Swab Reading

Swab Reading is a programme that aims to merge design and reading, art and publishing. This edition of Swab continues to open a space for publishing disciplines and invites two international projects to exhibit their books: Monorhetorik, the publishing house of Dutch visual artist Matt Plezier and American artist Rafael Meléndez. Pleizer and Meléndez explore, through their art on paper, the different concepts of abstract forms in urban spaces, metaphors against the homogeneous, the uniform, and the polished. 


MonoRhetorik is Matt Plezier’s publishing house for his publishing projects. It is based on the research of themes, concepts, printing techniques ranging from the “unusual” or fantastic, to more subtle subjects. In addition, it serves as a platform for collaborations with a wide range of artists, creatives and printers, sharing information and knowledge.

Matt Pleizer, founder of Monorhetorik, is a self-taught Dutch visual artist. His work tends to reflect on issues of alienation, anonymity, (in)visibility and others. His process includes the use and experimentation of his own photography, re-photographed newspaper images, appropriation of images, found objects, text and silkscreen prints on various materials for installations and mixed media publications.

Self-publishing is an important part of his artistic practice. He started publishing in 2015 and has produced over 100 titles, a diverse range of fanzines, prints and books through his publishing company. The themes range from activism, urban photography, media images, pop culture and subcultures such as hardcore punk and raving.

For his participation in Swab, Pleizer presents an ongoing photographic series entitled: Urbanity. The artist explores the concept of the abstract beauty of urban landscapes, composed of cornered event posters, tape residue, faded spray paint, and other elements that reveal the calligraphy of the city. Commonly seen as unreadable, discarded as useless, camouflaged by ambitious new structures, dictated by economic value. 

Pleizer attempts to reveal a deeper truth that goes beyond this, revealing a point at the heart of abstract beauty, and documenting “what will soon be lost”.


Rafael Melendez, London

Rafael Meléndez is an American artist based in London. He concentrates on works on paper that overlap, combine and mix a multitude of materials and artistic techniques to convey a variety of concepts, such as fragility, vulnerability through his “semi-automatic” drawing technique among others. 

For his participation in Swab, Meléndez presents his new book “The academy of realness” self-edited and published. He presents his drawings, works on paper and digital prints. The artist’s work draws from his unconscious and experiments with the hybridisation of personal, spiritual and art historical tradition, which he transforms into dreamlike images that make a mockery of social conventions.

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