The PhotoBook

March 10, 2016

Photobook Competition update: I have been added to the judging panel

Filed under: Photo Book NEWS — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 8:26 pm

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PhotoBook Independent.

I am very honored, as well as excited, to announce that I have been added to the judging panel for the PhotoBook Independent phototographic book competition! So how cool is that?

I will be joining Rudi Bianchi (photographic collector), Marissa Caichiolo (Curator and Executive Director, Building Bridges Art Exchange), Chris Davis (Publisher, Fabrik Magazine), Kio Griffith (Artist, Designer, Writer, Curator), Sarah Lee (Curator) and Kirk Pederson (Publisher, Zero+Publishing). This appears to be a diverse panel, so this should be an interesting process and I am looking forward to it.

Reminder, the cut-off day for this is very quickly approaching with the published books to be delivered by March 21st (Los Angles, CA). So if you think that this is for you, please check it out and get your books in.

I am now looking forward to all of the great submissions!

Update: The submission deadline for delivering books has been extended to the end of March.

 

February 29, 2016

Ralph Gibson – Political Abstraction

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Copyright 2014 Ralph Gibson

Photographer: Ralph Gibson (born Los Angeles, resides NYC, USA)

Publisher: Lustrum Press (USA) (Distributed: University of Texas Press, Austin)

Essays: Ralph Gibson

Text: English

Hardcover book with dust cover, sewn binding, four-color lithography

Photobook designer: not stated

Notes: This is Gibson’s first stated foray into digital photography and the book is also meant to be an exhibition catalog. His vertical photographs, now incorporating color in combination with his classic black & white images, are ambiguous photographs and not unlike those of his earlier seminal photobooks Somnambulist and Deja-vu. Gibson’s current book, Political Abstraction again provides Surrealistic juxtapositions, as his stated intent is to provide photographic diptychs for the reader/viewer to compare and contrast.

The Abstraction aspect of the book’s title is somewhat easy to grasp, as his truncated photographs are simplified and ambiguous forms, lines, shapes and colors without revealing the greater context of what (or where) the subject actually is. Gibson does pull back to provide more contextual information to the female nude forms, one of his stated sources from which all shapes are derived from. In his introduction, Gibson bullet-points almost 50 definitions of what he considers Synapses, including three repetitions of the “in democratic cosmopolitan culture a book can begin or end on any page in the book”, a key element of his Political theme, thus signaling that his paired pages can stand alone and his book does not necessarily provide an overall narrative save what the reader might glean form their appraisal of his collective pairings. Gibson concludes that “the reader is the subject of this book”, an interesting, if not confounding statement, born of his Ed Ruscha/ LA generation.

Cheers

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February 26, 2016

Published Photobook Competition announced

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Recently announced Left Coast photobook competition, this one is for photobooks that have been published and the winners need to be available for sale during PhotoBook Independent at the end of April in Los Angeles. Details are as follows, and if you have a published photobook, then check it out. By the way, there does not appear to be a restriction on when your book was published; all are fair game, as long as you still have copies to sell.

2016 PHOTOBOOK COMPETITION

PhotoBook Independent announces the 2016 PhotoBook Competition. Winning books will be exhibited and for sale at PhotoBook Independent and will be featured on the Photo Independent website and in their marketing campaign.

PhotoBook Independent will again take place at the Raleigh Studios in Los Angeles April 29-May 1, 2016 together with Photo Independent.

Now in it’s 3rd year, Photo Independent weekend celebrates international photography and talented image-makers across various genres of the medium. PhotoBook Independent will include curatorial walk-throughs, book signings, artist talks and other events. This is an incredible opportunity to reach an audience of photo book lovers and collectors in Los Angeles and environs, and to have your book featured on our website, social media and other marketing platforms.

Three books from the PhotoBook Competition will be chosen as Best in Show and will be honored at the Fair.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

The PhotoBook Independent competition is open to all photographers and independent publishers in the United States and abroad.  Entrants may submit books of any size, format, or style. Submitted books may be self-published, by an on-demand service such as Blurb, Lulu, Apple Books, etc.; created by small run publishing companies; or have been hand-made/hand-bound. Dummy books and PDFs will be accepted, though actual books are preferred, so they can be offered for sale at PhotoBook Independent.

Submissions will be judged on book design, including page layouts, text, cover; strength of the photography and emotional impact of the overall book. All judging is at the complete discretion of the jurors and all decisions are final.

