Monday, May 30, 2011

In Dark Trees.

In Dark Trees. Photographs by Rob Johannesma. Roma Publications, 2010. 112 pp., colour and black & white illustrations throughout, 24x16,5 cm. Images from photo-eye.

For me this is the most magical of books. It's based on artist Rob Johannesma's 2009 exhibition 'Uitval uit een' at De Vleeshal Middelburg (read more here).

Book description:

"Johannesma started working with video in the mid 1990s and much of his work involves specific uses of this technique.

In his video installations the camera moving at minimum speed is focused on a photograph - the video picture moves but the image does not.

The large print entitled ’In Dark Trees’ presents two contrasting pictures from different ages: a late fifteenth-century painting of John the Baptist in the Wilderness by the Dutch artist Geertgen tot Sint Jans and a new photo of a rocket attack in the Gaza Strip in 2008."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rest in Peace Gil Scott-Heron

Gil Scott-Heron: 'Did you here what they said'. Source.

Deeply, deeply saddened to wake up to the news that the poet, activist, songwriter, spoken word-artist and musician Gil Scott-Heron has passed away.

As an artist and someone who intertwined his political convictions with a profound creativity, he has perhaps effected me more than any other.

I was fortunate to see him perform live, something that stayed with me for a long, long time. He will be missed.

Read, read, read, read, read, read, read. Listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, listen.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Oceanscapes. Photographs by Renate Aller. Radius Books, 2010. 96 pp., 47 colour illustrations, 10x13". Images from photo-eye.

Book description:

"German born photographer Renate Aller has been photographing the Atlantic Ocean for over a decade from a single point on the fabled Hamptons’ coastline.

Her images capture the infinitely shifting colors and textures of the sky and water, and the beauty and grandeur of the ocean, providing a rich document of what has drawn people to this area for generations.

Aller's viewpoint is static, but the changing weather and light allow for a diverse series of images that open up a vast 'visual library' of memories and associations."

A limited edition of 'Oceanscapes' is also available. It "includes a signed and numbered color archival pigment print mounted to Diasec with a book in a plexiglass box. Limited to 25 copies."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Far Too Close.

Far Too Close. By Martina Hoogland Ivanow. Book design by Nicholas Hughes. Steidl MACK, 2011. 72pp., 46 colour plates, 29,7x23,8 cm.

A very interesting and thought-provoking subject matter.

Book description:

" 'Far Too Close' is a visual meditation on distance, both physical and emotional, of closeness to a subject and remoteness from a place.

Applying a dark mesmerizing aesthetic which conveys in her images a heightened presence as real as it is poetic, Martina Hoogland Ivanow interweaves family portraits and interiors of home with landscapes of some of the most remote and far flung locations at the very ends of the Earth.

Over seven years she travelled to Siberia, Sakhalin Island north of Japan, Tierra del Fuego on the southern tip of Argentina, and the Kola Peninsula in Russian Lapland. Each of these places has its own dark history and has been the focus of dispute and discontent.

Combined with photographs of her own community, a literary tale emerges which shifts from disturbing to familiar and is about the very nature of photography, its capacity to relate history and emotion from afar and nearby."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Work in Progress.

Work in Progress. By Karl Lagerfeld. Text by Jean-Luc Monterosso, Elisabeth Quin, Anne Cartier-Bresson. Steidl, 2011. 192pp.,120 colour plates, 20x25cm.

Wonderful, interesting photography from fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld. Also have a look at the exhibitions, here and here, of the work featured in this book.

Book description:

" 'Work in Progress' is a survey of Karl Lagerfeld’s photography, showcasing Lagerfeld’s phenomenal range and versatility from his beginnings as a photographer in 1987 to his most recent work.

This book is the long anticipated English version of the now sold-out 'Parcours de Travail' which accompanied an exhibition of the same name at the Maison européenne de la photographie in Paris in 2010.

'Work in Progress' shows Lagerfeld moving sleekly between genres such as portraiture, architecture and landscape, with the same restlessness with which he experiments with both rare and progressive photographic techniques including algraphy, serigraphy, resinotypes and sepia prints. Unchanging, however, is Lagerfeld’s fascination with interpreting and reinventing the work of other artists and writers, be it Oskar Schlemmer, Fritz Lang, Lyonel Feininger or Alexej von Jawlensky, to name just a few.

'Work in Progress' is testament to Lagerfeld’s unparalleled photographic achievement to date as well as a promise that the best is still to come."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Brian Rutenberg.

Brian Rutenberg. Work by Brian Rutenberg. Text by Martica Sawin, foreword by Gregory Amenoff. Radius Books, 2010. 164pp., 85 colour and 15 b&w illustrations, 11x11".

