Signature Strengths and Les Agapes

Signature Strengths and Les Agapes 
Book launch and inauguration 

Join us on Thursday 7th of September between 5 pm and 8 pm for the book launch of Signature Strengths by Boy Vereecken and the inauguration of 'Les Agapes', a commissioned site-specific installation by Stéphane Barbier Bouvet. 


Book launch Signature Strengths
by Boy Vereecken

17:00 to 18:00

When first introduced, mass-market paperbacks sparked a publishing revolution. Critics despised them as lowbrow diversions, which did not impact their popularity. But the business model barely worked. Prices were so low, the books needed to sell in incredible numbers to make a profit. An industry norm emerged to pump up sales, whereby most of the novels were wrapped with images of women in provocative settings and states of undress. Many readers were duly provoked to purchase, but this recurring allure eventually lost its way.

Simultaneously, an opposing theme of essentialism was asserting itself in grocery stores. The No Frills brand presented goods in unadorned packaging. It was as if the very intention to sell had been excised from the label’s straightforward design and terse declaration of contents—SALAD DRESSING, FRUIT PRESERVES, LAUNDRY DETERGENT.

No Frills stripped the cloying appeal of traditional marketing and replaced it with a candid offering of canned beets and corned beef, pure and plain. Inspired by this direct approach, Terry Bisson and art director Frank Kozelek developed the No-Frills book series in the early 1980s. Signature Strengths, conceived and edited by Boy Vereecken, reproduces in full the four books published in the series—Western, Mystery, Science Fiction, and Romance—as well as critical evaluations of the fascinating experimental endeavor in genre writing and mass-market publishing.

Inauguration Les Agapes and drinks
a site-specific installation by Stéphane Barbier Bouvet

18:00 to 20:00


Practical information

Thursday 7 September 2017  
17:00 to 20:00

Free access
Book sales: €15.00, cash only