Friday, October 28, 2011

Darmstätder Werkblock.

Darmstätder Werkblock. By Tacita Dean. Steidl, 2009. 80pp., illustrated throughout, 26x15,3cm. Edition of 1000, signed and numbered.

There is something important about this work by Tacita Dean, and the thoughts and feelings behind making this record. Removed from this, the images themselves are quite poetic in their stripped down beauty - a quality that intertwines with the intent.

Book description:

"At the end of September 2007, the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Darmstadt closed for renovation. This has also meant a proposed restoration of the seven-room installation by Joseph Beuys known as Block Beuys, 1970-86.

The walls of the rooms are famously covered in brown and beige jute and the floors are carpeted. Beuys worked on the installation himself over many years, adding and changing things up to his death. The rooms continue to carry the aura of this activity and so the museum’s decision to remove the jute and carpet has caused great upset among lovers of Block Beuys worldwide.

The controversy centers on the fact that Beuys never made particular reference to the jute walls, allowing the assumption that they are not relevant to any question of renovation. Just prior to the museum’s closure, Dean painstakingly filmed the walls, the carpet and any detail of the gallery décor, which was soon to be replaced, seeing them as analogous to the entropy in and of Beuys’s art, whilst carefully avoiding any sighting of the work itself.

Working closely with Gerhard Steidl, she is extending the film into an artist’s book."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Of Falling and Floating.

Of Falling and Floating. Photographs by Elijah Gowin. Tin Roof Press, 2011. 132 pp., illustrated throughout, 12,25x11,5". Images from here.

Book description:

" 'Of Falling and Floating', Gowin’s most recent monograph, brings together three series of innovative color photographs.

Combining hand-crafted techniques with the latest digital imagery technology, these grainy and mysterious photographs present the poetic vision of a world balanced between faith and doubt, liberation and doom.

Figures fall through the air, plunge into water and search for balance or rescue.

More recent images are shot directly into the sun and add to this charged landscape of Super 8-like color and distressed dreams.

Historian and critic Lyle Rexer notes in his introduction that 'Imperfections in the scans, variations in the printing, multiply the sense of contingency and deliberately contradict the assumption that the digital age is an age of perfection.' "

Monday, October 24, 2011

Oceanomania. Souvenirs of Mysterious Seas from the Expedition to the Aquarium.

Oceanomania. Souvenirs of Mysterious Seas from the Expedition to the Aquarium. By Mark Dion. MACK Books, 2011. 192 pp., illustrated throughout, 22x30,4cm. English and French editions. Images from here.

Book description:

" 'Oceanomania' investigates the evolution of our fascination with the sea, in time and space, design, literature and art, revealing how the uncanny and marvelous have inspired artistic research.

Continuing his investigations as a naturalist, archaeologist and traveler, the American artist Mark Dion explored the collections of the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco to create a monumental curiosity cabinet and dived into the collections of the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM) to present a major intervention at Villa Paloma, one of the NMNM’s exhibition spaces.

The accompanying publication, 'Oceanomania: Souvenirs of Mysterious Seas' published by MACK and NMNM combines installation images from the exhibition, original artist imagery and essays from various writers exploring the different facets of the exploration of the seas and the challenges in exhibiting a marine world above sea level.

Two significant and contrasting recent maritime events form the conceptual framework of Dion’s project. These are the recently completed Census of Marine Life (2010) and the Deepwater Horizon oilrig explosion. The first brought together 2,700 scientists from 80 nations over a 10-year period to assess and explain the diversity, distribution and abundance of life in the oceans. The second, the Deepwater Horizon oilrig explosion led to 4.9 million barrels of crude oil being spilled into the seas of the Gulf of Mexico, producing an 80 square mile kill zone and causing extensive damage to marine life. Its consequences are expected to be felt for decades to come.

Dion’s work examines our perception of the oceans and engages our sense of wonder at its diversity and our melancholy at its depletion.

