The PhotoBook Journal

October 24, 2017

Chris Mottalini – Land of Smiles

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Photographer: Chris Mottalini (born Buffalo, NY & resides Brooklyn NY, USA)

Self-Published: Corgi Editions (E: 350): Brooklyn, NY copyright 2017

Text: English & Thai

Stiff cover with French folds, Japanese folded pages and cold-glue binding, four-color lithography, printed in Belgium by Die Keure

Photobook designer: Remake Design (Mike Dyer)

Notes:

Chris Mottalini’s recently self-published photobook Land of Smiles is a visual rhapsody in three distinct movement in the way it is episodic yet strangely integrated. The photographs of each of the three movement are free-flowing in structure and overall has a range of moods, color and tonality.

This book project coincides with three of his recent visits to Thailand in which Mottalini investigated three attributes of the Thai landscape, one aspect on each journey. He first noted of the use of florescent tubes as night lights in the countryside, which creates surreal night landscapes. Subsequently Mottalini investigated the myriad of narrow streets and alleyways of the large city of Bangkok and then on a return to the country side during his next visit to explore the nighttime dense fauna within the limitations of an artificial light. The two dark movements then create endcaps to the brilliantly colors and complex cityscapes.

The book’s design with the use of the Japanese folded pages and textured papers is a brilliant choice as this book object has what be best described as an oriental experience. A classic case of form following function.

Mottalini has stated (discussions with Michael Adno for Aint-Bad and Jon Feinstein for Humble Arts) that “Land of Smiles is intended to be a dreamlike experience, a collection of blurred memories, a wandering, distracted meditation….Land of Smiles is a nickname for Thailand which was invented by the tourism industry, it’s a bit tongue in cheek, I thought it was a perfect title for the book, though, in part because my photographs are so opposite of anything related to tourism and the Western world’s perception of Thailand.”

Previous Chris Mottalini photobook reviewed: After you Left, They took it Apart

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October 19, 2017

Lucie Photo Book Prize Exhibition

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 11:26 am

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As we announced last August, the Lucie Photo Book Prize will include an exhibition of the juried books in NYC later this month, which is coming up shortly. Below are the photographers and, where appropriate, publishers, of the juried books and we have linked up the books which we have reviewed. Congratulations to all of the Finalists!

Enjoy!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2017

7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

The top 30 finalists will have their work displayed. The winners of the First Annual Lucie Photo Book Prize will be announced on October 28, 2017 during the Lucie Photo Book Exhibition in New York City and via our social media channels.

The Traditional Prize: awarded to the photographer, editor, curator or publisher whose book is commercially produced and distributed:

Exhibition Catalogue: Magnum Manifesto, Thames & Hudson

Exhibition Catalogue: Slide. The History of Project Photography, Musee de l’Elysee & Editions Noir sur Blanc, Lausanne

First: Zackary Canepari, REX, Contrasto

First: Paula Bronstein, Afghanistan: Between Hope and Fear, University of Texas Press

Intersectional: Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Web, Slant Rhymes, La Fabrica

Limited Edition: KINO Seido, Touch the forest, touched by the forest, Akaaka Art Publishing Inc.

Multi-Artist: Photographers of Dronestagram, Dronescapes, Thames & Hudson

Multi-Author: Power to the People: The World of the Black Panthers, Abrams Books

Other: Tom Atwood, Kings & Queens in Their Castles, Damiani

Proposal: Chi-Kwon Choi, The Truth

Prototypes: Peter Steinhauer, Cocoons, Powerhouse Books

Self-Published: Ellen Korth, Charkow

Single Author: Mark Peterson, Political Theatre, Steidl

Single Author: Peter Bauza, Copacabana Palace, Edition Lammerhuber

The Independent Prize; awarded to the photographer, editor, curator or publisher whose book is published and distributed independently:

