artists and filmmakers Maria Iorio & Raphaël Cuomo, visual artist, editor and educator Salvatore Vitale, SPRINT, VOLUMES.

03.12.2022 H17:00
Istituto Svizzero, via del Vecchio Politecnico 3, Milan
Free entry

Maria Iorio and Raphaël Cuomo are two artists and filmmakers. Favouring a collaborative praxis and long-term research, their recent projects engage with past and present global mobilities and unfold the entangled histories shaped by those movements of life, (post)colonial encounters, migrating forms and sounds. Investigating the conditions under which hegemonic historical narratives are produced and can be challenged, their films manifest unheard voices, diasporic experiences, resistant subjectivities.

Salvatore Vitale is a Swiss-based visual artist, editor and educator. In his multi-layered artistic practice and research, he focuses on the development and complexity of modern societies exploring power structures, impression management and simulations, social cosmologies and technological mediation, whilst making use of expanded documentary analysis, including elements of fiction, speculative storytelling and the use of multiple visual forms.

SPRINT — a platform on independent and artist publishing is a non-profit artist-led project devoted to investigate – in a sustainable environment and inclusive gaze – the multiple ways in which contents, supports and languages emerge in publishing. We welcome small projects and complex productions that approach experimentation, researching and archives with attitude. 

VOLUMES is a non-profit organization and collective created in 2013 in Zurich. It is run by Anne-Laure Franchette (1979, lives and works in Zurich) artist and art historian; Patrizia Mazzei (1979, lives and works in Zurich) art historian and teacher; and Gloria Wismer (1984, lives and works in Zurich), collaborator of Edition Patrick Frey. The collective aims to support the various facets of international art publishing and introduce it to a larger audience in Switzerland through series of events and an ongoing research agenda. Operating in various locations, VOLUMES organizes large and small book fair events, which showcase the production of local and international independent publishers as well as self-editing artists who use small means of production. Exploring the creativity gravitating around the practices of art publishing, the collective regularly invites performances, installations, workshops, symposiums or projections within their events.
In 2020 they launched their annual Book Award, to further showcase and support recent independent publications. They started alongside the VOLUMES Book Club, a series of talks, gathering people and books in series of intimate events. Since 2013, VOLUMES has also built a collection of art books, zines and magazines, thanks to the many donations received annually for their international open call exhibition. Taking this library as a site of investigation, VOLUMES has been researching new forms for organizing and understanding the paradigm of the archive and the challenge of categories and inventories. To do so, they invite external voices to interact with what is there but also to look at what is not there and could be added, archiving the collection through curated constellations of publications which get showcased online, through talks and exhibition displays. VOLUMES won the Jan Tschichold Award 2022.