woensdag 7 december 2016

photo-eye’s Best Dutch photoBooks of 2016 Photography

As in the last ten years, photo-eye asked photo book lovers from across the world to share their favorite books of the year. Our contributors for 2016 are:

Alec Soth
Ania Nałęcka-Milach
Anne Wilkes Tucker
Antone Dolezal
Carolyn Drake
Christian Michael Filardo
Christopher J Johnson
Cristina de Middel
Daniel Boetker-Smith
David Chickey
Eamonn Doyle

Éanna de Fréine
Forrest Soper
Fred Ritchin
Jeffrey Ladd
John Gossage
Larissa Leclair
Martin Parr
Melanie McWhorter
Moises Saman
Sara Terry
Sarah Bradley
Tony Cederteg
Yumi Goto

For the 2016 Best Books list, photo-eye’s staff wanted to try something new. It might be better to say, something different, as it is still a list of books that experts in the field of photography and photobooks admired, deemed significant, or otherwise loved since the publication of our 2015 Best Books last December.

In previous years, we asked our contributors to select ten books each. This year we asked for three. In doing so, we wanted our experts to spend more time writing about why they had selected each title. What we received was a wonderful assortment of books along with some moving and informative writing.

Beyond Maps and Atlases. 
Photographs by Bertien Van Manen. 
Mack, London, England, 2016. 60 pp., 32 color illustrations, 10¼x11½". 
Read the review by Blake Andrews on photo-eye Blog

A book shot in several trips to Ireland after van Manen lost her husband. I knew van Manen for her intimate and subjective photographs of people, so this book’s dearth of human subjects took me by surprise. It is as instinctive, loose and raw as her previous work in Russia and China, but instead of searching for people, she turns to the landscape and nature. I see the book as a form of grieving ritual, a mystical inquiry, a personal search for essence. With no text except a short poem by Seamus Heaney on the final page, the images read like a visual poem. This photographer’s version ofThe Year of Magical Thinking.

Photographs by Anouk Kruithof. Designed by Piera Wolf. 
stresspress.biz, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2016. 768 pp., 528 illustrations, 6¾xx20¾". 

Drawing from her personal image archive shot and catalogued over many years, Kruithof worked existing images into montages and screenshots to recontextualize and reinvent them. It is a digital experiment turned into a book - ten books actually, each with a different color and paper, brought together in a transparent box. The result is open-ended; not a narrative, but what happens when the creative mind and technology are let loose. It is about photography, but, refreshingly, rather than condemning the medium or harping on its inadequacies, the book celebrates its expanding possibilities.

New Ways of Photographing the New Masai. 
Photographs by Jan Hoek. 
Art Paper Editions, 2014. 72 pp., color and black & white illustrations, 9½x13". 

An extraordinarily funny and smart foray into collaborating with one’s subjects, in this case urban Masai, and allowing them to choose how they want to be photographed, which photographs are best, and then asking a group to vote for those that are most representative of all of them. The Dutch photographer was interested in breaking the outmoded pictorial stereotype of the Masai as people jumping in unison wearing tribal costumes, and instead wanted to represent them as they want to be represented today: as people with specific tastes (no nudes, not lazy) and with idiosyncratic interests (photograph me as a spider, on a silver car). The handwritten text makes it seem part family album, part manifesto. A joy to find a photographer so eager to share the power.

Photo-collages by Katrien De Blauwer. Music by Danny Clay. 
iikki books, Plouër-sur-Rance, France, 2016. 112 pp., 75 illustrations, 11¾x8¾". 

The deceptive simplicity of the Dutch collage artist Katrien de Blauwer can hold its own regardless of the package, but llKKI Book’s attentive presentation of her work in stills is extraordinary. This work is a dialogue between De Blauwer and musician Danny Clay from which springs both collage and sound work – each that can be approached either individually or as a coupling – that offer multiple experiences.

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