Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Gloria Swanson (c. 1920s).

Happy New Year! See you in 2012...

Friday, December 30, 2011

City dwellings: Stockholm seen through the photographers eyes (1845-1980).

City dwellings: Stockholm seen through the photographers eyes (1845-1980). Edited by Leif Wigh. Moderna museet, 2001. 63pp., illustrated throughout, 16,5x22cm.

This exhibition catalogue from the 2001-2002 exhibition at Modern Museum Stockholm shows photographs of Stockholm and its changing city environment from 1845 to 1980. It was the Modern Museum's contribution to 'The Year of Architecture 2001' and Stockholm 750 years Jubilee 2002.

The Modern Museum is currently rehanging their galleries exclusively with photographic art. The chronology in the displays will be the same, but the 20th century will be presented from a partly new perspective. This is happening in three stages, entitled Another Story, and is well-worth a look.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kan du inte bara vara pinsamt tyst.

Kan du inte bara vara pinsamt tyst. Text by Tomas Kindenberg, photographs by Stefan Bladh, endpaper illustrations by Fredrik Tjernström. Zoo Publishing, 2006. 130pp., illustrated throughout, 12x17cm.

'Kan du inte bara vara pinsamt tyst', which can loosely be translated to 'Can't you just be awkwardly silent', is a collection of short stories or monologues by Swedish writer Tomas Kindenberg.

The stories intertwines with black & white, bleak and at the same time both fairly stark and dream-like photographs of the Swedish everyday existence by photographer Stefan Bladh.

UPDATE: I'm ambivalent to this book, which I guess was not made clear. However, it has certain qualities that fits very well into my own creative process at the moment (e.g. the Swedishness of the title, the style of the photographs and my own relationship to the book over the years).

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cy's Rollei.

Cy's Rollei. One Picture Book #68. Photographs by Sally Mann, Rob McDonald and Even Rogers. Nazraeli Press, 2010. 16pp., illustrated throughout, 5,5x7,25". Images from here.

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

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.

'Cy's Rollei' (One Picture Book #68) description:

"These photographs happened in sequence, on a single roll of film, when a very famous artist - a great collector of things - bought a dusty Rolleiflex at a yard sale and invited three photographers to see if it would work.

Photographs by Sally Mann, Rob McDonald and Even Rogers. Signed original print by Rob McDonald."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Quarries. By Edward Burtynsky. Steidl, 2007. 176pp., illustrated throughout, 38,1x30,4cm.

How our landscape is transformed by industry and the construction of our industrial society is always interesting to me (especially as we've gone so far down that road that there are layers and years of man-made interference).

I also happen to find quarries very beautiful in their jagged destruction.

Book description:

"Over a twenty-five year career exploring the landscape as transformed by industry, the celebrated Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky has accumulated a body of work on large scale quarries around the world.

Including Canada, Italy, China, Spain, Portugal, India and America these thought provoking studies of sites that are created as we dig into the earth for material in order to build our cities, urge us to consider how we as viewers are simultaneously attracted yet repulsed by these landscapes - somewhere a building is created while a landscape is destroyed."

Monday, December 19, 2011


Wiese. By Anne Schwalbe, design by Birgit Vogel. Anne Schwalbe, 2011. 48 pp., illustrated throughout, 24x31,5cm.

'Wiese' is a book by German photographer Anne Schwalbe. Wiese means meadows in German, and this is a book of and about meadows.

I do really like documenting projects, or repeating and/or vaguely obsessing over one subject matter or viewpoint, which this book could be said to be. I also really like Schwalbe's aesthetics and the way she "frames" her projects with the use of the envelopes, plain cardboard and string.

A special limited edition of 'Wiese' (including an analogue print) is available here. I have previously also featured Anne Schwalbe's book Blindschleiche und Riesenblatt.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Infinite Journey.

The Infinite Journey. A response to "x= or what is to be done?", the tenth anniversary of bookartbookshop. Book by Sara Elgerot / Rare Autumn, 2011. 10pp., illustrated throughout, 10,9x8,3cm.

Book description:

'The Infinite Journey' takes its starting point from a fairly literal reading of “x= or what is to be done?” (“x=” symbol, and “what is to be done?” always has a political connotation to me), as well as the symbolism/mythology surrounding the year 2012 and the 10 year “arc” of the bookartbookshop and its symbolism in my life.

It's concerned with the use of symbols to represent ideas/qualities (and by extension the shape of symbols), protest movements through a sentimental tint, mythology and rebirth in thoughts, and the circular way life comes around.

The “infinite” in the title is a play on the infinity symbol.

