The PhotoBook Journal

July 11, 2012

PhotoBook exhibition – curating in progress

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS — Doug Stockdale @ 1:04 am

I was recently invited to submit a curatorial proposal for a photobook exhibition based on the thematic subject of “work”, which is an interesting word as well as subject for photographers. Idea is tap into the history of photography in recent years, reinterpreted through a great deal of attention to differences and changes of the languages of photography and contemporary work.

As stated by the exhibition director;  

What remains of “20th-century” work? Its “vision”, which was often also mythological, full of physical exertion and large masses, has changed and in many cases endures alongside more sophisticated, often solitary, technological kinds of work that are frequently difficult to transform into visions. How do these old visions marry the new ones? What unites them? Perhaps some of the answers to these questions contain a global vision of the world and a vision of photography that we consider the most effective tool for the analysis of contemporary society and its languages.

A study of work is therefore also an investigation into identity.

My goal is to bring together 25 – 30 photobooks by contemporary photographers who explore and investigate this multifaceted and complex theme. To add a further layer to the exhibition, I am asking the photographers to select and re-photograph a two page spread from their book in which we will exhibit the prints of the interiors of photobook on the walls surrounding the photobooks.

As examples of those which are on my short of photobooks are Melissa Shook’s My Suffolk Downs, Ron Jude’s Lick Creek Line, Clayton Cotterell’s Unarmed, Thijs Helenfeld’s Men at Work, Christian Paterson’s  Redheaded Peckerwood, Rania Matar’s A Girl in her Room, Bertil Nilsson’s Undisclosed, Rob Hornstra’s Sochi Singers, Gina LeVay’s Sandhogs, Andy Freeberg’s Guardians, Beth Dow’s In the Garden, Lauren Burke’s Birth of a Statesman, Dan Nelken’s Till the Cows come Home, Chris Shaw’s Life as a Night Porter, Pierre Bessard’s Wuhan Boiler Company Workers, Susan Anderson’s High Glitz, and Louie Palu’s Cage Call.

Please leave a comment about any photobooks that you think deserve consideration and if possible include a link to the book and its interior images.

Best regards, Doug



  1. Hi douglas!

    I’m suggesting A french book : Pleine mer/men at sea by jean Gaumy.


    Comment by doc ngo — July 11, 2012 @ 11:58 am

  2. Sebastião Salgado “Workers”?

    Comment by Joao — July 11, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

  3. The Altogether by Chris Coekin, Bureaucratics by Jan Banning, Pleine Mer by Jean Gaumy, Ama by Nina Pope (women fishing abalones for a living), Seacoal by Chris Killips (also by Chriss Killips: Pirelli Works)
    Permanent Error and Nollywood by Pieter Hugo (and speaking of the strange industry of movies why not include The Valley by Larry Sultan?), Terres Foulées by Jacques Borgetto (on horse jockeys), Infidels by Tim Hetherington (soldiers) …

    Comment by Patrick Maille — July 12, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

  4. Hi Doc, I am checking into Jean’s photobook, also a suggestion by Patrick as well, thanks!

    Comment by Doug Stockdale — July 12, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

  5. Hi Joao, I was already checking Salgado”s book, and thanks for the confirmation that this should be a photobook for consideration, thanks!

    Comment by Doug Stockdale — July 12, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

  6. Hi Patrick, I just acquired Coekin’s “The Altogether”, which I am short-listing and I expect to review on this blog shortly. I am currently investigating Killip and Banning, but now recall Pope, which I need to check-out and I was not familiar with Borgetto. Right on with Hugo, so now which of the two? Thanks!

    Comment by Doug Stockdale — July 12, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

  7. photobook – The Color of the Kapok Blossom: Occupational Injury Victims – Taiwan Photographer Ho Jin-Tai

    book cover

    Taiwan Photographer Ho Jin-Tai was won the 5th International photography award of Polaroid, USA.

    This photobook was described the occupational injury of Taiwan Workers.

    Comment by photobook.taiwan — July 13, 2012 @ 7:51 am

  8. Taiwan Photographer Ho Jin-Tai’s another photobook, the occupational injury

    book cover

    This is a long term photo project to record the injury of Taiwian Workers.

