Test Centre: Through the Archives
The Small Publishers Fair exhibition 2019 features Test Centre publications and is curated by Jess Chandler.
Test Centre Publications, an independent publishing house and record label based in Hackney, London, was run by Jess Chandler and Will Shutes from 2011 to 2018. Test Centre’s varied output ranged from spoken-word vinyl LPs to debut poetry collections, experimental fiction, anthologies, interdisciplinary projects and an annual magazine of new writing, Test Centre.
At the end of 2018, Test Centre split into two separate entities: Will Shutes’ bookdealing and occasional publishing business now operates independently as Test Centre Books, while Prototype was established by Jess Chandler as a new independent publishing house, building on the Test Centre aesthetic.
This exhibition looks back at Test Centre’s publishing history, from early limited edition pamphlets, prints and vinyl LPs with Stewart Home, Chris Petit and Iain Sinclair, and the first issues of its magazine, following the growth of Test Centre’s output and reputation into an innovative and independent publisher of poetry, fiction and interdisciplinary and collaborative projects.
Featured Test Centre collaborators will include Rachael Allen, Sophie Collins, Wayne Holloway-Smith, Derek Jarman, Jen Calleja, SJ Fowler, Holly Pester, Max Porter, Sam Riviere, Chris Torrance and Jack Underwood.
Items on display will include signed, limited edition prints; promotional material for events and readings with a varied list of acclaimed writers and artists including Lee Harwood, Tom Raworth and Thurston Moore; and the complete collection of Test Centre’s records and books, never exhibited before.
Jess Chandler’s new imprint Prototype Publishing will be taking part in this year’s fair, with all available Test Centre items for sale at the stall, on the stage, next to the exhibition.