Exhibition Catalogue: JoAnn Chaus, Sweetie & Hansom, Self-published

First: Zora Murff, Corrections, Aint-Bad Editions

Homemade: Shawn Bush, A Golden State, Self-published

Intersectional: Barry Stone, Daily, In a Nimble Sea, Silas Finch

Limited Edition: Matt Eich, I Love You, I’m Leaving, ceiba editions

Multi-Artist: TBW Books Series 5, TBW Books

Multi-Author: Frank Cancian, Lacedonia, An Italian Town, 1957, Self-published

Proposal: Alex Oliver, WILDE DOGS – The rules of life according to Oscar Wilde

Prototype: Kris Vevaeke, House Full of Gold

Reissue: Nicola Degiorgis, PEAK, Rorhof

Self-published: Tianqiutao Chen, The Last Post

Self-published: Amy Elkins, Black is the Day, Black is the Night

Sefl-published: Kyree Lein, The Internet Warriors

Single-Author: Sascha Kraus, Forthright – Stronger than a weapon, Forthright Publications

Zine: Zachary Canepair, When I step in the light, I shine

 

Exhibition details:

Venue: Hosted by Splashlight Studios
One Hudson Square
75 Varick Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10013

Free with RSVP

 

October 16, 2017

The PhotoBook Journal interview – Alejandro Cartagena

Filed under: Photo Book Discussions — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:07 pm

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Alejandro Cartagena, Los Angeles, 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Alejandro Cartagena first jumped on my photobook radar when I obtained his Suburbia Mexicana, a monograph that was published jointly by Daylight Books and Photolucida in recognition of Cartagena’s Critical Mass submission award in 2009. Suburbia Mexicana is an interesting mashup of portraits, urban landscape and developing urban sprawl, a condition that does not appear to bode well for this region in Mexico. Following this photobook was his self-published Carpoolers in 2014, Before the War in 2015, Rivers of Power (Rios de Poder) in 2016 and now his 2017 publication A Guide to Infrastructure and Corruption in conjunction with The Velvet Cell (Eanna de Freine) imprint. Each of these photobooks were very creative and exhibited a lot of thoughtful consideration in the design, layout and production. We had just missed each other a couple of years ago while he was in LA for his exhibition at Kopeikin Gallery, but I was able to recently catch up with this busy photographer and self-publisher for his follow-on exhibition at Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles. What follows is a photobook discussion that was as fascinating as it was a bit overdue.

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DS Tell us about your growing up and what brought you to photography and in particular, book making?

AC I’ve lived in Mexico since 1990 but before that I lived in Dominican Republic in a small industrial town were everybody worked for the sugar factory. Here in Mexico I´ve lived in another industrial town called Monterrey, which is just two hours south of the US-Texas border. I started in photography after 10 years in the service industry. I just didn´t want to work in hotels and restaurants anymore and started taking random photography workshops and I found something there that really got to me and so I quit and 12 years later here I am. Books became something important right at the beginning. I felt lost at first and photobooks made me see a way you can make photographs into these cohesive projects. At first I wasn´t doing or focusing on doing books but then a workshop with Paul Graham made understand how the book could be the work, the piece you work for. So that shifted things in my projects and made me see how the images are more like words and phrases that complied add up to something unique. Not storytelling per se but photography telling; beauty, contradictions, wholes, incomplete narratives, suggestions and gut.

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DS Can you tell us about your bookmaking process? I know from our conversation today in talking about the next edition of Carpoolers, that this is evolving process.

AC Well yes it is always changing. It always start with the project, the idea. What is it that I want to suggest viewers read from these images and how can I combine design, pictures, typography, paper, sequence to approximate that notion and sometimes even imply a political stance on the subject matter. When I was in grad school, the process of doing a research thesis really made me think of process and how things accumulate to become something new. So I bring that to my bookmaking in that I am assuring the viewer that all parts of the book combine harmoniously to suggest and offer an understanding of the subject mater. Everything is backed up or is referenced and so the books feel complete and in dialogue with the history of photography, design ideas, the state of things in the world and with other photobooks and materials used in the past. I also try to bring in things that are alien to photography or the project itself, sometimes through design or through text. I feel that creates contrast and a self questioning of the object. It’s a bit of vulnerability that offers an edge the wholeness of the book.

