Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Life in Politics.

My Life in Politics. Photographs by Tim Davis. Essays by Jack Hitt and Tim Davis. Aperture, New York, 2006. 112 pp., 61 colour illustrations, 11½x9¾".

Tim Davis is a photographer, writer and visul artist that has exhibited his work frequently and had it published in book form.

His photography work can be said to delve into 'formal aspects of photography (light and abstraction) as well as socially-engaged documentary'. 'My Life in Politics' is the first in-depth examination of his photography work in book format.

'My Life in Politics' "dissects the disenchantment and dissociation that have come to dominate American civil life. It is Davis’s treatise on the state of contemporary politics, politics as an aestheticized banality abstracted from real issues of power.

He finds freedom of expression exhibited at its most casual and cursory, with political, commercial and populist signage jostling for space and attention in the social landscape.

His documentation of that landscape, as Peter Eeley of Frieze magazine interprets it, asks, 'What if campaign signs, badges, bumper stickers and flags aren’t simply the ephemera of Americans’ political lives, but their substance as well?'

'My Life in Politics' represents photographic seeing at its finest and most subtle. Davis continues Stephen Shore’s colorist tradition, meshing the careful management of a quotidian palette with an incisive eye for those points at which light bends and refracts, becoming something other than mere illumination."

The first quote is from the wikipedia entry for Tim Davis, the second is from the publisher's description.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Tableaux. Photography by Jeff Wall, text by Marit Woltmann. Art Consulting Scandinavia, 2004. 124 pp., 24 colour and 22 black & white illustrations., 9½x6½".

Canadian artist Jeff Wall is best known for his large back-lit photographs made using the ilfochrome technique, as well as his art-historical writing.

His photographs often takes 'Vancouver's mixture of natural beauty, urban decay and postmodern and industrial featurelessness as their backdrop'.

In the work displayed in the book 'Tableaux' "the focus is on the art-historical connections in his work, where pointers to celebrated historical achievements in art are frequently in evidence.

His photographs are often carefully staged like a scene in a film, with full control of all details. Their composition always well thought through, and often borrowed from classical painters like Edouard Manet.

The themes are social and political, such as urban violence, racism, poverty, gender and class conflicts."

You can learn more about Jeff Wall by for example reading this interview, viewing this interactive exhibition at the MoMA, or here at the White Cube Gallery.

The first quote is from the wikipedia entry for Jeff Wall, the second is from the publisher's description.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Series of Human Decisions.

A Series of Human Decisions. Photographs by Bill Jacobson. Text by Ian Berry. Decode Books, Seattle, 2009. 104 pp., 65 colour illustrations, 9x10".

American photographer Bill Jacobson is know for his blurred, soft focus photographs "which suggest the temporality of human existence. Whether shooting figures or landscapes, his work has been consistently ethereal, addressing the passage of time, loss, and the fading of personal and collective memories.

This volume presents a new body of work which, though now quite sharp and defined, is similar in that it presents fragments of both beauty and melancholy.

According to Jacobson the title 'refers the idea that we live in a highly constructed world. The world is just that, a series of human decisions, one layered upon another over time. We move constantly from one fabricated arena to another'.

The images here convey the idea that our creations and subsequent decisions to arrange objects in space become the evolving visual world which constantly surrounds us.

Each photograph conveys a human touch, suggesting this process is spiritual as well as practical.

The book includes an in-depth interview between the artist and Ian Berry, curator at the Tang Museum in Saratoga, New York. In the text Berry states that 'these photographs are quiet but they are also full of energy... Many are still, focused, and very concentrated, but never without a lot of buzzing around the edges'."
-- publisher's description.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Type 55.

Type 55. One Picture Book #20. Photographs by Toshio Shibata. Nazraeli Press, Tucson, 2003. 16 pp., numerous duotone illustrations, 5½x7¼".

One Picture Book is an ongoing series of limited edition artists' books published by Nazraeli Press, which I've previously written about here.

The artist is asked to create a book based on one image or series of connected images, from their previous work. The hardcover edition is limited to 500 and contains an original print by the artist.

In 'Type 55' (One Picture Book #20) Japanese photographer Toshio Shibata , who's known for his large-format photographs of civil engineering projects in unpopulated landscapes, "has selected twelve images from his recent landscape photographs made on Type 55 film, one of which is featured as an original print tipped in to the final page of the book.