The project brings together works by 20 visual artists and 13 writers who show different aspects relating to our understanding of the sea and the ocean. They focus on the ocean not only as a site for exploration and discovery but also as a site where there is often unregulated and invisible human labor and exchange and where the marvelous aquatic life and mineral resources are often neglectfully exploited.

The exhibition and catalogue includes the monumental series Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea by Bernard Buffet (1928-1999) and works by Matthew Barney, Ashley Bickerton, David Brooks, Michel Camia, David Casini, Peter Coffin, Katharina Fritsch, Klara Hobza, Isola and Norzi, Pam Longobardi, Jean Painlevé, James Prosek, Man Ray, Alexis Rockman, Allan Sekula, Xaviera Simmons, Laurent Tixador and Abraham Poincheval and Rosemarie Trockel."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Revolution Will Be Televised / Nature Can't Be Tamed (second edition)

The Revolution Will Be Televised / Nature Can't Be Tamed. By Sara Elgerot / Rare Autumn, 2011. 14pp., b/w illustrations throughout, 7x10cm. Second/modified edition: 10 copies (hand-signed and numbered) plus 1 artist's proof.

The first edition of this book/zine was a limited edition of 15, which was part of the June/Winter issue of IMPRINT (with 1 copy in the PCA archive).

This second edition is printed on a paper with different texture and slightly higher grain. The finish and dimension of the book are also slightly different. It's limited to an edition of 10.

Book description:

A comment on the upheaval in the world right now. The change in society, the world structure - the change in reporting, viewing and reacting to world events, other cultures and other parts of the world.

Our reactions to conflict, and those things outside our control.

The starting-point for this artist book was the upheaval in the world that felt very prevalent to me (demonstrations through-out the middle east and the earthquake in Japan was perhaps the main starting point for this). From this I started thinking about the turmoil in the world, the change in the world order/balance, our environment, demonstrations through-out the world – and also the change in how this is reported, presented and perceived.

The title is a play on Gil Scott-Heron's 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised' (which for our time is perhaps the complete opposite) and the fact that we in our fabricated world somehow think we are, and also actually are up to a point, living outside nature and the laws of nature.

The book was made by cutting images from newspaper reports on natural disasters, demonstrations and violence (man-made and natural catastrophes eerily similar in their appearance).

The images were layered and assembled into collages, text added, then photocopied on different copiers, scanned, copied, layered, cut and printed on inkjet in black & white.

The resulting pieces were then folded into books, trimmed and staple-bound.

UPDATE: This book can now be found in the Bower Ashton Library Artists' Books collection, the Centre for Fine Print Research Artists' Books Collection, and the LCC Library Zine Collection.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Memorable Sunsets.

Memorable Sunsets. By Tucker Nichols. Café Royal Books, 2011. 24pp., illustrated throughout, 14x20cm (poster 38x26cm). Limited and numbered edition of 100.

A beautiful premise, with a really wonderful result I think. See more of Tucker Nichols work by going here.

Book description:

"I bought this black and white photograph for fifty cents at a thrift store in Alameda, California. It took me a minute to realize it was of a dramatic sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Even in color, photographs of sunsets never seem to capture the experience. But before color film was available, I wonder what it was like to get your pictures back from that time you saw that unbelievable sunset. What does color look like in black and white? I assume nothing, but then how can you tell this was such a vibrant sky?

My studio is in an old military building facing the Pacific, and recently I’ve seen some epic sunsets: cracks of neon pink below giant clouds of orange and purple.

At the same time, I’ve been making these psychedelic stripe paintings with gouache and ink on paper.

I’ve collected a group of them here - printed in black and white - just to understand what it would look like."

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Pictograms. By Warja Lavater. Nieves, 2008. 124pp., illustrated throughout, 19,5x25,5cm.

Book description:

"An early progenitor of the artist's book genre, Warja Honegger-Lavater was born in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1913. She worked as an illustrator for the magazine 'Jeunesse' from 1944-1958, and moved to New York shortly thereafter where she began a wonderful series of artist's books.

