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Büroregal mit Büchern, davor ein runder Tisch und zwei orange Plastikklappsessel


Q21 Backstage: SCHLEBRÜGGE.EDITOR, the publishing house for contemporary art, architecture, design & theory was founded in 2002 by Johannes Schlebrügge.

Johannes Schlebrügge founded SCHLEBRÜGGE.EDITOR publishing house in 2002. It specialises in art books and artist books, exhibition catalogues, publications on architecture, art theory and contemporary history. Additionally, it releases two small publication series in collaboration with MQ (Betonblumen, Lumen Zine).
According to the publishing concept, publications are developed as artists’ projects, in close collaboration with artists and authors.


Interview with Johannes Schlebrügge

Johannes Schlebrügge born 1949 in Munich, studied German and Romance philology as well as comparative literary studies in Kiel and Munich, PhD, taught at the universities of Lille and Munich, has lived in Vienna since 1989, founded his first publishing house in 1990 with Peter Pakesch. They published the Fama & Fortune Bulletin until 2004. (34 issues of this exemplary artists’ review were released.) During the 1990s, Schlebrügge worked on exhibitions as a coordinator and co-curator (REAL, Jetztzeit, der sechste sinn, 7 Künstlerbücher in 7 Verlagen). He worked as a translator (A. Boetti, M. Pistoletto, Arte Povera), author and publisher. In 2002, he founded SCHLEBRÜGGE.EDITOR publishing house, which has released approx. 300 publications so far.


It’s a one-man company, but also its authors, co-workers, partners and friends. A forward-looking anachronism. Definitely a publishing house for theory, as demonstrated by the series Essay but also by the series of theoretical and art-historical publications, which have been edited by the Academy of Fine Arts (i. a., M. v. Osten, T. Holert, D. Diederichsen, S. Buchmann). Essay integrates artist dialogues, scientific texts, philosophical commentary, crossing over to works of literature.

Since when have you been at Q21/MQ?

Since 2003.

How do you distinguish an artists’ publishing house from other publishers?

Fine artists consider the book a complete and definite work, with all thematic and graphic decisions. Ultimately, texts, images and book design are elements of one work, comparable to a musical composition, a film, or an exhibition. Architects choose a similar approach when they work on their books. The publishing house enables, provides support, coordinates, edits etc.; in some cases, the publisher admires the development of an outrageous, complex construct.

However, just like other publishers, SCHLEBRÜGGE publishes books which are produced by printing houses and bookbinder's shops. They are released in one or several editions, they are available at book shops, and they have a fixed price. They can be ordered, sent, stored, advertised, and read in many places.

What positions are you interested in?

Concept-based positions in contemporary art, erratically appearing aspects of 20th century modernist tradition, existing vernacular architecture and construction, photography and text as elements of artistic creation. Books as media of the human preservation of experience, work and knowledge – and, sometimes, as monuments. Concerning this last position, I would like to mention the publication of the graphic works of Helga Michie, sister of Ilse Aichinger, and the diary of Alisa Shek, written at Theresienstadt.

What can you tell us about the editions?

Complementing their book publications, artist-authors release limited editions, which can be offered in combination with signed and numbered copies of the book. There is no limit regarding the properties and formats of these editions: photographs, prints, boxes, posters etc.

How does a publication become an artist’s project?

For the publishing house, publication is the project. The publisher facilitates and accompanies the steps and processes leading from project to publication. The intensity keeps changing, in varying relations of proximity and distance. The publisher ignores the possibility of failure, sometimes surprised by success following in unexpected ways.

Johannes Schlebrügge vor einem verschneiten Weinberg und blauem Himmel

Johannes Schlebrügge © privat

Current publication

Wait A Minute Buchcover


Published by Peter Noever and Andrea Lenardin Introduction by Andrea Lenardin / Peter Noever, epilogue by Thom Mayne
English, 232 pages, 10 × 16 cm, numerous illustrations (colour, b/w), paperback
ISBN 978-3-903172-82-1
€ 19,80 [A] € 19,30 [D]

Snapshots from a Perspective of Pandemic Standstill – artists, architects, thinkers with roots in Vienna and Los Angeles reflect on a world in the balance and consider the changes of a changing future.

Contributions by Hitoshi ABE – Alfredo BARSUGLIA – Doris BERGER – Estudio CRUZ + FORMAN – Heinrich DUNST – Gregor EICHINGER – Andreas FOGARASI – April GREIMAN – Nik HAFERMAAS – Edgar HONETSCHLAEGER – Barbara IMHOF – Piotr JANOWSKI – Bettina KHANO – Kasper KOVITZ – Elke KRYSTUFEK – Helmut LANG – Alexandra LIEBEN – Mark MACK – Robert MENASSE – Christoph MEIER & Yuri STONE – Kimberli MEYER – Markus MITTRINGER – Eric Owen MOSS – Silke OTTO KNAPP – Johannes PORSCH – Wolf D. PRIX – Michael ROTONDI – Stefan SCHERER – Eva SCHLEGEL Jakob SELLAOUI – SPAN – The NEXT ENTERPRISE – Daniela ZYMA

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