The book shows how Shibata has been able to incorporate the character of this particular film into his trademark photographs of the Japanese landscape."
-- publisher's description.

Please note that this book is sold out at Nazraeli Press, but can still be bought at photo-eye.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Sun As Error.

The Sun As Error. Work by Shannon Ebner. Wallis Annenberg, 2009. 64 pp., 233 black & white and 2 colour illustrations, 11x14".

American artist Shannon Ebner is perhaps best known for her work exploring language and its meaning through photography and sculpture.

Ebner's work has amongst other been included at The Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, The Serpentine Gallery in London, the Tate Modern, and the 2008 Whitney Biennial.

In 'The Sun as Error' she continues her examination of photography, sculpture and language in collaboration with Dexter Sinister (design duo David Reinfurt and Stuart Bailey).

'The Sun as Error' "re-investigates the meaning and language of photographs, creating both an open-ended reading of her practice and also rethinking the idea of an artist’s monograph.

Far from straightforward, the book interweaves her bodies of work, previously unseen one-off pieces, with the language of technical diagrams, optical illusions, and graphic design.

One of the persistent motifs through the book’s sequence is an asterisk and, specifically, one imbued with the legacy of the graphic designer Muriel Cooper. As the first design director for MIT Press and the cofounder of the Visible Language Workshop, Cooper’s legacy for reorienting and repositioning the direction of an artist’s monograph is imaginatively explored in the creative partnership of Dexter Sinister and Shannon Ebner."
-- part of the publisher's description.

'The Sun As Error' was selected as one of photoeye's Best Books of 2009. You can also read a review of this book in photo-eye Magazine; and more about 'The Sun As Error' here for example.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Plain + Fancy.

Plain + Fancy. Photographs by Nicholas Gottlund. Nicholas Gottlund, 2009. 16 pp., black & white illustrations throughout, 7x11".

'Plain + Fancy' - a book by American photographer Nicholas Gottlund - concerns itself with the concept of animism.

Animism is a "philosophical, religious or spiritual idea that souls or spirits exist not only in humans and animals but also in plants, rocks, natural phenomena such as thunder, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment, a proposition also known as hylozoism in philosophy".

'Plain + Fancy' "present objects (oak leaves, a rug, tools, antlers, a cut branch from a spice bush) which may seem to have an inherent spirit or almost palpable sense of history.

The photographs are shot with a strong flash (and most in daylight) to lend an almost overdone visual depiction of a spirit."

The two quotes are from the publisher's description.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

W. Eugene Smith.

W. Eugene Smith. Photographs by W. Eugene Smith. Text by Britt Salvesen, Enrica Viganò. La Fabrica, 2010. 240 pp., 175 black & white illustrations, 10½x13".

William Eugene Smith was an American photo-journalist credited by many with being the creator of the photo-essay format.

His work's characterized by a strong sense of empathy and social conscience, and he himself was known for an integrity and idealism that was so fierce that it often became self-destructive.

His vivid photo-essays taken during World War II and his work for LIFE magazine launched his photography, but he eventually felt more at home working as an independent artist (read more about W. Eugene Smith here and here for example).

This monograph entitled 'W. Eugene Smith' "reproduces images from six classic sequences: Country Doctor, which portrays the selfless and sometimes frustrating work of a doctor in rural America; Spanish Village, the most powerful photographic study of 1950s Spain; Nurse Midwife,which examines the life of a black woman in the American south; A Man of Mercy,which documents Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s humanitarian work in Africa; Pittsburgh, Smith’s first freelance assignment, previously unpublished; and Minamata, a photo-essay recording the effects caused by a mercury spill in a region inhabited by Japanese fishermen.

Writings by W. Eugene Smith, clarifying his field techniques and guiding principles, are included here in an English-language insert, alongside the tale of his most praised photograph, 'AWalk to a Paradise Garden', and an essay on Spain in the 1950s, the setting for his Spanish Village essay."
-- part of publisher's description.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Vedove/Widows. Photographs by Takashi Homma. Fantombooks/Boiler Corporation, 2010. 71 pp., 70 colour illustrations, 6¾x9". View a little bit inside this book here.

