Location: Museum of Modern Art, MoMA (11 West 53rd Street, New York)
Dates: 3 October 2012 - 4 February, 2013
Anne Collier. Cut.
Location: Museum of Modern Art, MoMA (11 West 53rd Street, New York)
Dates: 3 October 2012 - 4 February, 2013
Compulsion. Alex Prager (USA).
Photographs by Alex Prager
Published by Michael Hoppen Gallery, 2012. Edition of 1,200 copies. This book has been published on the occasion of the exhibition “Compulsion”.
Alex Prager’s photography reminds stills from film noir. Her most recent work Compulsion was inspired by the photography of Weegee, Cindy Sherman and Enrique Metinides, and films such as Metropolis and Un Chien Andalou. Prager constructs dramatic and surreal scenes with helpless people trapped in bizarre accidents: a woman falling from the sky, people floating in green water, a lonely house caught in the flames. All the pictures are paired with close-ups of human eyes. A viewer observes the tragedy but never takes part in it: a society of compulsive spectators. These images are an artisitc reconstruction of dramatic events so often covered by the media as well as a commentary on our impulsive need to treat tragedy as an entertainment.
Touch of Evil, The New York Times
A minha casa é onde estás (My home is where you are). Filipe Casaca (Portugal).
Photographes by Filipe Casaca
Self-published, June 2011. Limited edition of300 signed copies.
My home is where you are is dedicated to Teresa. Simple and beautiful. Teresa is a wife of Filipe Casaca and this book is an intimate glance at their private life. Black and white pictures with a lot of shadows and black colour capture very intimate moments of couple’s life. White pages and the small size of the images create a sense of distance and allow the viewer to steal a glimpse of the beautiful and loving relationship. Filipe, the photographer, appears in a picture too but the presence is evident through his loving eye, expressed emotions, atmosphere.
Beautifully produced book with a black linen cover and the title stamped in silver.
COLOR. Daido Moriyama (Japan).
Photographs by Daido Moriyama
Published in April 2012. Limited edition of 200.
[Regular edition of COLOR (signed) is available through ICP store]
A special photobook experience? In November 2011, Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama had a Printing Show-TKY at the Aperture Gallery in New York, a recreation of his 1974 performance by the same name. On 3 May 2012 a smaller scale, yet very significant event, took place at the International Center of Photography. A special edition of Moriyama’s book, COLOR, was prepared exclusively for the occasion to mark Moriyama’s acceptance of the ICP’s 2012 Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement. Indeed, “his work occupies a unique space between the objective and the subjective, the illusory and the real”.
The line to the event was long: Daido Moriyama is a true legend in the world of photography and his work is finally receiving well-deserved recognition by the broader audience. The event, curated by Ivan Vartyanian of Goliga, was well organized yet still reminded a ritual. Once you made the payment, you had to select a c-print for the book cover: a choice of 20 images, all displayed on a long table. Not an easy choice! When the decision was made, you received a coded ticket for your book (in this case “hands”). Then Ivan, wearing blue gloves, fixed the print into die cuts on a silver cover and stamped the book’s title: COLOR. Daido Moriyama signed. Finally, a virtually invisible assistant packaged the book.
COLOR. It is heavier than you would have imagined, the smell of ink is magical, and the book is printed on a thick paper. The book has no text elements (unless you count the title). The title COLOR, short and simple, says a lot about the book itself. Moriyama is well known for his black and white photographs but COLOR brings out a different dimension of his work. What a beautiful and distinct visual language and image framing! The pictures were shot over the past several years in Tokyo and have never been published before. The book takes you on a journey through the streets of Tokyo with its neon billboards, busy street markets, and surreal shop windows. Splashes of colors reveal the diverse elements of everyday life.
Images and the book design create a dynamic experience of Tokyo: flashing lights, constant motion and ever-changing passersby whose uniqueness is captured by Moriyama’s genius. It is a very special and truly beautiful book, but perhaps not for everyone, not for every taste. It appears simple yet within its simplicity hides infinite complexity. Ultimately, COLOR reflects Moriyama’s aesthetic and tradition but at the same time it takes the viewer a little bit further…
Near Equal Moriyama Daido (Full-length documentary on Daido Moriyama)
Video (in Japanese)
Readymade Distortion (exhibit review by Dan Abbe)
The Daido Moriyama Photobook Collection at the ICP Library
New York: Daido Moriyama and William Klein
Japanese Provoke Era Reprints and Facsimiles in the ICP Library
An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar. Taryn Simon (USA).
Photographs by Taryn Simon
Designed by Joseph Logan and Taryn Simon
Foreword by Salman Rushdie
Introduction by Elizabeth Sussman and Tina Kukielski
Published by Steidl. First edition, 2007. (reprinted in 2008)
If you are one of those people who can be fascinated by Playboy in Braille system (published by the branch of the Library of Congress), Lucasfilm Archives, Transatlantic Sub-marine Cables, the NASA beach house, nuclear submarin or anything extraordinary or hidden, this book is most likely for you. As Salmon Rushdie points in the foreword “ours is an age of secrets”. Taryn Simon did almost unbelievable work getting access to all these places and photographing them. It took her almost a year to research some of the locations and get permissions (many of them are closed for public). Taryn Simon did get a negative respond from Disneyland saying “magical spell cast on guests who visit our theme park is particularly important to protect and helps to provide them with an important fantasy they can escape to”.
