Ilan Manouach (Athens, 1980) is a multidisciplinary artist working in experimental and conceptual comics. He also works as a book publisher and frequently performs his music. He holds a BFA from L’Ecole Supérieure des Arts in Brussels and is currently enrolled in the MA Program of the Dutch Art Institute in the Netherlands. Since 2003 he has published more than a dozen bookworks and has curated four anthologies bringing together contributions from artists, critics, lawyers and different professionals of the book industry.
In the comics world, he is mostly known for unsigned comic book appropriations and the manifestos supplementing these editions. He has published illegal appropriations of existing comic books, and reinjected his detournements in the book market. He continuously claims for the importance of an idiosyncratic “reader’s space”, beyond all imposed meanings coming from the author or from the prevailing readings of certain works. Following a mode d’emploi, consisting of a very simple chart of manipulations to guide him through the process, he seeks to instantiate this specific reader’s space, by retaliating upon this exact same format. These facsimile versions are annually disseminated during the Angoulême International Comics Festival, making use of the political traction of the manifestation in order to demonstrate that comic books exist in their primary state, and not as catalogues or documentation of artistic practices, and are conceived as a mass-produced object. It is a powerful self-reflexive medium.
His books have receive generous support from the Centre National du Livre in France and La Communauté Française de Belgique. He is a Fellow and an alumnus of the Kone Foundation in Finland. Currently he is busy presenting Shapereader, an invented system of tactile literature specifically designed for reader with visual disabilities. The exhibition and a related workshop have been scheduled in France, USA, Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Israel, Spain, Brazil, Finland, Denmark and Switzerland. His work has been reviewed in various magazines and blogs such as World Literature Today, Wired Magazine, Hyperallergic, New York Magazine and his books are part of the avant garde archive Ubuweb.
Currently he works as a funded researcher from the Kone Foundation, editing an international anthology entitled Conceptual Comics, Unpopular Practices Within A Marginal Art Form.