Gilles Néret (1933 – 2005)

In answer to my recently asked question regarding the publishers of 20th century counterculture Taschen came to mind, an international publishing powerhouse with its roots in 1980s Germany. Taschen started out by publishing Benedikt Taschen’s extensive comic book collection and then basically conquered the world with its ‘coffeetablishness’.

Taschen is the best alternative to countless hours of internet browsing and a much better reading experience than the web itself, but buying the books remains more expensive than the internet.

Taschen also illustrates the lack of political subversion in contemporary culture. Countercultural publishers such as Grove in the 1960s also published pamphlet-like tracts. Taschen does not have a politics section; however I like to think that Benedikt and Laure have opinionated views on these matters.

2 thoughts on “Coffeetablishness

  1. Andrej Maltar

    Hello again,

    it seems that I’m the only one commenting the publishing house stuff.
    Certainly, Taschen seems to have a penchant towards the realm where “high and low will no longer be perceived as contradictions” and he has some very interesting titles. But I’m sure he would be the first to admit that he’s not the least interested in subversion outside the aesthetic field.
    What about publishers like autonomedia [semiotext(e)] or the Pranks-issue of RE/Search? Aren’t these books very interesting in terms of contemporary political subversion?
    There’s one thing though, I like about Taschen: in the retrospection he did for the last anniversary of his company, he was as frank about his misses as he was about his hits. If my memory serves me well, he once tried to sell an inflatable doll of the creature from Munchs “the scream and stuff like that.

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