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DS What do you look for and consider when developing a new photobook?

AC I think the most important thing is that it should feel like the project works in that form (book). If the making the project into a book has no other meaning than just to publish a group of images and I can´t justify to myself why this sequence, size, set of the images and object make a bigger point than the images by themselves then I don´t pursue the possibility of the book. Sometimes it is in the sequencing stage or in the physical dummies were I realize that it´s not working, so I stop.

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DS As a workshop leader for photobooks development, do you have advice for photographers thinking about creating a photobook?

AC Buy photobooks. Live with them and try to understand why that object exists. Try to crack down the decisions made to make it the way it is. Question everything you see. That process I think opens up possibilities and parallels to your work. Once you find those things you like and feel you understand, maybe it is time to think of your work as a book.

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DS What are some of your proudest achievements?

AC Just being able to do a book. To create a wave in the way we citizens see the world that can counterbalance the main narratives coming from those in power.

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DS What is some unexpected that we don’t know about you?

AC I´ve worked since I was 10. First selling oranges and grapefruit from my family’s orchard in DR. I then worked cleaning shit in pig dens when I was 12. I sold skateboards when I moved to Mexico. I sold clocks in a flea market for two years.  I´ve worked as a construction worker, a gardener, waiter, hotel manager, and a restaurant manager and in McDonalds.

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DS Any last thoughts as we close?

AC What a crazy year this has been.

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DS Alejandro, thank you for this opportunity to discuss your interesting artistic practice.

Bio: Alejandro Cartagena, Mexican (b. 1977, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) lives and works in Monterrey, Mexico. His projects employ landscape and portraiture as a means to examine social, urban and environmental issues. Cartagena’s work has been exhibited internationally in more than 50 group and individual exhibitions in spaces including the the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris and the CCCB in Barcelona, and his work is in the collections of several museums including the San Francisco MOMA, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Portland Museum of Art, The West Collection, the Coppel collection, the FEMSA collection, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the George Eastman House and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and among others.

Alejandro is a self-publisher and co-editor and has created several award winning titles including Santa Barbara Shame on US, Skinnerboox, 2017, A Guide to Infrastructure and Corruption, The velvet Cell, 2017, Rivers of Power, Newwer, 2016, Santa Barbara return Jobs to US, Skinnerboox, 2016, Headshots, Self-published, 2015, Before the War, Self-published, 2015, Carpoolers, Self-published with support of FONCA Grant, 2014, Suburbia Mexicana, Daylight/ Photolucida 2010. Some of his books are in the Yale University Library, the Tate Britain, and the 10×10 Photobooks book collections among others.

Cartagena has received several awards including the international Photolucida Critical Mass Book Award, the Street Photography Award in London Photo Festival, the Lente Latino Award in Chile, the Premio IILA-FotoGrafia Award in Rome and the Salon de la Fotografia of Fototeca de Nuevo Leon in Mexico among others. He has been named an International Discoveries of the FotoFest festival, a FOAM magazine TALENT and an Emerging photographer of PDN magazine. He has also been a finalist for the Aperture Portfolio Award and has been nominated for the Santa Fe Photography Prize, the Prix Pictet Prize, the Photoespaña Descubrimientos Award and the FOAM Paul Huff Award. His work has been published internationally in magazines and newspapers such as Newsweek, Nowness, Domus, the Financial Times, The New York Times, Le Monde, Stern, PDN, The New Yorker, and Wallpaper among others. He is represented by Patricia Conde gallery.

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October 15, 2017

Dronescapes: The New Aerial Photography from Dronestagram

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Editor:  Ayperi Karabuda Ecer

Publisher:  Thames & Hudson, New York, NY, © 2017

Essays:  Eric Dupin (foreword); Ayperi Karabuda Ecer (introduction)

Text: English

Hard cover, sewn binding, four-color printing, 288 numbered pages; 250+ captioned color images; 10×8.5 inches; drone user guide, author biographies, supplementary image references, index of photographers and websites, index of locations; printed in China by C&C Offset

Photobook designer:  Michael Lenz, Draught Associates

Notes:

It seems that drones (quadcopters and other multirotors) and images taken with them are everywhere these days. The website Dronestagram was founded in 2013 to provide a place where extraordinary images taken with such small aircraft by their owners/remote pilots/photographers can be shared. It should be noted that a few years later, when certain communities are severely restricting the use of drones because of some irresponsible owners, this website as well as this volume advocate and give instructions for their effective and safe implementation.