SUBMISSION FEE
The submission fees are as follows:

  • $25 for 1 book
  • $35 for 2 books
  • $45 for 3 books

SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Entries must be received (in hand) no later than March 21, 2016.

Winners will be notified in early April.

To enter:

  • Full out form here including uploading a JPEG file of your book cover(s)
  • Pay Submission Fee
  • Mail one copy of each book submitted to the following address:

Fabrik Media/PhotoBook 2016
269 S. Beverly Drive, #1234
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

If you would like the book returned, you must include a pre-addressed mailing label and sufficient postage. Otherwise your book will become the property of Fabrik Media.

Winning PhotoBook photographers and publishers will have the option of sending additional books to have for sale at the fair. Winners need not be present at the Fair.

All submissions must be original works created by the submitting photographer or be submitted by a publisher who has permission to submit the work.

By entering, the photographer or publisher warrants that the submission does not infringe any third party’s rights, and that you have obtained all necessary permissions from any third party. Once entered, all Submissions are final; no changes or edits may be made to your book.

February 23, 2016

Alessandra Kila – Calabria Upon Return

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Copyright 2015 Alessandra Kila

Photographer: Alessandra Kila (born Reggio di Calabria, IT, resides: London UK)

Publisher: Paper Tiger Books (London)

Poems: Alessandra Kila

Text: English

Stiff-cover book with French folds and elastic strap closure, loose binding, concertina insert four-color off-set, printed in UK by Jigsaw Colour in a numbered addition of 300

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Photobook designer: Laura Braun

Notes: Kila’s investigating the concept of “never being able to go home again”, as that once you leave a place, perhaps even for a short while, many things are not perceived the same upon returning. A person returns with different “eyes”, the new experiences change and modifies one’s memory and the subtle day-to-day changes that once went unnoticed become very staggering in retrospect.

This small photobook has a very smart, if not brilliant design. The text is printed on a concertina insert that weaves through the interior literally and conceptually holding the loose photographs, thus the book content’s, together. A photobook that immediately captures my imagination; recommended and I hope you can obtain one, as I suspect that these will disappear fast.

Cheers, Doug

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January 29, 2016

Agnieszka Rayss – American Dream

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American Dream Copyright 2011 Agnieszka Rayss

Photographer: Agnieszka Rayss (born, resides Poland)

Publisher: Foundation Photography Institute Pro Fotografia (Poland)

Essays: Agnieszka Rayss

Text: English

Hardcover book, linen cover with foil stamping, page marker, sewn binding, four-color lithography

Photobook designer: Ania Nalecka (Tapir Book Design)

Notes: When I was asked by the editor of Emaho magazine to become the “American” expert and write about contemporary American photobooks, I took this suggestion very broadly; not only American photographers but anyone who investigates the American culture and things “American”, either directly or as to what they consider to be attributes of America. It would seem that I could accomplish and a bit qualified as I was born and raised in the American Midwest (Pennsylvania, Michigan) and lived most of adult life on or near the Pacific coast (California and Arizona) and traveling throughout Western Europe, Caribbean, Central America, Asia and Canada.

I had earlier received Agnieszka Rayss’s photobook American Dream, which at first look was interesting but it did not initially take a hold of me. Nevertheless with the “American” assignment, this was one of the many books that I had immediately thought of. This is Rayss’s investigation of one of many cultural changes to a post-communist country as it adapts to a new reality of western trends of fashion, self-appearance and modeling contests. There are definite parallels of her subjects chasing the American, if not universal, dream of stardom, wealth and beauty in the hopes of finding success and a wonderful life. Rayss begins her investigation as a documentary photographer, but over time, finds herself intrigued by this lifestyle and is soon standing in front of the judges as a willing participant. Becoming a model similar to her subjects adds another dimension to her project as someone who is looking from the inside out, not as a coolly detached observer. This book is evidenced from a feminine perspective as I sense warmth, intimacy and empathy in her photographs as someone who has walked a mile in her subject’s high-heel shoes.

Best regards

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January 26, 2016

Michele Cera – Dust

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Dust Copyright 2013 Michele Cera

Photographer: Michele Cera (born Bari, resides Rome, IT)

Publisher: Kehrer Verlag (Germany)

A conversation between Michele Cera and Francesco Zanot

Text: English

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

Photobook designer: Vincenzo Schiraldi

Notes: Cera’s urban landscapes provide a lonely setting for his subjects who frequently have their eyes hidden or averted from the photographer’s inquiring lens. His subjects are usually absorbed in some ambiguous task and seemingly caught mid-stride. His documentary style does not capture a decision moment, the point of when the action within the frame is at an apex, but more of the anti-decisive-moment, the more routine moment that his subjects appear to usually exists in.

