vrijdag 15 januari 2010

Dutch Photobooks selected in photo-eye's Best Books of 2009 Photography

Photographs by Raimond Wouda.
Nazraeli Press, Portland.

“Within contemporary photographic practice there is much work being done with the 5/4 camera. The resulting large and beautiful prints can be both seductive and highly detailed. It is also possible to see many brilliant explorations of institutions or particular places usually done with a medium or small format camera. I cannot think of any other project where you get both of these ideas running together so seamlessly. This is part of Wouda’s great achievement in these pictures.” — from the Introduction by Martin Parr

The fourth title in our “Parr/Nazraeli Edition of Ten” (titles 1 through 3 shown left), Raimond Wouda’s School shows groups of pupils at numerous secondary schools in the Netherlands. Rather than depicting classrooms, Wouda chose to photograph the places where students relax between classes, placing his large-format camera high on a ladder and triggering the shutter from the ground via remote control to capture specific moments. According to Wouda, the current debates about substance and behaviour in secondary schools have gone unnoticed by the students themselves, for whom school is a relatively safe place in which to meet and interact with their friends, and to discover their own identity.

In This Dark Wood
Elisabeth Tonnard

This book is a modern gothic. It pairs images of people walking alone in nighttime city streets with 90 different English translations I collected of the first lines of Dante’s Inferno. The images, showing a crowd of solitary figures, are selected from the same archive as used for Two of Us (the extraordinary Joseph Selle collection at the Visual Studies Workshop which contains over a million negatives from a company of street photographers working in San Francisco from the 40’s to the 70’s).

The book is set up in a repetitious way, to stress a sense of similarity, endlessness and interchangeability. The images are re-expressions of each other, and so are the texts.

“It’s so rare that a book has a conceptual structure like this with the result being so genuinely affecting.” Charles Gute

Rochester, New York 2008. B&W, perfect bound paperback. 196 pages. See for the slideshow & a review by 5B4 ...

Photographs by Paul Kooiker.
Museum Boijmans.

Paul Kooiker’s work ‘Crush’ consists of 20 large format, black and white photographs and features naked models photographed in his studio. The images create the illusion of a crime scene, through photographs that appear quickly made while also translating a taciturn nervousness. This catalogue, produced in co-operation with the photographer for an exhibition at the Boijmans van Beuningen, documents this new body of work, and can be considered as a new addition to Kooiker’s ongoing series of photographic books.

The Worst Hotel in the World.
The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel, Amsterdam.
By Kesselskramer.
Booth-Clibborn Editions.

For 15 years, the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam has gained worldwide recognition for its daring, confrontational, and occasionally just plain offensive advertising. Through press, posters, TV, and even flags stuck in dog poop, the hotel''s advertising has been picked up on CNN, MTV, and other global stations, garnering awards and press on the most miniscule of budgets.

The reason for all the fuss? Honesty. By daring to tell the truth and describe the hotel as the rat-infested dive it is, the campaign connected with its target market: young, cynical, media-savvy backpackers. Since launching the campaign, the hotel''s dormitories are rarely empty, not bad for a place that doesn''t even guarantee toilet paper. This frank and often humorous collection of the hotel''s advertising celebrates everything that''s good about a very bad hotel and proves that innovative, successful marketing requires neither a jaw-dropping budget nor a sugarcoated version of the truth

Photographs by Petra Stavast.

Just like a mystery that slowly unfolds to eventually reveal the truth of the matter, Stavast’s project intertwines the reader in a collection of images to reconstruct a absorbing story about Italy, migration, Libero and his family. Coming across an abandoned house in Calabria (Italy) the photographer found a collection of old photographs and letters and started to search for the people in these pictures in order to re-tell the story behind the images. The result of her enterprise is delivered through this collection of found photographs taken by different family members, correspondence and recent images by Stavast herself – all presented in a special paper packaging.

I Have a Room With Everything.
Photographs by Melanie Bonajo.
Capricious Publishing.

I Have A Room With Everything is a book of stunningly intimate photographs by Dutch artist Melanie Bonajo. Taken between 1998 and 2005, the images in this exquisitely printed volume present anti-journalistic, documentary style photographs, some real, and some staged. They are at once moving, whimsical, goofy, dark, haunting, romantic and revelatory. At times they are painfully alienating, yet deliriously gorgeous and fantastical.

In I Have A Room With Everything traces of intense consciousness overlap reality and trigger Bonajo’s, as well as the viewer’s, imagination. “Photography for me is never intended to gain the upper hand,” says Bonajo, “but a way of sculpting mental life.” For Bonajo, taking the photograph is almost like a ritual, a supreme momentum in which there is an extended awareness of the different layers and meanings of reality.

The book also includes a poster and entertaining interviews, conducted by Bonajo, with her father, mother, grandfather, and several of her friends.

Memory Traces.
Photographs by Cary Markerink.
Ideas on Paper.

Memory Traces is an uncoventional photo-book which relates to notions about landscape(photography), culture, history and memory. The publication consists of a large format (41 x 30,5 cm - 16 x 12 inch) main photo-book and two smaller booklets (Dark Star & Höffding Step) housed in a printed carton box. In Memory Traces a selection of large-format landscape photographs are combined with a multi-layered range of texts including travelogues, written photographs and a short story. Dark Star is consists of family photographs found in an abandoned and looted house near to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

The photographs were made between 1997 and 2008 in Sarajevo, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, Berlin, Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Ronneburg, Bikini Atoll, My Lai & Khe San and Chernobyl. The monumental design is by Irma Boom and the high-quality printing is by 1455 Fine Art Printers, Hasselt.

Furniture Bondage.
Photographs by Melanie Bonajo.
Kodoji Press.

In order to illustrate the complex and often oppressive relationship that exists human beings and our material things, Dutch artist Melanie Bonajo contorts, binds, balances, and burdens her female models with the objects of everyday life: chairs, bookshelves, aerosol cans, food, empty containers, and cleaning supplies. Her living sculptures evoke a visceral response; as a viewer, you can't help but identify with the human body laden with a weighty suitcase or struggling to balance a tray full of objects and garbage that might be needed again someday. Furniture Bondage presents 22 full-page photographs of such pieces, followed by a list of participating models and an essay by the artist entitled "Floccinaucinihilipilification."

Photographs by Jaap Scheeren and Hans Gremmen.

Is it possible to create a three dimensional colour seperation? That was the question that triggerd Jaap Scheeren and Hans Gremmen to start this experiment. A bouquet of fake flowers was arranged as starting and striving point. The next step was to create four still lifes of this bouquet: one in Cyan, one in Magenta, one in Yellow and one in Black. These still lifes were photographed and merged into one image. In theory this should have been the same as the startingpint, but in practice it became 'Fake Flowers In Full Colour'. Ilse van Rijn wrote the text 'Phoenix' for this publication.

Photographs by Ilse Frech.
Episode Publishers, The Netherlands.

Photographer Ilse Frech produces an innovative, unbound folio that gives a larger-than-life view of dozens of young Muslim women who live in the outer suburbs of Paris. Frech, whose other major projects include Russia Love and Family Document, interviewed and photographed women in their homes and at work to explore their relationships with their own religion and culture, with French culture, with their race, and with being young women. The intimate photographs and interview excerpts compile a ménage of individuals who lead, in many ways, dual lives. Waves of immigration in Europe have led to greater diversity and wrenching confrontation; this deeply human collection of photographs combats stereotypes of Muslims and Muslim culture.

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