This printed volume of images selected from Dronestagram, edited by Ayperi Karabuda Ecer, provides us with some 250 bird’s-eye views of the world, in ways that might otherwise be impossible, since we do not have large birds that take us to the skies allowing us to ride on their backs to create such images, nor do most of us have access to personal mini-helicopters (yet!). Each image is accompanied by a short or expanded caption regarding its location and story if applicable, as well as the exact latitude, longitude, and altitude at which it was taken. The editor has divided the work into nine thematic areas, constituting chapters of the book, with the following titles: Drones Are Us (playful, humorous); Close (unusual angles); Urban; Fauna (animals); Probe (environment); Space; Pattern/Shadow (images emphasizing composition and seen as more artistic rather than straight-forward); Move (sports and leisure); and I Do (wedding photography). This is quite an assortment of topics to cover; examples are reproduced below, in the order of the chapters. At times, the volume provides biographical features on some photographers and further explanations as well.

The images include startlingly different ways of telling stories, often taken from directly above the subject(s) to provide dynamic perspectives, especially when making good use of shadows. Other images provide startling angles, for instance, combining a close-up of the top of a high-rise building with the ground below as background. Still others could also have been taken from a small plane or helicopter as well, if it were not for the safety issues already discussed. I would hope that as the use of this technology matures, sequences of shots would also be created to allow the viewing of a story from several angles (virtually) simultaneously.

A most interesting volume to give to someone who treasures this new form of aerial photography, as well as to others who appreciate seeing things from new perspectives! This book is a finalist in the 2017 Lucie Photo Book Prize competition.

Gerhard Clausing

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October 12, 2017

Tymon Markowski – Flow

Filed under: Book Reviews, Photo Book Discussions, Photo Books — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:32 pm

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Photographer: Tymon Markowski (born Kraków & resides Bydgoszcz, Poland)

Self-Published & Print Edition (400), Limited Edition (100): Bydgoszcz, Poland, copyright 2017

Text: English & Polish

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Hard cover, Leporello (Concertina) layout, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed by Chromapress (Bydgoszcz, Poland)

Photobook designer: Katarzyna Kubicka

Editor: Joanna Kinowska

Notes: Tymon Markowski’s self-published photobook Flow is a book design that conceptually emulates his subject, a leporello that unfolds almost as continuously as the Brda River. This is a classic design in which form follows function.

The captions for each photograph, English and Polish, are provide on the reverse of the photographs, and due to the leporello design, requires the viewer to physically flip from the front to the back (verso) to attempt to comprehend the photograph/caption relationship. As Markowski states “I wanted to hide the captions so you can follow the two stories – one created by the pictures, and second created by text….It was extremely important to me that the viewer first see the pictures that provokes questions and is is my habit to create a caption that may resolve a mystery

Markowski follows the small river Brda to capture the citizens of Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship as this river meanders to the Vistula River in the city of Bydgoszcz, the eighth largest city in Poland.

This is an investigation of the culture of this region, frequently tongue-in-cheek, providing subtle humor as he gently pokes fun at his adopted city and adjacent country side. A fireman stands in the midst of a green forest with his limp hose line attempting to practice his trade of extinguishing a forest fire without benefit of either water or a fire to quench.  A kayaker navigates a stream of water that is so absurdly narrow that the Kayak barely fits and one wonders how he was able to get to this place and where he is going next. The accompanying captions provide documentation of these tasks in an understated matter-of-fact style that belies a dry wit.

The ability to spread out the book’s interior photographs, a key attribute of the book’s Leporello design, also signifies a potential interconnectedness of this large community and points to the underlying social order.