Cheers

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January 23, 2016

Marcin Grabowiecki – Babie Lato

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Marcin Grabowieckibabie lato (Indian Summer) Copyright 2013

Photographer: Marcin Grabowiecki (born Gliwice, resides Warsaw, PL)

Published: Muzuem in Gliwicach with Czytelnai Sztuki (Poland)

Essay: Marcin Grabowiecki

Text: English & Polish

Stiff cover book, embossed cover, stab-sewn binding & string closure, edition of 300, four-color lithography, printed in Poland

Photobook designer: Marcin Grabowiecki

Notes: The subject of Grabowiecki’s babie lato (Indian Summer) is an investigation of his identity in the context of exploring the rites of a family summer’s vacation that has evolved over time. He is using his own family photographs culled from a span of over sixty years.

Grabowiecki states “Even though the photographs included in the book come from different periods, they are linked by a common, nostalgic mood. Regardless of the passage of time, we remember summer holidays in a similar way. Time influences the shape of our memories, and it doesn’t spare photographic materials, exposing their fleeting nature mercilessly.”

I am very intrigued by projects that look back at family photographs as visual fragments of events not possible for the author to have experienced. Photographs can become a  melancholy document that point to past events that once those subjects present in the photographs are no longer with us, can only lead us to speculate on what might have been. I find that looking at these, as might the reader, spins me back to my own family history and the unknown stories which are now forever lost.

The book production of 350 copies (300 numbered) borders on being an artist-book; part high production printing partnered with the stab binding and the use of the extended strings to function as a book closure. It has the appearance of a collection of prints, thus the form follows function creating a very nice book object. Well done and on my list of interesting photobooks in 2014.

Recommended!

Best regards

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January 15, 2016

LA Art Book Fair – coming soon to SoCal

The LA Art Book Fair will again be at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA and will be another delightful maze of rooms with amazing displays of photobook and zines. This event has always been punctuated with some wonderful finds for me.

From Printed Matter:

Printed Matter presents the fourth annual LA Art Book Fair, from February 12 through 14, 2016, at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Downtown LA. A ticketed preview will take place on Thursday, February 11, 6-9PM.

Free (another aspect of this event that I love) and open to the public, Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair is a (very) unique event for artists’ books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines presented by more than 300 presses, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from over 20 countries.

The LA Art Book Fair is the companion fair to the NY Art Book Fair, held every fall in New York City. Over 35,000 artists, book buyers, collectors, dealers, curators, independent publishers, and other enthusiasts attended the NY Art Book Fair in 2015.

A full list of this year’s exhibitors can be found here.

Highly recommended for those who love photobooks and zines on living (or visiting) the Left Coast.

Cheers!

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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January 10, 2016

Julia Borissova – DOM

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Copyright 2014 Julia Borissova

Photographer: Julia Borissova (born Talinn, Estonia, resides St. Petersburg, RU)

Self-published artist book, signed and numbered edition of 100

Text: English & Russian

Stiffcover book with stab-sewn booklet and multiple gatefolds, naked-sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in Russia

Photobook designer: Julia Borissova

Notes: Borissova investigates home and identity in a subtext of the Document Object Model (DOM) in this complex, layered and very creative self-published photobook. DOM is an acronym from the programming world and is a cross-platform application convention for representing and interfacing with objects using a structured and logical organization. The design of the book’s extended cover allows it to be constructed as a cube and with the full bleed printing; the results can appear like a small model of a house. Borissova has subsequently photographed this model house in a number of environmental situations which she uses for the interior gatefolds of her book. These gate folds open to reveal interior photographs and smaller pages of text by her subjects as to what constitutes a “home”. She has utilized this same model house as a planter for the interior photographs of the accompanying booklet, which as the book progresses, the plant continues to grow and soon overflow the planter.  Combining the concepts of programming organization and logic with inherent messiness of a creative investigation as to what is the meaning of “home” is brilliant. I highly recommend this book if you can still find a copy.

Other photobooks by Julia Borissova that have been featured on The PhotoBook: address & Running to the Edge.

Cheers!

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