These books were published between 1962 and 1971, an exceptionally ripe time for artists to turn to the bookform, a time when the most often cited "first" artist's book also appeared, 'Twentysix Gasoline Stations' (1962) by Ed Ruscha.

All of Honegger-Lavater's books were made using the accordion-fold binding. Her aesthetic has been aptly described as "very clean, very Swiss." Each book tells a story, sequentially, like traditional books, but varying from them by rarely using words. Instead she chooses a symbol to represent, for example, a character, as in the red dot standing in for Red Riding Hood in 'Little Red Riding Hood'.

Nieves is delighted to release this previously unpublished collection of 60 ink pictograms, drawn between 1976 and 1996, originally printed individually as A2 plane prints."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

La Belle Dame Sans Merci.

La Belle Dame Sans Merci. By Alec Soth. Curated by Marco Delogu, with an essay by Francesco Zanot. Punctum Press, 2011. 52 pp., illustrated throughout, 12,5x15,25″. Edition of 500 (250 in Italian / 250 in English). Images from here.

I really like the work of Alec Soth and have previously featured this, this, this and this book with his work.

For 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' Soth was commissioned by the 10th FotoGrafia Festival Internazionle di Roma and the result is a wonderful monograph inspired by the John Keats poem of the same name.

This book has already sold out in most places, but you can email photo-eye to get on a waiting-list for it.

Book description (source and source):

"A meditation on John Keats, Rome, pale men, beautiful women and pineapples by the photographer Alec Soth.


If John Keats often wrote poems in tribute to specific works and figures in more or less recent history Alec Soth follows a similar principle, setting the foundations of his own series on bases supplied by Keats.

The rooting of Soth’s LBDSM does not stop here, though, because he raises on the solid Keatsian platform a further level of quotations and many other references. Thus his still-life with a bowl and three pieces of fruit in the center harks back to Tony Harrison’s verses in A Kumquat for John Keats, and an apparently ordinary city scene is actually a partial reconstruction of a photo by Ruth Orkin, shot in Florence in 1951 and known by the title An American Girl in Italy; it shows a young woman besieged by leering men.

This is a veiled statement of the process that Soth uses to create his images, exploiting the possibilities of control and staging offered by what is known as 'staged photography' rather than (as he has done more often) merely recording the reality in front of his eyes, without altering it in any way.

This excessive adherence to the model leads to the suspension of images deprived of the quality that’s usually (and naively) attributed to any photo: truthfulness.

The result resembles awakening from a dream, exactly what happens in Keats’s La Belle Dame Sans Merci toward the end of the poem. What indubitably corresponded to reality until just a moment before turns out to be an imitation.

Keats died in Rome on February 23, 1821. Engraved on his tombstone in Rome’s non-Catholic cemetery is the famous epitaph 'Here lies one whose name was writ in water'.

Soth set his own LBDSM in Rome, suggesting a fanciful biographical reconstruction, and at the same time reconsidered the most typical ways of applying photography to a territorial-revision operation.

The project he developed takes account of his intention to depict the city of Rome, but updates the usual method of landscape research according to a logic whereby places are investigated in a context of further observations in the foreground. The city is part of the mystery that this work cannot fully unveil, but only capture in bits and snatches."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

To Young Man or Woman in Search of Ideal II.

To Young Man or Woman in Search of Ideal II. By Sara Elgerot / Rare Autumn, 2011. 12pp., b/w illustrations throughout, 14,8x21cm. Bibliophile edition & normal edition, which is limited to an edition of 20 (hand-signed and numbered).

This book centers around extracts from the chapter 'To A Young Man or Woman in Search of the Ideal II' from the book 'Search-Light Letters' by Robert Grant (you can read the entire book on Project Gutenberg).

Some sentences have been enlarged, distorted, taken out of context and given more/less/different importance and/or intent than in the original text. The pages have been distressed, manipulated and graphic elements have been introduced.

The materials used are inkjet on paper, with recycled plastic and recycled paper elements. Folded and staple-bound.

A modified edition of 'To Young Man or Woman in Search of Ideal II' was distributed as part of the Bibliophile project at Spike Island Artists' Book and Zine Fair on Saturday 8 October, 2011.