Cheers,

Douglas Stockdale

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October 6, 2017

Alejandro Cartagena – A Guide to Infrastructure and Corruption

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Photographer: Alejandro Cartagena (born Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic & resides Monterrey, Mexico)

The Velvet Cell: Berlin (Germany) copyright 2017

Essays by Ximena Peredo

Text: English

Pair of books; hard cover, embossed exposed boards, sewn and taped binding, and a stiff cover, saddle stitch, both four-color lithography, Edition of 450, signed and numbered, printed in Taiwan

Photobook designers: Alejandro Cartagena, Fernando Gallegos & Eanna de Freine.

Notes: I was fortunate to meet up with Alejandro Cartagena while he was visiting in Los Angeles for his exhibition opening shortly after the release of this book. Part of his artistic practice is to document what interests him and allow that body of work to accumulate over time to speak to him.

He has been watching the urban sprawl that transforms open country side into suburbia which eventually is assimilated by every the expanding cities. Mexico, as in the In the United States, when freeways, railways and other public works have been determined to be necessary by the city planners, this construction takes precedent over individual land ownership and rights, the eminent domain rules are evoked.

Thus a nice home or thriving business may find itself beset with an emerging and unplanned esthetic, if not economic, crisis. Regretfully this is not a new cultural issue and photographically this type of social-economic urban transformation was documented by Atget in Paris as early as the late 1800’s.

Once a back yard that was open to the neighbors, now has a view transpired to that of the freeway wall or into a highway underpass. With the proximity of a new roadway is the accompanying noise, traffic, litter and related personal safety concerns of a high traffic location. All for the greater good or as stated by Cartagena, “Their view is a permanent view of “progress””.

The publication is divided into five chapters, four of these in the larger book, the fifth in the smaller accompanying book; The Road you Take, The Dispossessed, Where to Cross, Structural Corruption and Epilogue. The viewer is taken on an irregular journey of the landscape of change, the social impact of the resulting changes, ugly personal overpasses meant to help resolve the social changes and the closed walls of the city planners the implied blindness to the changes that are either contemplating or implementing. The Epilogue has gruesome images of people who have been hung from the overpasses, which are difficult images to look at, images that have more tolerance in being displayed in the Mexican media, but perhaps no more terrible than the new man-made urban landscape that is subtly attacking the social fabric.

In conclusion from an interview of Cartagena with Eanna de Freine; “The new infrastructure needs to be built and nothing will stand in its way. No house, business or group of people. It cuts through the landscape and urbanscape to impose its progress. There is a power in infrastructure. Power imposes things on those without power… I was also interested in showing how the new eats up what was there before, i.e. the buildings, advertisements, roads and parking lots.  The new infrastructure doesn’t care for anyone but itself.”

Other books reviewed include: Rivers of Power, Before the War, and Carpoolers

 

Cheers, Douglas Stockdale

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October 3, 2017

October 14: The 5th Anniversary of World #PhotoBookDay – A Toast To Anna Atkins

Filed under: Photo Books, Book Publications, Photo Book NEWS — Tags: — Gerhard Clausing @ 5:02 pm

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The Photobook Club Madrid (Juan Barte, Juan Cires and Bonifacio Barrio Hijosa) in association with Matt Johnson sent us an interesting message today: The first photographically illustrated book dates back to 1843 and was done by a female botanist/artist, Anna Atkins. Her Wikipedia entry itself is fascinating; it informs us of her background as well as her technique in producing photogram cyanotypes to illustrate a variety of algae. So since 2013, every October 14th, photobook enthusiasts are celebrating World #PhotoBookDay, the anniversary of the purchase by the British Museum of the first known photobook: Photographs of British algae. Cyanotype impressions, by Anna Atkins. This first copy is now in the British Library, and as far as is known, only 16 other copies, some partial, survive.

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Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

This year October 14 will be a Saturday again, as it was in 1843, so 174 years later we can celebrate photobooks in view of all this and toast the creator of this wonderful publication: Anna Atkins. Our motto for this year’s World PhotoBookDay will be: #AToastToAnna.

