Owner of PhotoQ Bookshop, on the photobooks in his collection he couldn't be without.
by Geert van Kesteren and Michael Hirsch
I was lucky to be the photo and text editor of this book. Thanks to the refreshing ideas of the graphic designers Mevis & van Deursen and Geert van Kesteren's guts to leave the traditional path of journalism we succeeded in bringing the documentary photobook to a contemporary level. It was great to feel that so many people were inspired by our approach.
Jesus, Make-up and Football
by Frederik Buyckx
A book that gives the reader the first impression that it's misprinted. All the beautiful photographs are folded in the middle in the 'wrong' direction, so you see only half of them. And then, leafing from page to page, you perfectly experience a walk through the narrow streets of a favela in Rio de Janeiro.
by Sebastidao Salgado
The mother of all photobooks - it was the culmination of huge projects of Salgado's that spanned 25 years.
Educator and editor of Conscientious Photography Magazine, on the photobooks that get his students excited.
by Kikuji Kawada
This is, for sure, one of my favourite books. I own a copy of the reprint done by Nazraeli, which is now sadly sold out. When I bought it on Ebay, it was just under my price limit - it has since gone up. I look at this book at least once a year, when I show it to the students in a photobook history class I am teaching every summer - part of a photography masters programme at Hartford Art School. The students usually don't know too many photobooks, and they certainly can't agree on which book is a good book. But every time I shows The Map, that's all they talk about for the rest of the day. It's the one book they always remember.
by Michael Schmidt
Michael Schmidt's U-NI-TY is probably also in my top three. Sadly, I don't own a copy of Waffenruhe, but U-NI-TY is great as well. The book attacks the viewer from different angles, using a variety of image sources. It won't reveal itself in one sitting. I probably haven't fully grasped the book in all its complexity - I bought a copy last year in Berlin, and I have been looking through it, on and off, since then.
by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin
It's not clear to me which book be my third choice. If I picked one today, I'd pick another one tomorrow. Somewhere between Dirk Braeckman, one of Mark Steinmetz's trilogy books, Eikoh Hosoe's Man and Woman, and Nobuyoshi Araki's Erotos lies my choice. For today, Broomberg & Chanarin's Holy Bible will be it. It's a fantastic book, utterly aggressive and smart at the same time, a tour de force of photographic bookmaking.
Founder of art book publisher Mack, on the current photobook boom.
by Michael Schmidt
It opened my eyes to what a book of photographs could be at its most ambitious level.
by Tacita Dean
It shows the genius of an artist who makes explicit work in every medium she turns her hand to.
by Lewis Baltz
A life's work collected into a set of books. The digital realm has firmly established the primacy of the printed book and is largely to blame for the short-lived photobooks boom we are living through. The furture holds many exciting digital possibilities but he printed book will long prevail in the minds and hands of authors and readers.
Winner of last year's Unseen Dummy Award with his dummy Tranquillity and a juror on the Dummy Award 2014 panel. He talks about one of his most satisfying finds.
Le monde et les bras; Une residence terrestre
by Michel Francois
The way I found Michel Francois' Le monde et les bras; Une residence terrestre (The world and the arms; An earthly residence) is a very nice story. I was browsing books with a friend in the small photobook section of a bookstore in Los Angeles. What I mostly do in bookstores : I just pick up the ones I've already seen and know are good and look at them again for a bit , to revisited them. But this can get kind of dull sometimes. Out of coincidence I picked up this very externally uneventful - even conventional - appearing book by Francois. The first pictures seemed so, for lack of a better word juicy. It changed the course of my day. I couldn't believe I hadn't heard about the book before, or that this particular bookstore had it because Le monde et les bras is very hard to come by.
Founder of Self Publish, Be Happy (SPBH), on his personal photobook favourites.
The Mushroom Collector
by Jason Fulford
I like books that I can go back to time and time again : ones that still intrigue, excite and puzzle me. The Mushroom Collector is one of those books, and its pleasure is in treating it as un unsolved puzzle.
Surrendered Myself to the Chair of Life
by Jin Ohashi
I am also drawn to books that I enjoy for their physicality. The tactile experience of the photobook as an object, its materiality, and the elements that come together in the form of book are all aspects that add to my enjoyment.
Surrended Myself to the Chair of Life may not have been the most succesful of books, but I admire it because both the publisher AKAAKA and Ohashi were audacious and even a little crazy in putting something like this together. It´s a book I like to share with people ... it becomes a topic of discussion and creates a social space around it every time I show it.
by Grant Willing
This beautifully put together newspaper was one of the first submissions we ever received for the very first SPBH event at The Photographers´Gallery in the summer of 2010. It was such abeautiful object ... black and white images, dark and lyrical ... and it represented the possibility of someone really young making exciting publications thet SPBH has been built on young practitioners doing it for themselves.