Book description:

"Brian Rutenberg’s paintings reinvigorate and revitalize the medium. Raised in the South Carolina lowlands, Rutenberg has lived and worked in New York for the past 20 years.

His work elicits a profoundly visceral experience as he reinvests abstraction with a sense of spirituality.

This volume is the most comprehensive presentation of his work to date; it includes an essay by critic and writer Martica Sawin and a foreword by artist and writer Gregory Amenoff."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Yangtze. The Long River.

Yangtze. The Long River. Photographs by Nadav Kander. Text by Jean-Paul Tchang, Kofi A. Annan & Nadav Kander. Hatje Cantz, 2010. 160 pp., 75 colour illustrations, 13¼x11". Images from photo-eye.

A beautiful book displaying calm beauty and serenity, in the midst of change.

Book description:

"Nadav Kander (*1961 in Israel) creates images in an age of radical change: in a series awarded the famed Prix Pictet in 2009, he photographed a China in the process of revolution. Traveling along the Yangtze River, he took serene pictures of people haplessly facing overwhelming change.

In these pictures, the river - China’s main artery - becomes a metaphor of constant transformation. The tiny figure of a mother with a baby in her arms leans against a huge bridge piling, and one cannot help but wonder what the country will look like when this child is an adult.

There are still traces of the old China, for whose spirituality the river was important, but the idyllic old buildings and houseboats have been replaced by colossal new apartment complexes that emulate Western architecture. As Kander himself says: 'China is a nation that appears to be severing its roots by destroying its past in the wake of the sheer force of its moving ‘forward’ at such an astounding and unnatural pace. A people scarring their country, and a country scarring its people'. "

Friday, May 20, 2011

Within Shadows.

Within Shadows. Photographs by Susan Burnstine. Charta Editions, 2011. 100 pp., 45 duotone illustrations, 24x24 cm. Images from photo-eye.

Book description:

"Susan Burnstine’s 'Within Shadows' is a subtle, indelibly memorable photographic exploration of the fleeting moments between dreaming and waking - the blurred seconds in which imagination and reality collide.

Burnstine is one of the few photographers today avidly pursuing alternative analogue processes to create an idiosyncratic and deeply personal visual landscape.

As a child, she suffered vivid nightmares that stayed with her for days. When awake, these powerful dreams would induce a liminal state that opened up an exploration of the subconscious, wherein she discovered a curious synthesis of magic and reality. Within these unfamiliar states of mind that bridged the gap between real and unreal, she found symbolic intimations of life and death. Though the intensity of her dreams did not lessen as an adult, her response transformed. 'Initially', she says, 'I was lost within the haze of my dreams. But now, it is through my dreams that I truly see'."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Revolutionary Middle-Class.

Revolutionary Middle-Class. Photographs by A.C. Kupper. Edition Patrick Frey, 2010. 112 pp., 58 black & white and colour illustrations, 10x13¾". Images from photo-eye and Edition Patrick Frey.

Book description:

"A.C. Kupper collects pictures, both his own and those of others. There is an inexhaustible source of material available through the Internet, where private spheres are publicly accessible, and through the wealth of illustrations in books, printed matter and film, and the artist’s own photographs. The new pictures that the artist creates from this convey are a vision of mutation and a sense of gradual alienation. Kupper’s laconic humor, the aesthetic compositions and the soft stroke reminiscent of painting, impart a more vivid picture and a less-promising future.

In 'Revolutionäre Mittelklasse' ['Revolutionary Middle-Class'], the modern individual appears as a person with no identity, genderless and without a past. The disfigured faces seem eerie, their tragedy unintentionally funny and hollow. The gender attributes of men and women, physical and intellectual, multiply into a functionality that is geared toward efficiency.

A.C. Kupper’s imagery spreads the vision of a moronic society that has lost its humanness, its passion, and its sexual identity. A.C. Kupper’s large-size photographs are aesthetic and carefully composed.

The artist uses cultural codes and striking symbols that have long been lost to the mainstream. The middle-class, as the norm, is the disturbing pessimistic vision of a future world without pain. The middle-class revolution is the affliction of a propagated normality that never existed."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Silver Lining.

The Silver Lining. By Misha Hollenbach. Decathlon Books, 2011. 72 pp., illustrated throughout, includes a a double-sided poster, 8½x11".

I really like Decathlon Books' series of ten books by artists, photographers and designers they find interesting - from which I've previously featured Fools on Hills and Parking Lot Hydra.