Simon’s work is very conceptual. She uses different mediums (text, design, photography) which become an integral part of her projects. The book is more than just index of curios images: it reveals an integral part of American society, its identity, culture and everyday functioning. It does indicate the progress of the society and very real threats it brings. “This is not an archive, but a time capsule”.
Each photograph is accompanied by a caption, scene description and relevant information. The book is beautifully printed: a linen cover and a title in gold, black end-notes, a lot of white spaces, good binding and heavy paper.
American Desire. Carl Gunhouse (USA).
Photographs by Carl Gunhouse
Designed by Tom Marquet
Edited by Phillip Tomaru, Martin Masetto
Published by Arts & Sciences PREES, 2011. Edition of 100, signed and numbered.
Carl Gunhouse spent past five years traveling around the United States to portrait American society, its desire for security and consumption. Hard-working Americans build their lives around consumption, luxury, comfort, safety. Focusing on the other side of this ideal, American Desire reflects the reality of struggling economy: half-finished constructions, abandoned houses, depression.
Butterflies I Haven’t Seen Yet. Yaniv Waissa (Israel).
Photographs by Yaniv Waissa
Editing and design by Yaniv Waissa and Hagit Zahavi
Text by Yaniv and Tal Waissa (in English and Hebrew)
Self-published, 2012. Edition of 200.
[Purchase: contact photographer]
Butterflies I Haven’t Seen There refers to a line from a poem by Pavel Friedman, written in the Theresienstadt ghetto. The book is Yaniv’s personal journey: an exploration of family’s history, his own relationship with the past, the shadows of the Holocaust. The images are fragmental, abstract and avoid traditional references to the memories of the Holocaust. “I aim to create new association system to activate a personal emotional charge - both mine and the viewers”. The photographs are taken in different locations but there are no references to identify those places. As Yaniv states in the introduction “time and place are irrelevant to the the meaning of the images”.
Very nice softcover artist book with clean design and interesting picture editing. The books comes with four beautiful copies of polaroid pictures.
Searching for photobook adventures in New York, I found Booklyn Artists Alliance. BAA is an artist run non-profit organization, established in 1999. It is a great project dedicated to hand made artists’ books. Booklyn assists artists in publishing their work, organizes and curates exhibitions, provides workshops and connects people. You can schedule an appointment to see Booklyn’s unique collection and to meet in person wonderful people behind this project. Here are just few examples from the collection.
(*) A Complete Unknown, by Charles Gatewood. Designed and published by Dana Dana Dana, San Francisco, California, 2009. Special edition of 61.
Price: (starting) $1,000.
Each 11 x 14-inch handmade book contains quality reproductions of rare Dylan photos, shot in Stockholm, Sweden on April 29, 1966. Most of these extraordinary photographs have never been seen or published until now.
(*) Knockdowns That Stand Up by Sarah Peter. New York, 2011. Price: $1,800.
The text and photographs are Ms. Peter’s autobiographical account to “tell the story of a wacky upbringing in suburban Connecticut on the 1950’s and 60’s”.
(*) BURROUGHS 23, by Charles Gatewood. Published by Dana Dana Dana, San Francisco, California, 2011. Special small edition of 23. Price: $3,000.
Each 11”x14” hand crafted book features high-quality digitally printed reproductions of photographs of American author William S. Burroughs (b. 1914 - d. 1997) shot in London in 1972 and in New York in 1975. The book also contains photos of writer Brion Gysin, Led Zeppelin singer Jimmy Page, and Rolling Stone Magazine journalist Robert Palmer. Many of these photos have never been seen or published before now.
(*) Streetopia is an assembling of original artworks by 24 current and former San Francisco artists and writers associated with the “Mission School” or, the “New Mission School” art movements. Edition of 30, 2012.
Read more about an upcoming group exhibition in San Francisco.
(*) Panorama by Stephen Dupont. Edition of 50, 2007, 7 x 18 inches, accordion fold, 88 pages, 80 photographs, 135 feet long when unfolded. Price: $7,800.
Let’s Sit Down Before We Go. Bertien van Manen (The Netherlands).
Photographs by Bertien van Manen
Edited by Stephen Gill
Published by MACK, October 2011.
Let’s Sit Down Before We Go follows very personal and intimate journey by Dutch photographer Bertien van Manen. It almost feels like looking at a family photo album. Simple moments depicting everyday life: people in their homes, friends, drinking parties, dinners, snowball fights, families. People on these pictures look like close friends and family, there is almost no boundary between subject and photographer. Manen used a small 35 mm camera. This toy looking camera helped her to become almost unnoticed (a friend rather than photographer). Manen’s beautifully imperfect photographs create homey atmosphere, warmth and intimacy.
The book does not have an introduction or captions: just short mention at the end of the book that pictures were taken in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazachstan, Moldova, Siberia, Tatarstan, Uzbekistan and New York between 1991 and 2009. Stephen Gill helped to go through 15,000 negatives to select images for the book. The title refers to a Russian tradition to sit down for a few minutes before starting a journey.
The size of the book and unusual rounded corners reminds photo album. It has a beautiful design: blue coloured end notes, interesting (linen) cover, nice heavy paper, good binding. The book is a mastery of photography and design.