UPDATE: This book can now be found in the Bower Ashton Library Artists' Books collection, the Centre for Fine Print Research Artists' Books Collection, and the LCC Library Zine Collection.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Traces. Photographs by Ian Teh. Deep Sleep Editions, 2011. 64 pp., illustrated throughout, 30,2x24cm. Images from here.

Book description:

"Ian Teh explores the industrial hinterlands of China’s far-flung and impoverished provinces with unflinching precision and subtle intensity.

From industrialisation to pollution, these photographic works present the landscape as a repository for humanity’s endeavors, somehow a source of memory and a silent testament to our material desires.

In the world’s most populous country Teh has made landscape pictures with close to no people in sight, letting the terrain speak for itself.

Over-mined and ruptured lands have resulted in an organic architecture, reflecting man’s belief that what lies beneath the surface has greater value than what lies above. Yet these photographs do not propose to dictate an easy answer to the problematic balance between improved living standards and environmental nightmares.

To quote a retired truck driver in Inner Mongolia 'Nowadays we have a better standard of living even if our life spans are shorter. Nothing made here stays here; our government has exported our blue skies to the west'.

In contrast to the landscape vistas we are intermittently submerged into the intimate chronicles of daily life in these environments. Visually darker and obscured, these photographs capture the working conditions at China’s industrial core. We are offered a context in which the passing of time appears fleeting in comparison to the icy stillness and longevity of the land.

Ultimately, the brilliant glare from China’s metropolises can be traced back to the hinterland and its migrant workers. There, as in all of China, Ian Teh sees the dream of a nation, the cost and what is deferred for future generations."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Homage: Remembering Chernobyl.

Homage: Remembering Chernobyl. Photographs by Jim Krantz. Jim Krantz Studio, 2011. 132 pp., illustrated throughout, 8,75x11,5". Images from here.

Book description:

"In the fall of 2009 and 2010 photographer Jim Krantz traveled to Ukraine, photographing the individuals still living in the shadow of the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor, and the abandoned villages that surround it.

While there he discovered a long-forgotten eulogy to the village penned by a fleeing resident, celebrating the former glory of the village, the author's home, and promising to return one day.

This letter planted the seed for 'Homage: Remembering Chernobyl', a new series of photographs, an accompanying monograph, and video produced in collaboration with Emmy Award-winning editor Josh Bodnar / Whitehouse Post.

The catalogue of the 'Homage: Remembering Chernobyl' is released April 26, 2011 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, and a substantial portion of all proceeds will benefit the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Included are 99 color photographs from the series and essays on topics ranging from alcoholism, to the effects of radiation and the nature of home by contributors Askold Melnyczuk, physicist Dr. Scott Clearwater Ph.D, Henry Henderson, Midwest Director of the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), and the pseudonymous 'John King'. "

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Aftermath. Photographs by Jörn Vanhöfen. Hatje Cantz, 2011. 148 pp., illustrated throughout, 34,8x28,9cm. Images from here.

Book description:

"Ruins of Modernism: the consequences of unchecked growth and exploitation.

Photographer Jörn Vanhöfen (*1961 in Dinslaken) travels the world to capture images of areas that are undergoing rapid change. They are always places where people believe wholeheartedly in permanent growth and limitless profit, for the consequences of this fatal attitude are the objects of his photographic work.

Vanhöfen journeys to Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America, going wherever the results are demonstrably obvious - from the Chicago stock exchange, the townships of Cape Town, and the scorched forests in Apulia to abandoned factories in Detroit and salvage yards in his hometown in the Ruhr region.

His unique, poetic photographs depict ruins of our time. And while they may be fascinatingly beautiful, the looming consequences of our actions at the same time horrify us."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Untitled 2.

Untitled 2. With the poem 'Lullaby' by Rosie Miles. Book by Sara Elgerot / Rare Autumn, 2011. Hand-constructed. 6x2,5cm. Limited edition of 1 (plus 1 artist's proof).