As the originators of this idea say:

We celebrate our passion for photobooks, we rejoice that Anna Atkins bound some cyanotypes, we commemorate every book we have on our shelves, we applaud all the libraries buying photobooks and photozines, we love every person who loves photobooks!

And we’d love you to join us to celebrate this global event by organizing an action related to photobooks in your own city. Spread your love for photobooks around your community. Please share your activities on social media using the hashtag #PhotoBookDay, it will be the best way for everyone in your local community to reach your activity.

On this map see how others celebrate!

Some ideas proposed for October 14 are the following (to which we would add: help spread the word about blogs that discuss and promote photobooks, such as this one, our beloved The Photobook Journal):

  • Spread the love by sharing something you think someone will like, not something you think they should like.

  • Post a #PhotoBookDay Selfie or a Shelfie on social media: an image with you and your current favourite photobook.

  • Ask your local library to buy local self-published photobooks and photozines, we are sure you can give them some ideas.

  • If you are in charge of a library, consider purchasing and supporting self-pulished photobooks and photozines on this special day, and mark your book record with a special note to PhotoBookDay.

  • Buy a photobook. Many bookshops and publishers will make special discounts for the day. Follow your favourite bookshops on social media or search for #PhotoBookDay for offers and discounts.

  • If you make or sell books, offer your customers discounts or some special goodies. If you run a bookshop a special 5% discount, or free shipping costs, will make your clients happy. Don’t forget to announce it with #PhotoBookDay on your usual social media channels.

  • Search for a PhotoBook Club in your city to meet with like minded people and share photobooks. If there is no one, PhotoBookDay can be a good day to start one. We’ll make a list with activities organized by clubs all around the globe.

  • Discuss your love of photobooks via the twitter hashtag #PhotoBookDay. Or on instagram, too.

You may use the image of the 5th anniversary as shown above to add to your visuals. And please, tell the organizers  what you did for World PhotoBook Day 2017. We hope we all have fun with photobooks on October 14, and the rest of the year too.

Gerhard Clausing

 

September 27, 2017

Jack Spencer – This Land: An American Portrait

Filed under: Book Publications, Book Reviews, Photo Book Discussions, Photo Books — Tags: , — Gerhard Clausing @ 12:53 pm

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Photographer:  Jack Spencer (born in Kosciusko, Mississippi; resides in Nashville, Tennessee)

Publisher:  University of Texas Press, Austin, TX; © 2017

Essays:  Jon Meacham (foreword); Jack Spencer (introduction)

Text:  English

Cloth-bound sewn hardcover with dust jacket; 284 numbered pages; 148 captioned color or sepia images; 13×11 inches, printed in China

Notes:

“Spencer has found a mythical world, except it is real, and it is now, and it is ours.”         — Jon Meacham (Foreword)

It is a real pleasure to contemplate this volume by Jack Spencer. I must admit that my old cliché considering landscapes a predictable genre has had to be revised. Here is a multi-layered set of images full of surprises at every turn, a testament to the land that once was, is still here, and is ready to be considered anew. Parallel to all the strife there is the underlying beauty that marks the land, from coast to coast, in all its contemporary vibrancy, against a background of a fading past tinged with the nostalgia that some attach to it.

Over a period of thirteen years, Jack Spencer undertook trips covering 80,000 miles and 48 states, to come up with what I consider the consummate artistic observation of a country and its potential. Fueled originally by anger, the project took him to a point of mellowness, resulting in a project that represents a counterpoint to what he calls the “narcissistic, consumer-driven neurosis” so prevalent in our society, toward a symphony that constitutes a beauty marked by simplicity; “the simplest of lives are often the happiest as well.” Images of the Amish are used to frame this viewpoint visually.