The materials used are inkjet and crayon/pen on white aquarelle paper, with crayon/pen on black 200gsm paper insert and cover. Folded and staple-bound with a soft cover.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Half-Life of History.

The Half-Life of History. The Atomic Bomb and Wendover Air Base. Photographs by Mark Klett, text by William L. Fox. Radius Books, 2011. 160 pp., illustrated throughout, 9,5x11,75". Images from here.

Book description:

"In Hiroshima, Japan a twisted steel dome is grim reminder of a city destroyed by the first atomic bomb used in warfare. It is a history no one dares to forget.

Halfway around the globe in the Utah/Nevada border stands another ruin, the airplane hangar inside of which the bomber that carried the Hiroshima bomb was readied for its mission. Wendover Airbase, once the world’s largest, now crumbles from neglect.

The stories and relics at Wendover describe more than the past, they also point to a historic cycle; to a present filled with new apprehensions that carry the potential for a chilling future.

Artist Mark Klett, known for his ongoing exploration of landscape, history and the passage of time through the medium of photography, and William L. Fox, a celebrated science and art writer whose work has focused on human cognition and memory, teamed up to create a fascinating visual and verbal multi-layered portrait of Wendover Airbase and the experience of memory in relation to the use of the Atomic bomb by the American military in World War II."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A head with wings.

A head with wings. By Anouk Kruithof, designed by Hans Seeger. Little Brown Mushroom Books, 2011. 28pp., illustrated throughout, various sized pages 6,625x 7,875″, custom side stapled, gatefold and various inserts (edition of 1000).

This artist book by Dutch artist Anouk Kruithof (designed by Hans Seeger and published by the always-interesting Little Brown Mushroom Books) is just truly inspiring to me - in its shape, construction and just the thought-process and imagination behind it.

Book description:

" 'Do you see something there? Why are you standing still all of a sudden?' With those words begin Anouk Kruithof’s trip into the Little Brown rabbit hole.

Using hand-made montages of photographs she took in Belize, Mexico, Egypt, Morocco and Berlin, Kruithof spins a hallucinatory yarn of anxiety and desire."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On Thin Ice, in a Blizzard.

On Thin Ice, in a Blizzard. By Paula McCartney. Paula McCartney, 2011. 36 pp., illustrated throughout, 10x8".

Book description:

"Snow begins to fall, grows denser, and obliterates my view while exposing the cosmos. Ice shifts, opening a beautiful black void. A wondrous view as I begin my descent.

'On Thin Ice, In a Blizzard' is a subseries of my project, 'A Field Guide to Snow and Ice'.

While all of the images in the field guide are excerpts of natural landscapes - just not all snow and ice - the images in this book were constructed in the darkroom. A winter of my imagination."

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

In Search of Dominguez & Escalante.

In Search of Dominguez & Escalante. Photographing the 1776 Spanish Expedition Through the Southwest. By Greg Mac Gregor and Siegfried Halus. Museum of New Mexico Press, 2011. 232 pp., illustrated throughout, 9,25x11,25". Images from here.

Book description:

"More than two hundred years later Greg Mac Gregor and Siegfried Halus have created a remarkable visual record of the expedition.

Using Escalante’s journal as their guide, the photographers followed the expeditionary route, circling through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona, and documenting the frontier as first witnessed by the Spanish explorers on horseback.

The expedition passed what today are major national parks and landforms: Zion Canyon; Dinosaur Monument; and the Grand Canyon. The photographs show many areas virtually unchanged over centuries; other images reveal the passage of time in pictures of dammed rivers, power lines, and towns where once stood virgin forests.

Quoting widely from Escalante’s journal, the authors present first hand accounts of the expedition alongside their photographic narrative. Essays by the photographers discuss their methodology and experiences as modern day explorers retracing the steps of the friars.

In his historical essay, Joseph P. Sánchez writes about the lasting legacy of the Spanish expeditions."

Friday, December 02, 2011

Memories of a Dog.

Memories of a Dog. Photographs and text by Daido Moriyama. Nazraeli Press, 2004. 192 pp., illustrated throughout, 7x10". Images from here.

Book description:

"Daido Moriyama is without question one of Japan’s most important contemporary photographers and it is not surprising that this memoir, first published as a series of essays in Asahi Camera twenty-one years ago, is regarded as a classic in photographic literature.

In 'Memories of a Dog', Moriyama approaches photography through language, and it is difficult to say which is the more evocative medium.

His vividly expressive prose is in perfect harmony with the grainy, black and white images that in turn have a poetry all their own. As both reader and viewer one becomes completely absorbed, and photographs that will always be remarkable are given a new, very personal, layer of meaning.

