The PhotoBook

January 13, 2016

Adam Voorhes – Malformed

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Malformed – Forgotten Brains of the Texas Mental Hospital Copyright 2014 Adam Voorhes 

Photographer: Adam Voorhes (born San Jose, CA, resides Austin, TX, USA)

Publisher: powerhouse Books (USA)

Essay: Alex Hannaford

Text: English

Hardcover book with dust jacket, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in China

Photobook designer: DJ Stout & Stu Taylor (TX)

Notes: I obtained this book due to my own fascination with memory and our attempts to preserve it. The brain is where memory both occurs and resides and memory essentially defines who we are. With physical defects of the brain resulting from issues at birth, personal choices we make, an accident or perhaps a disease or condition that had been lurking which has become fully manifest, the ability to have an effective memory in conjunction with cognitive thinking can be at risk. Interestingly, while photographing his subject, Voorhes metaphorically found that many of the his subjects had identification labels that could no longer be read, thus representing a true lost memory.  While these elegant photographs may be difficult to view, both due to the morbid nature of how the brains were obtained and the state that his subjects are in as well as the fact that being examples of deformed brains, these beautiful photographs challenge the viewer to reflect on the lives and memories that these individuals attempted to have.

Cheers

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December 20, 2015

Jenny Riffle – Scavanger

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 10:48 pm

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Copyright 2015 Jenny Riffle

Photographer: Jenny Riffle (born WA, resides Seattle, WA, USA)

Publisher: Zatara Press (USA)

Essays: None

Text: English

Stiffcover book, glued binding, four-color lithography, two gate folds, Photographic Index, printed in Virginia (USA)

Photobook designer: Not stated

Notes: Documentary style photographic project by Riffle, a visual biography of an individual who is on a quest for treasures, but perhaps a metaphor about chasing happiness. What is a treasure or personal happiness? The unknown, simple pleasures, past memories, elusive mysteries, or objects of desire? A search can become a lifestyle of planning treasure hunts as a reason to travel, which as a photographer I can relate to. Seeking out new territories that have not been searched before. What forgotten remnant or memory that now over time transform into a new found treasure? These found objects can raise speculation as to its history and significance by those who left it behind.

Cheers

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September 16, 2015

Nancy Baron – The Good Life > Palm Springs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 3:51 am

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Copyright 2014 Nancy Baron

Photographer: Nancy Baron (born IL, resides CA, USA)

Publisher: Kehrer Verlag (Germany)

Essays: Nancy Baron, Aline Smithson & Donald Wexler

Text: English

Hardcover book with tipped in image, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in Germany

Photobook designer: Katharina Stumpf

Notes: Baron investigates an eccentric, if not at times surreal, city and the lifestyle of a smattering of equally eccentric citizens located in the arid desert of Southern California. She is drawn to the unique desert architecture which spawn the mid-century designs built to stylishly survive the intense arid heat before the days of air conditioning. This is also the warm winter playground for those who could afford (or had the good sense) to flee from their frigid winter homes to build elegant winter retreats out in the desert. The dry heat has in turn preserved this art Deco community and attracted those who enjoy its laid back lifestyle.

Cheers, Doug

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September 6, 2015

One Day – Ten Photographers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 6:34 pm

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Copyright 2010 the photographers; Jessica Backhaus, Gerry Badger, Harvey Benge, John Gossage, Todd Hido, Rob Hornstra, Rinko Kawauchi, Eva Maria Ocherbauer, Martin Parr, Alec Soth

Publisher: Kehrer Heidleberg Verlag

Text: English

A set of ten individual hardcover books in a printed chipboard slipcover, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in Germany

Photobook designer: Harvey Benge (Editor)

Notes: The concept was developed by Harvey Benge, who subsequently acted as the project Editor. Essentially the ten selected photographers would produce a photobook based on the photographs of a specific day; June 21, 2010. Other than that, no rules. The resulting photobooks were Jessica Backhaus’s Neukolln, Berlin, Gerry Badger’s Weltmeister Blues, Harvey Benge’s Auckland, New Zealand, John Gossage’s Waking in Warhol’s Bed, Todd Hido’s Oakland+Modesto, Rob Hornstra’s Utrecht, the Netherlands, Rinko Kawauchi’s Fundamental Cycles, Eva Maria Ocherbauer’s A Midsummer Day’s Dream, Martin Parr’s Bristol, England, Alec Soth’s Gus the Great. What results is an eclectic set of photobooks with a mash-up of content, themes and subjects. The books which were the most intriguing for me are by Badger, Benge, Kawauchi and Parr.

Cheers, Doug

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September 3, 2015

Cig Harvey – Gardening at Night

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 6:20 pm

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Copyright 2015 Cig Harvey

Photographer: Cig Harvey (born UK, resides Maine, USA)

Publisher: Schilt Publishing (The Netherlands)

Essays: Cig Harvey, Vicki Goldberg

Text: English

Hardcover book, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in Germany

Photobook designer: Deb Wood (Brooklyn, NY)

Notes: Gardening at Night is an exploration of home, family, nature, and time. He narrative investigates settling into one’s environment and creating life where you are. Harvey frequently tightly focuses in on the details of her surroundings, punctuated by deep shadows or blazing brightness, to create her wonderful metaphors, which are intertwined with her running dialog though the book.  One result is an intensely personal story that captures an experience of the world that is at once otherworldly and yet instantly familiar.

