Archive for December, 2009
Sale ends January 5, 2010
When Adams invited me to partake, I’d just finished writing the usual letter prefacing the Spring 2010 Aperture booklist, which I mention only because I begin the piece by marveling over the extent to which photobooks have been a primary topic of conversation everywhere I’ve been over the the past year — from the Netherlands to Madrid, Frankfurt to Paris, Beijing, and other less exotic places in between. It’s not that this is unexpected in my line of work (publishing, photography, etc.), but the fact that I haven’t been the one to force the topic on other people, and that others have been eager to speak to me about it on their own—that I have been invited to more book awards, shows on books than ever before—is proof to me that the conversation on photobooks is reaching a point of super-saturation. To my knowledge, there are at least four major Books about Books in development (Latin American Photobooks, German Photobooks, Dutch Photobooks, among other general interest) and several related exhibitions underway for release sometime in 2010-11. (In fact, I’m a little bit worried about whether or not the backlash is going to set in before too long). Of course, this newfound attention must be viewed conversley within the larger context of the implosion of the publishing industry at large. This is one of those moments of reconsideration that history loves to give us: the book is dead, long live the book!
From this vantage point, it seems pretty apparent that the photobook market is bifurcating and then some, dividing things into at least two identifiable camps—not to be seen simply as a split between the luxury collectible v. the mainstream affordable, or, as it is more commonly interpreted, between analog and digital. My preferred view of this is of a matrix in which along one axis, you have publications in which the transmission of the idea is tantamount to its material form; and along the other, publications in which the objectness and conceptual rightness of the material form are of utmost importance. In the ideal world, a multiplicity of points plotted between these two axes would be acceptable and supportable; the key factor being a commitment to finding the right form for the material—be it traditional offset printing, hand-pulled gravure, Indigo digital printing, halftone on newsprint, eBook, or online presentation. In other words, even if one sticks to the traditional definition of the book as the word and image brought together in a physical form, there is no single future of the photobook—there are multiple futures.
Gerald Slota and Neil LaBute met by email, hoping to collaborate on a project. Throughout their rough correspondence, the pair hit upon the notion of a series of strange greeting cards, so beginning a journey where LaBute would attempt to strike the deepest and darkest chords of Slota’s psyche with his words. LaBute would feed the photographer twisted or sad lines and Slota would take inspiration, scratching out eyes, photocopying faces, and so on. Nothing was taboo or off-limits.
Fulfilling the duo’s original intentions for the project, Aperture is pleased to present the Because the Darkness Feeds My Soul limited-edition postcards. These were created in conjunction with an article of the same name published in Aperture magazine, issue 196 (Fall 2009), where the work was originally published.
Curtis Mann, published in Aperture’s MP3: Vol II this past spring, has been selected as one of four photographers presented in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Biennial 2010. For his series Modifications, Curtis Mann collects found photographs depicting conflicts in the Middle East and Northern Africa. He then bleaches and scratches the surface of the images, removing information to create new meanings from his source material. Congratulations to Curtis and all those selected for the Biennial 2010, click here to view full list of participating artists.
Watch a video excerpt from the latest exclusive SNAP! event: a photobook collecting workshop at Swann Auction Galleries. Daile Kaplan, Vice President and Director of Photographs at Swann Galleries, New York’s oldest specialty auction house, presented this event going through the history of photobook collecting where SNAP! members were able to engage with the actual books. In this clip, Kaplan explains how 1952 was a crucial year for the development of the photographic medium with their first auction dedicated to Photographica and the creation of Aperture magazine, followed by her valuable advice on how to build one’s photography books collection.
Join us for SNAP!’s upcoming event this Monday, December 14, for our Holiday Shopping Evening to mingle with Aperture artists and its vibrant community as well as shop for Aperture’s stunning books and limited edition prints at wallet-friendly discounts. Become a member and be entered into a Paul Strand print RAFFLE!