Indeed, this is a book about land and nature, and the more modest role that people and their structures will play in it. The images of ghostly, fading town elements are desaturated, the forces of nature are presented in vibrant tones. Images of well-known and previously stereotyped landmarks, such as Niagara Falls or Yellowstone, are seen with a refreshingly different view so as to generate astonishment in the viewer, as well as reconsideration. Animals are seen roaming about, blending in, and people occasionally occupy a smidgeon of the image, or are captured in motion blurs as a representation of what comes and goes. The images are full of vigor and emotion; they are not meant to be viewed as records of what is customarily seen, as may have been the case in the past. There is a soothing yet exciting painterly quality to many of the images; I am happy to report that pictorialism, thus revived, is making a strong comeback, shown here through all the mystery and joy that an expressive approach affords.

This Land is destined to become a classic. I recommend it not only for every collector of art books, but also for every coffee table!

Gerhard Clausing

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September 16, 2017

Open call – The Anamorphosis Prize

Filed under: Artist Books, Photo Book NEWS, Photo Books — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 11:31 am

Bluewater Shore limited edition artist book

Bluewater Shore, copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

Open call: The Anamorphosis Prize for self-published photo-based books.

The Anamorphosis Prize was established to promote excellence, dialogue and excitement in the field of self-published photobooks and photo-based artist books.

The word anamorphosis is derived from the Greek, ana meaning again and morphe meaning form. Anamorphosis is a distortion that demands a change in perspective from the viewer in order to be properly and completely viewed. This can be interpreted today as a whole new way of looking at things.

Self-publishing is creatively liberating. The most interesting and daring developments often occur on the margins. Allowing greater control over a creative vision and expression, self-publishing drives revolutionary change within the orbit of the photobook culture and enables the artist to autonomously sculpt a vocation.

The Anamorphosis Prize will be held 3 years in a row starting in 2015 and the winner will be chosen from a shortlist of 20 books, 3 of which will receive special jury mention. All submitted books will be donated to Franklin Furnace and the shortlist of 20 books will also be included in the MoMA library.

The winner will receive $10,000. Best part: No strings attached!

Requirements for a self-published book to be submitted:

Book must be self-published in an edition of 50 or greater

Self-published means just that: self-published!

No collaboration with any publisher, no matter the size, is allowed

There is NO entry fee (but a copy of the book will be required as part of the submission)

In order to be considered, the (book) entries must be received by November 1st, 2017.

The shortlist of 20 books will be announced by end of November (then you will need to submit two more books; one for display at a pending exhibition and one for the MoMA library).

Winner will be announced January 1st, 2018 (great way to start the year for some lucky person!)

Expect some stiff competition (yes, my submission of Bluewater Shore is #45), but if you have self-published a photo-based book, there is no reason not to enter. So check it out.

Cheers & Best of Luck!

Douglas Stockdale

September 14, 2017

Brenda Moreno – B to B

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Photographer: Brenda Moreno (born, Mexico City & resides Mexico & Spain)

Publisher: Witty Kiwi, Italy, copyright 2017

Text: Spanish & English

Essay: Carmen Dalmau

Stiff cover, die-cut with French folds, sewn and glued binding, four-color off-set, printed by Artes Graficias Palermo (Spain)

Photobook designer: Brenda Moreno & Paolo Berra

Notes: Brenda Moreno’s photobook B to B is an interesting curiosity as it is a beguiling narrative. We can surmise that it’s an investigation of a family, maybe even hers, located at a place that includes horses and other small animals, both alive as well as inanimate. These are the basic elements that appear to interact and become intertwined with a few individuals and animals having an occasional cameo role.

The photographs are repeated, cut apart, collage and montaged, sewn back together and appear to be clumsily taped in place, perhaps similar to an unsophisticated family album that indirectly attempts to tell us a story. In the process the story line fades and becomes incomplete, if not incoherent, which I find to be a wonderful metaphor for the inaccuracies and false stories created by memory.

Moreno provides factual visual evidence and although a photograph may be worth a thousand words, her photographs provide only a few vague clues that requires us, the viewer, to fill in the blanks. In Moreno’s book there are a lot of blanks in conjunction with many intriguing hints, which like most curiosities will continue to draw you back.

Cheers

Douglas Stockdale

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