This month, Mexico City based Can Can Press agreed to talk with JELLY about risography, community, and future projects. Read the interview below to learn more about their program and experiences as a studio, small press, and exhibition space!
Can Can Press is a multi-disciplinary Art and design project founded by Gabino Azuela and Jackie Crespo in 2017. Based in Mexico City, Can Can Press is focused on the experimentation, publication, distribution, and manifestation of new creative proposals. As a Publishing House, the project retakes the artist book through the new art of making books, creating a visual and conceptual narrative from the content to the form of the object.
Can Can Projects, a program founded by the Can Can Press team in 2021, is a project space dedicated to exhibiting contemporary art and design work.
screen printed shirt for sale at Can Can Press
Before you started Can Can Press, what was your experience with Riso? Do you have a background in printmaking?
Jackie and I (Gabino), are both creatives with printmaking backgrounds. When we first met we were already in the print-making scene doing all sorts of printed media- Jackie was in Design school and I was studying animation, but we were both big fans of the printed matter. We loved doing screen printing and photocopying zines, so when we decided to buy our Riso printer we were already familiarized with the method. It took some time to figure out some tricks around the printer, but I guess being familiar with printing made things a little bit easier for us.
Can you tell us more about the relationship between Can Can Press and Can Can Projects? Is there a lot of overlap between the printed matter you produce and the exhibitions in the project space? Do you create a lot of prints based off of work that you exhibit?
Can Can Press is a publishing house and a creative studio, we’ve been working with artists since the beginning of the project but as a publishing practice, after a couple of years of running Can Can Press, we were really curious to start representing the artists we publish but as a contemporary art space, it was sort of a way to get closer to the actual artworks and distribute them fiscally rather than printed reproductions of it.
So that’s how Can Can Projects was born, as an independent Art Project Space in which we could display emerging artists’ shows and experiment with the space. In our first year we showcased 6 Art shows and we are constantly rethinking and adapting the narratives of this space. We definitely have the printing related to the shows we do, we ask the artists to work on a piece that we can reproduce to have an even more affordable work to offer to our collectors, we also have this space dedicated to the distribution of our publications and also a curated selection from other publishers from around the world.
View of Can Can Projects' space
What is it like to run a project space in Mexico City these days?
It takes a lot of responsibility to run a project like this since rent in Mexico City is raising by the minute because of the gentrification caused by USA immigrants. So we had to seriously commit to making it work since we are leasing a storefront space, that’s why the project is always under constant analysis from us and makes us keep rethinking strategies to keep making it profitable. Our project is strongly focused on distributing affordable art for new collectors and experimental publishing projects, so far we’ve been succeeding in keeping this project running at the same time we run our studio.
Are there any upcoming projects or exhibitions you’re excited to work on? Do you have any goals for Can Can Press and Can Can Projects in the future?
We have already 5 books in the making to be released next year and we’ll be part of Salon Acme in February, which is an Art Fair happening inside a beautiful house from the early 1900s.
What are some other small press studios/publishers you admire?
We have a lot of respect from everyone who puts effort to build projects like this. We admire studios and publishers like Cold Cube Press, Colorama, Extra Vitamins, Fisk, Secret Riso Club, Quintal Atelier, and Terry Bleu just to mention a few.
To view all Can Can Press products available at JELLY, click here.