Cheers, Doug

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August 10, 2015

Dave Jordano – Detroit Unbroken Down

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 11:33 pm

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Copyright 2015 Dave Jordano

Photographer: Dave Jordano (born MI, USA resides IL, USA)

Published & copyright: 2015

Publisher: powerHouse Books

Essays: Nancy Watson Barr, Dawoud Bey, Sharon Zukin

Text: English

Hardcover book with dust jacket, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in China

Photobook designer: Sam Silvio, Edited by Meg Handler

Notes: The residents of a region inside Detroit (Michigan) that is known for being on the downside edge of life are the subject of Jordano’s photobook. He creates an intimate narrative about hope and endurance to an otherwise misunderstood and misrepresented city.

Cheers, Doug

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August 9, 2015

Pawel Bownik – Disassembly

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 10:55 pm

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Copyright 2012 Pawel Bownik

Photographer: Pawel Bownik (resides Poland)

Published & copyright: 2013

Publisher: Mundin Sp. Z o.o.

Essays: Andrew Berardini

Text: English edition (stiffcover insert, saddle stitch binding)

Hardcover book, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in Poland

Photobook designer: Honz Zamojski

Notes: Bownik first disassembles his plants and flowers, then reconstructs them, documenting the results. A bipolar mix of engineering, scientific investigation, botany and artistic exploration with mystifying visual results.

Cheers, Doug

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August 7, 2015

Janire Najera – Moving Forward, Looking Back

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 7:00 pm

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Copyright 2015 Janire Najera

Photographer/author: Janire Najera (born Spain, resides Spain & UK)

Landscape photographer (panoramas): Matt Wright

Published & copyright: 2015

Publisher: Spain Arts & Culture (Spanish Embassy) in conjunction with Editorial RM (Spain)

Essays: Janire Najera, Orlando Romero, David Roybal, Alexander King

Text: English & Espana (Spanish)

Hardcover book, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in Spain

Photobook designer: N2 Estudio Grafico

Notes: “Moving Forward, Looking Back, Journeys Across the Old Spanish Trail” is a documentary project focused on identity, based on memory and inspired by travel. A mashup of portraits, landscape of the Western USA, interviews and a personal diary. Interesting and worth checking out.

Cheers, Doug

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April 29, 2015

Photobook Independent this weekend in LA

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 3:53 pm

This weekend in LA is the initial Photobook International that will occur in conjunction with Photo Independent and Paris Photo LA.

The opening night premiere party and exhibition preview is Friday, May 1, 5-10pm and the exhibition is Sat 11am – 7pm and Sunday 11am – 6pm.

Both Photobook Independent and Photo Independent will be at the Raleigh Studios Hollywood, 5300 Melrose Ave in Hollywood, which is right across the street from Paris Photo LA. A book faire and able to walk a film/tv production sound set, so how cool is that? Who knows whom you will bump into?? (maybe me?)

Photobook Exhibitors include:

Artists Corner Books, Los Angeles
Brittany Hutchinson, Los Angeles
Hesse Press, Los Angeles
Li Sun, Los Angeles
Linda Morrow Handmade Photobooks, Long Beach, CA
Lorena Turner, Los Angeles
Malulu Editions, San Francisco
Mark Dahle Portfolios, La Jolla, CA
Queensland Centre for Photography, Australia
Roustan Body Paint, Redondo Beach, CA
Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., Pennsylvania
Silvershotz, Australia
Teresa Heim, Petaluma, CA
Waltz Books, Indianapolis
ZERO+ Publishing, Claremont, CA
I will be making the rounds, checking out the photobooks, so hopefully see you there. I will be the guy wearing white PhotoBook Club pin!
Cheers!!

March 14, 2015

Alec Soth & Brad Zellar – Michigan

Filed under: Uncategorized — Doug Stockdale @ 5:28 am

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Copyright the artists 2012, LBM Dispatch #3: Michigan, published by Little Brown Mushroom

A couple of years ago at the LA Art Book Fair I acquired LBM Dispatch issue #3; Michigan, published by Little Brown Mushroom (aka LBM), an unusual zine that is the brain-child of Alec Soth (photographer) and Brad Zellar (writer). I had not really planned on reviewing it. Since I recently acquired a copy of Alec Soth’s Songbook (published by MACK; 2014) which incorporates images previously published in the various LBM Dispatches, I thought it might relevant to briefly discuss Dispatch #3 to provide a little more context to Soth’s Songbook.

First to be up front I may have a bias for a photobook about the state of Michigan as I spent too many years of my youth growing up in this state. Some good memories, others not, but to say that I left with my family very shortly after I graduated from college and we have now lived for many, many years in Southern California.  We still have a lot of my wife’s family in Michigan, so we do return, but not too regularly, and over the many years, we have visited much of this State.

As collaboration, the LBM Dispatch zine is an interactive photo-journalistic creation by a pair of guys who seem to enjoy each other’s company while doing road trips across the country.  It is a combination of Black & White photographs, captions and various quotes relevant to the State sprinkled thru out. It does make for a snappy read, not really a newspaper per se, but also not a hard edge, searing recreation of Robert Frank’s The Americans either, although there are some gritty elements present. Maybe this zine is more in spirit and trying to connect with the WPA photographic work of the 1930’s.

As Zellar states “We do not pretend to be real journalist, and though we don’t have a clear agenda when we set out, we do try to shape the narrative and round out themes that develop as we explore the places we visit.”

They came, they saw and this is some of what they saw and heard and what it made us think about. Interesting.

As a photobook zine, this has a softcover similar to a broad sheet, the entire publication is printed on the same weight paper, lightly scored gutter and folded, but not bound; loose. The paper has a slightly heavy hand, a slight off-white color and is not recycled newsprint as are most newspapers. Even with the high quality paper, the black and white images are printed a lower contrast with weak blacks, again frequently as with many newspapers which attempt to save a little money, going lighter with the black ink on the presses.

Cheers,

Btw, the Michigan Dispatch #3 is now Sold Out

Cheers!

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