Aperture’s SNAP! Holiday Shopping Evening
Monday, December 14, 6–8 pm
RSVP to email@example.com
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York, New York
Click here for more information about SNAP!, a newly launched membership group for young photography aficionados and collectors.
The winter issue of Aperture magazine, #197, explores the important relationship between photography and the performative. Writer Greil Marcus looks at that relationship as he considers the score for Nan Goldin’s seminal slide show, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. Carrie Mae Weems’s projects are just as personal; she uses her films and photographs to express the nuances of her existence as a black woman and explore the undercurrents of power.
Richard Brody, staff writer at the New Yorker, examines the photographs of Raymond Cauchetier, the renowned photographer whose documentation of the French New Wave scene offered behind-the-scenes looks at Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, and other groundbreaking directors.
Francine Prose speaks with Maira Kalman about the artist’s use of photography and illustration; Anthony Downey discusses contemporary Iranian photographers; photographer Andrew Moore reports on the decline and decay of the city of Detroit and its surrounding areas; and innovative fashion photographer Nick Knight is interviewed by Diane Smyth on his career and process. Also, Robert Adams revisits his classic series of nocturnes featured in his newly published edition Summer Nights, Walking, in an interview with Joshua Chuang.
** Reader challenge: In which year did Nan Goldin present her groundbreaking slide show, Ballad of Sexual Dependency? **
To order a one-year gift subscription to Aperture magazine for a family member or friend at 50% off the regular price, click here!
To help support and educate young photographers by donating a one-year subscription to a school or library at 50% off the regular price, click here!
As a contemporary photographer protesting the existing order, Hank Willis Thomas has emerged as the voice of his generation. Using razor sharp insight and complex considerations, his work in Pitch Blackness re-inscribes the deep structure and the continued importance of identity politics. Thomas’s monograph, published by the Aperture Foundation, is a compilation of his numerous photographic series. Hank Willis Thomas will speak on Pitch Blackness this evening at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Brooklyn, New York.
Hank Willis Thomas: Pitch Blackness
Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts
Thursday, December 10, 2009 6:30—8:30 pm
80 Hanson Place
Brooklyn, New York
Central Park, Hallett Nature Sanctuary, winter. Courtesy Joel Meyerowitz/Edwynn Houk Gallery
Join master photographer Joel Meyerowitz for a talk and book signing at The Strand Book Store on the occasion of the publication of Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks. This compelling body of work is the result of a unique commission Meyerowitz received from the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to document, interpret, and celebrate one of the city’s greatest legacies: nearly nine thousand acres of parks in the five boroughs that still exist close to their original pristine state, as well as areas within parks that have been left to revert to wilderness.
Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks
Joel Meyerowitz: Artist’s Talk and Book Signing
Wednesday, December 9, 7 pm
The Strand Book Store
828 Broadway (@ 12th Street)
2nd floor/Art Department
New York, New York
The Projected Image Panel at The New School Moderated by George Baker featuring photographers Andrea Geyer, Paul Pfeiffer, and Krzysztof WodiczkoTuesday, December 8th, 2009
This Thursday at Aperture Gallery, The Projected Image, part of the tenth season of the series Confounding Expectations: Photography in Context will explore the multiple ways in which contemporary artists have utilized projection and installation strategies to display still photographic images, creating immersive and cinema-like experiences in museum and gallery environments. Departing from the large-scale, tableau treatments of the photographic image printed and framed as wall-based objects, exemplified in works by Jeff Wall, Andreas Gursky, and Gregory Crewdson, in recent years contemporary artists have increasingly employed projection devices—ranging from analogue to digital high-definition—to display photographic images as immaterial light projections, often incorporating temporal and audiovisual elements that recall cinematic contexts yet retain distinctly photographic qualities. This panel discussion, moderated by George Baker, associate professor of art history, UCLA; panelists includes photographers Andrea Geyer, Paul Pfeiffer, and Krzysztof Wodiczko.
The Projected Image: Panel Discussion
Thursday, December 10, 7 pm
The New School
66 West 12th Street
New York, New York