Curator and publisher, shares three photobooks that have made an impression.
by Christian Boltanski
Abook that tells the story of the holocaust in images. In hundreds of pages you are slowly drawn into the tragedy that happened. The book is edited with found images that are not always true to the history they explain. This shows once more that an image can have multiple interpretations.
Portrait Louise Anna Kubelka
by Friedl Kubelka
My next one is by Friedl Kubelka, who made a book with many portraits of her daugther Louise Anna Kubelka. It's a large format book that shows Louise growing up through multiple portraits taken almost every day of her life. Once she hits puberty, we begin to see white spaces in the book appearing. Her daugther has lost interest in being photographed and slowly starts her own life.
by Peter Piller
For many years Piller collected photographs he found in regional newspapers. In one collection we see photographs of firemen and other civil workers taken by regional semi-professional photographers. The photographers used flas for these pictures, but didn't pay attention to the fluorescent stripes on the high visibility clothing they wore. The results make the people look like strange creatures from outer space : a beautiful mistake.
Founder of design and publishing agency SYB, talks about the staple photobooks of his collection.
The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus
by Rob Hornstra and Arnold van Bruggen
There are quite a few books that are a kind of benchmark for me : Baghdad Calling by Geert van Kesteren, designed by Mevis & van Deursen is one of them. And I think every publication brought out under the flag of Rob Hornstra and Arnold van Bruggen's The Sochi Project, designed by Kummer & Herrman, are great but the whole project in its totality is amazing. This is mainly because of the extraordinay commitment and integrity of these guys. Not only is it the effort they've put into this project to cover the subject to the fullest, but also the way they have utilised a variety of opportunities for bookmaking that makes this project so special. The books are individually different, but form a cohesive whole at the same time.
Founder of London-based independent publishers Morel Books, on photography's 'adolescence'
A Season in Hell
by Arthur Rimbaud
There is a plethora of books being published at the moment, and many of them are brilliantly put together, intelligent and well thought out. There's an ever-growing interest in photography and a transformation within the medium is happening; consider the work of Lucas Blalock or Daniel Gordon. I call these times photography's 'adolescence' - a period that is self-referential in its questioning of issues such as the mass-produced image, digital imagery and different platforms. Photography at the same time has positioned itself very happily in the art world. The furture bright from my perspective!
I'm fascinated by the power of the book: its power to disseminate information as well as be an integral part of photography. Just think of the Ancient Library of Alexandria or Gutenberg's press if you want to imagine the power of print! Arthur Rimbaud's self-published Une Saison en Enfer (A season in hell) changed poetry forever with only a dozen copies and William Klein's book Life is Good & Good for You in New York found ist way across the world into the hands of a young Japanese photographer, Daido Moriyama, and gave him a whole new vision. In spite of the Internet, the book is still very relevant today. A good book is both a strong series and also a beautiful object, designed around the work; it essentially becomes part of the work and can at times feel inextricably linked to it.
Editor of Lavalette and director of Light Work, speaks about photobook gifts that keep on giving.
by Cristina de Middel
I don't tend to buy expensive photobooks, but have had a few books that have skyrock-eted in value after I acquired them. One example that's been talked about a lot recently is Cristina de Middel's The Afronauts. Cristina was kind enough to send a copy my way and just a few months later it was selling for thousands of dollars. Generally I don't pay much attention to the value of things, but really cherish the books that artists send me, including mock-ups and early handmade editions - some of those are priceless.
Paul van Mameren
Director of Lecturis, on the importance of design in the photobook.
by Martien Coppens
I have a special connection to Monsters van de Peel (1958) by Dutch photographer Martien Coppens. In design and print it was, and still is, unique. When the book was made, it was not common to experiment with design. Graphic designer Herman Rademaker presented Coppens' images next to strong typography. The approach to the relationship between text and image was quite radical at the time. It's funny to that Coppens wasn't happy with the final result at all. Today, the book cab be considered innovative and is a great example of the important role a designer can play in the making of photobooks.
Unseen Photo Fair has produced its very own magazine!
The Unseen Magazine allows you to connect with the excitement and energy of the fair, through artist interviews and critical writing on key trends at the heart of contemporary fine art photography, in a print format.
We have also brought together an impressive array of experts and commentators from the art photography arena to discuss trends and topics that go to the heart of where we currently stand as an industry. The editor of British Journal of Photography Simon Bainbridge speaks about scouting new talent and the Financial Times’ photography critic Francis Hodgson advises collectors on how to navigate the fair successfully.
We have also picked the brains of Lunch Bytes curator Melanie Bühler, Andy Adams, founder of online photographic community Flak Photo, young collector and Vice Photo Editor Matthew Leifheit, as well as Martin Jürgens who is Conservator of Photographs at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, among many others.
Get to know the Unseen 2014 premiering artists and their work and learn more about the photography art market by picking up a copy!