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Contemporary Art Writing Daily/

Anti-Ligature Rooms

Think of the red stuf of diagrams, the blue lining carotid arteries, the meteorologic green of rain. Medical Charts of human anatomy are built of the same stuf as Looney Tunes.

A Cartoon plumbing that would be funnier if it weren’t what doctors used to perform your father’s surgical bypass, a map [for] inciting raw violence slicing your artery, aorta. This particular diagram shows your father nude. It shows him open for god. This particular diagram slapsticks understanding, cuts nuance for clarity, confusion is resected, its hole filled with bright red, stuf. Diagrammatically, the clown explodes, intestines like silly string.

Anti-ligature rooms are designed to protect the inhabitants from themselves. Cells that work to prevent us from any agency in the biggest, grandest sense. A room full of paintings that won't let you kill yourself. ANTI-LIGATURE ROOMS by Contemporary Art Writing Daily is an attempt to retexturize a world – a world streamlining a smoother digestion of us, of our resources and our art. Fear for an art that is affective palliative to an experience that's just generally bad.

Contemporary Art Writing Daily is an author project. It has been described as “a black eye in the face of contemporary criticism.” Since 2014, it has contributed texts to numerous exhibitions and publications, including the Venice Biennale, Balice Hertling, CCS Bard, Isabella Bortolozzi, SPIKE, and Provence Magazine.

ANTI-LIGATURE ROOMS is a co-publication by Plea and Cabinet, London.



My colleagues tell me I should start calling collectors on the phone to talk sales. Should I just read them passages from this book? Because otherwise what am I saying about art they’re not looking at?

–––Bridget Donahue

For some years, Contemporary Art Writing Daily has been publishing some of the best art criticism — the only arts writing worth reading? – on their eponymous website. With this book, they frame their feelings in a way that approximates literature, but only to the degree that the site approximates journalism. It’s just as biting and prickly, longing and melancholic, fragmented, confusing, and ambiguous.

–––Seth Price

How might aesthetics be rethought at the level of the plastic and gastric forces that swamp human experience from all sides? In the human mouth with its 600 bacterial strains, in the fecal ooze of suburban asphalt, in the controlled hallucination of screen- space...a splenetic, spellbound sort of treatise-fable announces the posthuman destiny of art.

–––John Kelsey

This is a work of hostile inventiveness, a book of gleeful anxiety, of immanence. It is itself a product of the rubbled tautology of culture’s symbolist milkshake, a maniacal light shone down into semiotics’ intestinal dungeon. We insatiable readers bark at it, gulp into it, taking our places on the giddy train of consumed content and excreted meaning – fantastical, murderous, pharmaceutical. Anti-Ligature Rooms punches the mouth, then kisses it better, electrifying a taste for systems at their point of collapse. This is a sequence of writing that knits the mad particles of material information into theory that both wounds and is a piercing act of precision. In our world where image is a meta-event, Contemporary Art Writing Daily is a critical cauldron, with bile and dust its grinning gastric avatars.

–––Helen Marten

I have no idea what an Anti-Ligature Room might be, but the greatest advances in culture, or at least the most thrilling ones to me, are those that basically ask: If I learn the language of whatever this thing is, what will it reveal that at present I’m completely unaware of? Knock, knock. Open up, I’m coming in.

–––Mark Leckey

Plea is an occasional press based in Copenhagen specialising in poetry, commentary and fiction. Plea is run by Ed Atkins and Pablo Larios.

Contact us here to be added to our mailing list, for submissions, or to enquire about bulk purchases.

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