Book description:

"The eighth title in Decathlon’s ongoing exploration of the weird and wonderful comes courtesy of Melbourne-based artist Misha Hollenbach. No stranger to the form, Hollenbach co-runs P.A.M. Books and is part of multimedia collective The Changes.

'The Silver Lining' is primarily a collection of collages, cut-ups from a variety contemporary detritus reconfigured as a delirious, erotically-charged bad trip.

The best images here could also function as sketches for sculptural assemblages. It comes with a double-sided color poster on newsprint - psilocybin not included."

View the entire 'The Silver Lining' here (video). More Misha Hollenbach here, here, here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Nothing Nothing Nothing Nothing 2004-2007.

Nothing Nothing Nothing Nothing 2004-2007. Photographs by Asher Penn. An Art Service, 2009. 494 pp., colour illustrations throughout, 23x18 cm.

I'm down with the very aptly-named vomiting flu with high fever, hence the complete lack of posts for the past week (apologies!).

Book description:

"Anthology of artist books self-published by Asher Penn between 2004 and 2007 - an anthology that is effectively an artist book itself.

Made between Providence, New York, Philadelphia and Vancouver, these 'zine-like publications are rephotographed page by page on top of painted works that Penn was producing at the time of their re-publication.

In rephotographing these original editions on the surface of recent work, Penn cleverly illustrates the creative vertigo capable of creeping up on artists while they look back at the artist that they have become.

The artist books collected in this anthology include the following: Just Say Maybe; Go Fuck Yourself With Your Atomic Bomb; Bad Hound, Buddha; School; Asher Mixtape Hell; Elisa Penn Hero One; Institutional Critique; The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants; Before And After; and (Untitled)."

Sunday, May 08, 2011


Sunday. Photographs by Paul Kooiker. Van Zoetendaal Gallery, 2011. 84 pp., colour illustrations throughout, 34x24cm. Images from photo-eye.

I love the surrealistic feel of these images, the colours, shapes and composition. Very glad to have found the work of Paul Kooiker!

Book description:

"Paul Kooiker’s new book 'Sunday' consists of a great diversity of images of one female model.

Bright colours, porcelain skin, shiny shoes: turning the pages means moving a lightening sculpture in a natural way, almost in harmony but at unexpected moments bizar and surrealistic."

More Paul Kooiker here, here and here for example.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

State of the Union.

State of the Union. Photographs by Mitch Epstein. Text by Christoph Schreier, Giesela Parak, Stephan Berg. In English and German. Hatje Cantz, 2010. 120 pp., 59 colour illustrations, 25,3x37,6cm.

'State of the Union' was published to coincide with the 2011 exhibition 'Mitch Epstein - State of the Union' at the Kunstmuseum Bonn. I've previously featured the book 'American Power' with Epstein's work.

Book description:

"Mitch Epstein (*1952 in Holyoke, Massachusetts) numbers among America’s outstanding contemporary photographers. This publication examines the development of his oeuvre on the basis of two very different series of photographs.

'Recreation - American Photographs (1973-88)' represents traditional American Street Photography and depicts everyday situations, quintessential testimony to life in the United States in the seventies and eighties.

The open nature of a pluralistic society, one that decades later seems to have lost its fortuity, is documented in the randomness of the encounters.

This is implied in the title of the second photoseries 'American Power', which Epstein began in 2003. It draws attention to one of the major power conglomerates in America, the energy industry, one that intervenes not only in society, but in nature as well, transforming them both in the process. Cooling towers and refineries dominate the images, breaking all rules of proportion and degrading everything else around them to the status of insignificant marginalia."

Friday, May 06, 2011

New Documentary.

New Documentary. Photographs by Takashi Homma. The Asahi Shimbun, 2011. 230 pp., illustrated throughout, 8¼x11".

'New Documentary' was released to accompany the Takashi Homma exhibition of the same name at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. This traveling exhibition can currently be seen at the Art Gallery Tokyo Opera City.

Book description:

"This impressive catalogue features a range of Homma's works to date, including a special illustrated section on his photo books, together with informative and insightful texts that shed light on the artist's significant contribution to contemporary art.

From the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art:

'Photographs by Takashi Homma are known for reflecting dry sentiment of the times and giving us a feeling of distance toward the subject.

Dealing with a variety of themes, such as architecture, ocean waves, children seen in Tokyo and suburban scenery, he has serialized many of them over the years. Keeping away from describing narrative or emotion, his neutral viewpoint captures the subject unemotionally, which is suitably called 'new documentary,' that leans towards neither expression nor record, advancing from the age when the two were specifically questioned.