    Comment by photobook.taiwan — July 13, 2012 @ 7:59 am

  9. China Photographer Mr Hou Deng-Ke, Wheat-Hands, photobook

    book cover

    This photobook will be listed into the new photobook of the Chinese Photobook. Now there is a documentationary photography award is using his name Hou Deng-Ke as meantioned in Beijing, China, such as W. Eugene Smith award.

    Comment by photobook.taiwan — July 13, 2012 @ 8:14 am

  10. Hello Doug,

    A very very interesting one : the afronauts by cristina de middel, a fictional/documentary piece of work, extremely well designed!….!



    Comment by Hoang Duc NGO TICH — July 13, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

  11. In 1993 Hans van der Meer (a Dutch photographer internationally best known by his books on football fields) published a book called “Werk”. A documentary style book, black and white photography with the subtitle “produktiebedrijven gefotografeerd”(Production companies photographed) You can find picturee of this book here;

    Comment by Ruud Pols — July 13, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

  12. Ruud, thats for the suggestion for van der Meer, but I am considering only recent publications for this exhibition, but agreed that his “Werk” is interesting. Thanks!

    Comment by Doug Stockdale — July 14, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

  13. Hi Duc, I am attempting to contact Cristina de Middel about The Afronauts, a wonderful combination of humor and story telling. Thanks!

    Comment by Doug Stockdale — July 14, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

  14. Hi “Whale”, do you have a contact for Ho Jin-Tai as I would like to find out about the availability of his photobooks? Thanks!

    Comment by Doug Stockdale — July 14, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

  15. Ho Jin-Tai the occupational injury of Taiwan Workers.

    some pictures of the occupational injury of Taiwan Workers, from Taiwan Photographer Ho Jin-Tai’s flickr site.

    DA04010-A-18吳明政Occupational Occupational_Injury

    Both of photobooks are still finding out in Taiwan bookstores except the shadowed life photobook.

    Comment by photobook.taiwan — July 15, 2012 @ 10:57 am

  16. Hi there!

    I think that this book can interest you :

    Florian van roekel : how terry likes his coffee

    Have a nice week!

    Comment by hoang duc NGO TICH — July 15, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

  17. Greg Halpern, “Harvard Works Because We Do”, ; George Hashiguchi (Hashiguchi Jōji), “Work”=”Shoku”, (out of print but, at least in Japan, easily and cheaply available); Kazuma Obara, “Reset: Beyond Fukushima” (I haven’t seen this yet and only know of it via the web); Valeria Mitelman, “Circus” (she also has a little book of this series). Surely there should be many more books though. (Are there really no books of the photography of Claudio Cambon, Shahidul Alam, Pierre Torset or others of ship breaking in Bangladesh? Not that ship breaking is limited to Bangladesh.)

    Comment by microcord — July 20, 2012 @ 7:25 am

  18. Hi Doug,
    Another suggestion: a small book done last year by Ferdinando Scianna for Fratelli Rossetti (shoemakers) : Masters’ Hands (you can download the pdf from the compay’s website or ask them for a copy of this small book that was available in some shops last year).
    Patrick Maille

    Comment by Patrick Maille — July 22, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

  19. Analysing work today Research and book selection by Mirelle Thijsen

    Comment by Bint BintphotoBooks — July 24, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

  20. Thank you all. Great suggestions! Currently working on Dana Pope’s “Not Natasha”, I already have and suspect I will select Andy Freeberg’s “Guardians”, I check with Greg Halpern and his “Havard Works Because We do” is out of print, and now following the numerous links you provided. Wow! Trouble is I am now running out of time to make my final selection. I hope to make the announcement soon!

    Comment by Doug Stockdale — July 27, 2012 @ 2:37 am

    • Doug, it’s hard to believe that “Harvard works because we do” is out of print: both and offer to sell copies to us.

      A book I’ve never seen but would like to is Nikos Economopoulos’ “Lignite Miners” (1998),

      Comment by microcord — July 27, 2012 @ 5:52 am

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