'Vedove/Windows' is the first book published in the Fantombooks series.

'Fantombooks' is the book series that's sprung from Fantom magazine, which is a photographic quarterly concerned with 'the uses and abuses of photograph'.

The Fantombooks series will be made up of only a few selected titles, each designed by a different art director and produced in project-specific formats.

'Vedove/Windows' is published in a limited edition of 350 with photographs by Takashi Homma. It's curated by Francesco Zanot and designed by Fabrizio Radaelli.

The book is "the cooperation between Andrea Botto and Francesco Zanot, respectively director and curator of the annual Rapallo Fotografia festival in Italy, who entrusted the Japanese photographer [Takashi Homma] to work around the theme of memory and personal archives in Rapallo and in the region of Liguria.

During his stay in the area, fascinated by the pictures stored in the archives of Genoa and Rapallo, Homma explored the need to preserve personal and intimate memories, especially after a loss.

Thus he shot eleven portraits of widowed women - witnesses for their dead partners’ memories - and captured a glimpse of the places where they live, and re-photographed the snapshots of the widows’ family albums."
-- part of the publisher's description.

Apologies for almost a week of no posts.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Relics of the Cold War.

Relics of the Cold War. Photographs by Martin Roemers. Hatje Cantz, 2010. 144 pp., 73 colour illustrations, 10x11¼". View inside this book here.

Dutch documentary photographer Martin Roemers studied photography at the Academy of Arts in Enschede, The Netherlands.

He has published four books, had his work included in numerous publications and exhibited widely.

In 'Relics of the Cold War' he examines the remains of the cold war era, and the area on both sides of the former iron curtain, which for this period separated east and west Europe.

"For over ten years he repeatedly traveled through formerly hostile countries on both sides of the line: through eastern and western Germany, England, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine , and other former East Bloc nations.

He descended into underground tunnels; photographed abandoned control centers, old barracks, wrecked tanks, and ruined statues.

In his images the era of enmity, the politics of deterrence, and the arms race appear ongoing and vivid, serving as a reminder for a future of peace."
-- part of publisher's description.

You can also view inside this book here, as well as more of Martin Roemers' work here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Through the Lens: Creating Santa Fe.

Through the Lens: Creating Santa Fe. Edited by Mary Anne Redding. Photographs edited by Krista Elrick and Mary Anne Redding. Museum Of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, 2009. 276 pp., 276 colour and duotone illustrations, 9½x11½".

'Through the Lens: Creating Santa Fe' was published to accompany an exhibition about the visual history of Santa Fe, New Mexico held by Palace of the Governors Photo Archives in Santa Fe.

The book "provides a historical and contextual role in documenting and shaping Santa Fe's image.

Both documentary and fine art photographers have worked [in Santa Fe] since the medium's invention, recording the U.S. territory after the Mexican and Spanish eras and serving to burnish its image as an art colony and destination for the country's first cultural tourists.

Drawn to the region's unique architecture, its indigenous peoples, the peculiarities of a small-town international capital, and the magical quality of light and landscape, photographers have remained central among artists who arrived, passed through, and sometimes never left.

Selected images drawn from public and private collections of more than one hundred noted photographers, including early masters William Henry Jackson, Ben Wittick, and John K. Hillers alongside the artists Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Laura Gilpin, Paul Strand, Lee Friedlander, and Paul Caponigro."
-- part of the publisher's description. You can also read more about the exhibition here.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lime Works.

Lime Works. Photographs by Naoya Hatakeyama. Seigensha, 2008. 119 pp., numerous colour illustrations., 10x12".

Naoya Hatakeyama is a renowned Japanese photographer, who "for over a decade, in his 'Lime Works' series and subsequent works, has traced the process through which lime hills are quarried for the substance from which a new urban environment will be built."

The photographs in 'Lime Works' "are of limestone quarries, lime works, and cement factories at some thirty locations scattered around Japan, ranging from Haikkido to Okinawa.

The photographs of factories-sweeping panoramas often made at twilight or dawn-reveal an otherworldly mini-cityscape of oversized tubes and tunnels, all coated with a fine layer of white dust.

This work was made between the years 1986 and 1994 and the first edition, published by Synergy of Tokyo in 1996, quickly went out-of-print.