While he has kept having 'a documentative viewpoint' since the start of his career as a photographer, he has tackled possibilities of the photographic expression by 'approaching photography as art.'

Recently in particular, his creative activities pursuing more subjective expressions have broadened while openly dealing with the real world and the times.

In this exhibition, not only his prints in the past but also his latest works using different methods and media, such as silk screens based on photos, installations to be viewed through binoculars, books full of images as well as paintings are introduced, raising a question of 'what photography is.'

They lead viewers to think about the meaning of 'seeing' through the reality reflected on the photographs. For example, there is Trails in pursuit of the trail of deer hunting in a snow-covered mountain and a painting on the same subject. Tokyo and My Daughter, his lifework for which he continues taking a picture of Tokyo scenery and a girl, and Widows are works that he re-photographed so-called 'found photos' discovered in family albums of the protagonists. Thus, he intervenes, going beyond the limits of time, in photographed people's eyes turned upon their families and friends.

Homma's new work, re-construction, is a collection of works made into a book form, in which he re-photographed magazine covers and pages he edited. Others include exhibition leaflets, posters and their proof sheets, which reveal how lightly he has been working all over media of different kinds. You may say that to re-photograph by his own hands what he photographed is a reviewing act in itself of photography as a medium'. "

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Strange Attractor Journal Four.

Strange Attractor Journal Four. Edited by Mark Pilkington, numerous contributors. Strange Attractor, 2011. 320pp., illustrated, 21x14,8cm.

This journal is really excellent! I found it at the ICA (London) where Strange Attractor also have been having weekly talks.

UPDATE: Strange Attractor Salon continues until May 15th so don't miss going done to the ICA!

About this edition, "the eagerly awaited fourth edition of the acclaimed anthology series":

"From Haiti and Hong Kong to the fourth dimension and beyond: discover the secrets of madness in animals; voodoo soul and dub music; ancient peacock deities; Chinese poisoning cults; the history of spider silk weaving; heathen mugwort magic; sentient lightning; Jesuit conspiracy theories; junkie explorers; Dali’s Atlantis; the resurgence of Pan (in London’s Crouch End); anarchist pirates on Madagascar; an ancient Greek Rip Van Winkle; French anatomical waxworks; Arthur Machen’s forgotten tales and the full text of Alan Moore’s unfinished John Dee opera.

Featuring written and visual contributions from:

Richard Barnett, Mark Blacklock, John Cussans, Erik Davis, Paul Devereux, Roger Dobson, Joanna Ebenstein, Stephen Grasso, Gyrus, Ken Hollings, Mike Jay, Phil Legard, David Luke, Eleanor Morgan, Alan Moore, Steve Moore, Michael Neve, Andy Sharp, Robert Wallis, Sean Walsh.

Artwork by: Joel Biroco, Julian House, Phil Legard, Eleanor Morgan, Arik Roper & Nathalie Tayton."

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Permanent Error.

Permanent Error. Photographs by Pieter Hugo. Prestel, Lakewood, 2011. 128 pp., 60 colour illustrations, 9½x11½". Images from photo-eye.

Is it just me or does the world seem to have gone awry lately...

Book description:

"The most recent publication from the award-winning photographer Pieter Hugo reveals the devastating consequences of toxic waste on one community in Africa.

In his previous well-received volumes of photographs, Hugo offers unflinching yet striking portraits of humans, animals, societies, and landscapes that shock and disturb, but also demand our attention.

In 'Permanent Error', he documents a garbage dump in Ghana that has become the repository for discarded computers from around the world. These haunting images document the true cost of a misguided policy - the shipping of millions of tons of obsolete computers to developing countries.

The computers are burned to extract valuable metals, effectively turning the site into a toxic wasteland that contaminates air, soil, and groundwater for miles around. These amazing portraits tell a story of a marginal community overwhelmed by poverty, but where human strength and resilience shine through the inhuman conditions Hugo lays bare."

Monday, May 02, 2011

Unmarked Sites.

Unmarked Sites. Photographs by Jessica Auer. Les Territoires, 2011. 60 pp., 19 colour illustrations, 6x8". Limited edition of 500. Images from photo-eye.

Book description:

"In 'Unmarked Sites', Jessica Auer pursues photography like an archeologist, searching for cultural sites in Newfoundland and Labrador in an effort to reconcile its complex history.

Looking to the land for signs of the past, she delves into the relationship between landscape and regional identity. The resulting narrative reveals the intricacies that relate exploration, settlement, preservation and modern tourism.

Inspired by the travelogue and set within the context of geological time, the artist takes the reader on a journey that travels between reality and the imaginary.

This limited edition print of 500 books are numbered and include fold-out pages."