This is an eloquent autobiographical account of the artist’s progress through life - the places he’s lived and traveled to, the newsreel theater that was like a 'second school', the bars, the coffee shops, and his journey to take his mother’s ashes to be with those of his father.

From his earliest sensations of being, to the realization that he has become 'willy-nilly and much to my regret, an adult', Moriyama shares his idea of memory, and 'the individual history that goes by the name, I'. "

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Rise of the Phantom King.

The Rise of the Phantom King. By dettmer otto. Otto books, 2009. 16pp. + pullout, 3 colours, screenprinted, unbound, 27x35cm. Edition of 100.

I really like Otto's work and have previously featured his books The Octopus would like to put a stop to us and Fettered by film.

Book description:

"An ancient king emerges to take over the city of London. While taking on various shapes and disguises he dismantels the power structures, in order to establish himself as single tyrannical ruler."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Bridge at Hoover Dam.

The Bridge at Hoover Dam. By Jamey Stillings. Nazraeli Press, 2011. 128 pp., illustrated throughout, 13,5x17". Images from here.

'Documenting' projects like this is always really interesting to me. I also really appreciate the graphic lines and shapes constructed with the lines of the architecture, nature and building process in these photographs.

Book description:

"In March of 2009, amidst the rumblings of a global financial crisis that was to shape zeitgeist for years to come, Jamey Stillings set out on a road trip to reinvigorate his creative spirit.

What he encountered would captivate, challenge and amaze him. Like a child suddenly finding himself before the world's largest erector set, Jamey had discovered the Bridge at Hoover Dam. Instantly, he knew he would dedicate himself to exploring and documenting construction of the bridge through its completion.

Over the course of two years and set against the cultural and economic backdrop of our time, Jamey created a body of work that echoes the Bridge in its ability to simultaneously celebrate the power of human spirit and ingenuity while inviting an examination of the intersection of nature and the hand of man.

Against the temporal landscape of economic hardship, an eerie historic echo of its neighboring Hoover Dam, and the flashy and impermanent cultural landscape of Las Vegas, the Colorado River, Black Canyon and the Bridge that soars over are natural and manmade symbols of immutability and wonder.

Together, they are a legacy at which generations will marvel and Stillings’ images are imbued with the awe of one in the presence of great natural powers and the acme of human effort and creativity. Jamey Stillings' work has been widely exhibited and published throughout the country.

The artist's first monograph, 'The Bridge at Hoover Dam', is beautifully produced in an oversized format, and is published to coincide with a traveling exhibition opening at the Phoenix Art Museum in August 2011."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Richard Prince: American Prayer.

Richard Prince: American Prayer. By Richard Prince. Essays by Bob Rubin, Marie Minssieux-Chamonard and John McWhinnie. Gagosian Gallery, 2011. 600 pp., illustrated throughout, 6,5x9". Images from here.

I'm not always a fan of Richard Prince’s work, but it really is a treat to see the inspiration behind his work in the form of his book collection.

For me, it's adding more layers to his work and gives me another insight into his creative process (and of course I love book collections and book-related ephemera).

Book description:

"A look into Richard Prince’s private library and his influences, published on the occasion of an exhibition of twentieth-century rare books and ephemera at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris.

'Richard Prince: American Prayer' is an accompanying volume that expands upon the presentation. Literary excerpts complement illustrations of artworks, showing the influence of the texts and Prince's book collection, including rare volumes such as 'Naked Lunch', Jack Kerouac's rolled manuscript for Big Sur, and editions of Vladimir Nabokov's 'Lolita' in several languages.

'American Prayer' reveals the source for many of Prince’s well-known series and includes texts ranging from one-sentence quips to longer excerpts.

Robert Rubin is an art historian and collector of contemporary art and design. Marie Minssieux-Chamonard is a contemporary and rare book curator at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. John McWhinnie is a rare-book dealer and gallerist."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


A. By Gregory Halpern. Edited by Jason Fulford. J & L Books, 2011. 96 pp., illustrated throughout, 9,5x11,75". Images from here.

Book description:

"In 'A', American photographer Gregory Halpern (born 1977) leads us on a ramble through the brilliant and ruined streets of the United States Rust Belt.

The cast of characters, both human and animal, are portrayed with compassion and respect by this native son of Buffalo (now professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology).

The cities he is drawn to - Baltimore, Cincinnati, Omaha, Detroit - share similar histories with his hometown, and in this post-apocalyptic springtime all forms of life emerge and run riot.

On the heels of Halpern’s two previous books, 'Harvard Works Because We Do' (a portrait of Harvard University through the eyes of the school’s service employees) and 'Omaha Sketchbook' (a lyrical artist’s book portrait of the titular city), 'A' continues the photographer’s investigations of locations and persons that fly under the radar."