Amus Arts of Osaka has now reissued this Hatakeyama classic, complete with a new afterword by the artist."

First quote from the International Center of Photography, second quote from the publisher's description.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Flowerhead. The Illustrations of Olaf Hajek.

Flowerhead. The Illustrations of Olaf Hajek. Work by Olaf Hajek. Gestalten, 2010. 144pp., full colour illustrations, 24×30 cm. Found via pocko people.

'Flowerhead. The Illustrations of Olaf Hajek' is the first monograph from acclaimed illustrator Olaf Hajek.

It showcases his work for companies, ads and editorials, fashion illustrations, as well as personal art created especially for this book.

"Hajek’s colorful illustrations and textured paintings are infused with a folkloristic naivety and freshness.

Influenced by West African and Latin American art, he creates surreal juxtapositions of fairy tale fantasies and disordered realities.

Whether Hajek dresses angelical cherubs in Mexican wrestler masks or adorns hairstyles with vibrant ecosystems of birds, butterflies, and flowers, his 'magical realism' enriches the perspective of anyone viewing his work."
-- read further here.

You can also see an interview with Olaf Hajek by Gestalten tv/podcast here, and see more of his work at pocko people.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Mobil 100.

Mobil 100. Photographs by Martin Fengel and Bernd Zimmer. Text by Anjar Elcher. Bernd Zimmer/Plant Sueden, Munich, 1999. 116 pp., 200 colour illustrations, 4x6".

The project 'Mobil 100' is an 'exchange between Bernd Zimmer and Martin Fengel' where art works were jointly developed, through separate travel, for 100 days starting on Jan 1, 1999.

"One photographic work and one piece of writing were produced every day in various global locations, using a range of techniques.

In so doing, each artist conceptually devoted each of the hundred days of the joint project to an indirect communicative process that is reflected in the works.

Although the artists occasionally contacted each other during this period, they deliberately avoided exchanging details of the joint project.

Works that were created simultaneously were subsequently framed side by side, and collected in an artist’s book; the design of the catalogue is also based on the form of the artist’s book.

The technique produced some interesting overlaps - the works frequently displayed similarities, whereas on other days there were discrepancies and differences. The title of the series refers to the idea of a global approach that transcends boundaries, both directly and indirectly transforming the images seen in reality into photographic and written works produced on the move."
-- continue reading about this project and book here.

For interest: There is also a review of this book in the photo-eye magazine, which you can read here.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Fake Flowers in Full Colour.

Fake Flowers in Full Colour. Photographs by Jaap Scheeren and Hans Gremmen. Fw:, 2009. 40 pp., colour illustrations thoughout, 9½x13½". Images from Fw:.

Dutch photographers Japp Scheeren and Hans Gremmen has made this wonderful book that was part of the Best Books of 2009 selection at photo-eye.

'Fake Flowers in Full Colour' is described like this:

"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'."

A special edition of 'Fake Flowers in Full Colour' including an original print is available from the publisher.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Glad Påsk - Happy Easter

Image from here (photographer unknown/not credited).

Glad Påsk and Happy Easter everyone!

Snow is still on the ground in Stockholm so I'll give you this image of a Swedish spring flower ('blåsippa') in bloom from a heritage site instead (what's pretty depressing is that last year I had this snow-free photo from the north of Sweden, which was indeed taken at that time).

Hope you all have a wonderful relaxing time over the holidays.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

a photo a day - month three

a photo a day (set). Month three (2 Mar-31 Mar).

I've now reached the end of the third month (and first quarter) of my photo project 'a photo a day' (month three is above, you can see the first month here and the second month here).

'a photo a day' is an incidental look at what I see out the window or on my way to places everyday. Even if I live in an urban environment most of the time I'm primarily focusing on landscape or the sky, as I find the intense impact nature has on us even in a city-setting very interesting indeed (spending the winter mainly in Stockholm this is even more poignant, and thus interesting to document).

It will hopefully be an interesting capture of the seasons changing, random captures of immediate or unexpected loveliness, as well as some beautiful photographs.

You can see the result so far above, here and here (full set here) or view the individual images, today's photograph and continue to follow the project going forward by clicking here or here. Hope you enjoy it!