This is the second book that is part of Rosie Miles 'Poetry and Illustration Project', and also takes its starting point from her poem 'Lullaby'.

'Untitled 2' is an extension of (and to be displayed with) the book Untitled 1.

As 'Untitled 1', 'Untitled 2' can be displayed as a book and opened and read as one and also has a sculptural quality to it where it can be viewed or displayed as such.
It also share the same protectiveness and utilitarian feel in the use of materials and execution.

In 'Untitled 2' the protection of the poem has taken one step further however, with the words literally "bolted in".

Friday, October 07, 2011

Nobel Prize in literature to Tomas Tranströmer

This year's Nobel Prize in literature goes to Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer. A very well-deserved and perhaps well-overdue honour to a poet whose work is poignant, existential and has greatly influenced me (and certainly many others).

Tranströmer's work is often charactarised by "economy, concreteness and poignant metaphors". His first collection of poems was published in 1954, and his work has subsequently been translated into over 60 languages. Tranströmer periodically publised translations of his own poetry, which culminated in the 1999 collection 'Tolkningar' ('Interpretations').

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2011 was awarded to Tomas Tranströmer "because, through his condensed, translucent images, he gives us fresh access to reality".

Read more here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here for example.

Source for quotes here.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Rest in Peace Steve Jobs

The Apple co-founder and all-around visionary has died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56. Read more here, here, here and here for example.

Rest in peace. and thank you Steve.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Paradise City.

Paradise City. Photographs by Hans Bol. Recto Verso, 2011. 144 pp., illustrated throughout, 24x30 cm. Edition of 700, limited edition of 60.

I was not familiar with the work of Hans Bol before I found this book, but I really love the textural quality and the Strindberg-influence of the work in 'Paradise City' and am keen to see more as a result.

Watch Bol work in this short by filmmaker Martin van den Oever (if you understand Dutch - I don't - you can also hear the interview). For the limited edition and/or book design and more extensive information about the book go here and scroll down.

Book description:

"Driving south over the A12 from Genova to Livorno in Italy, along the westside of the Apennines, the area around Carrara from a distance looks as if we see perpetual snow. However, those who know the area, know better. It is not snow we are seeing, but negligent downhill dumping of debris from the marblequarries.

It is an eccentric landscape that has a special mix of romanticism, large-scale and first-rate production techniques and massive economic interests.

By visiting the area for over a period of more than twenty years, Hans Bol has been able to investigate the quarries from different angles, all organically related with each other. First, he was struck by the fantastic light in the quarries; then he was fascinated by the material itself and the traces the work process left behind.

As a result he started to see the quarry as one, big sculpture, in which coincedence played a major role - the work process in the quarry itself led to interesting shapes and structures that were condensed into abstract sculptures through the lens.

Finally, also influenced by the work of The New Topographics, he saw and recorded the immense damage done to nature in this impressive western part of the central Apeninnes.

Aloof beauty seemed to have to go hand in hand with cruel attacks on the landscape. Thus, a new, other landscape has come into being that may be read as a methaphor for human interaction with nature."

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Untitled 1.

Untitled 1. With the poem 'Lullaby' by Rosie Miles. Book by Sara Elgerot / Rare Autumn, 2011. Hand-constructed. 21x15cm. Limited edition of 1 (plus 1 artist's proof).

This book is part of Rosie Miles 'Poetry and Illustration Project', and takes its starting point from her poem 'Lullaby'.

It can be displayed as a book and opened and read as one, but it also has a sculptural quality to it where it can be viewed or displayed as such. Doing so also “lays the poem bare” and leaves the words in a way unprotected (perhaps a braver display of emotions?).

The materials used for the book also reflects a protectiveness of a poem that I felt to be fragile, but also direct and non-cynical.

For example, the paper covering the book boards are the type of tissue paper one uses to protect fragile items when moving. This kind of paper has an interesting quality as it's fragile and rips easily as a single sheet, but folded around an item it becomes sturdy and capable of protecting items that easily breaks.

The book has a sort of utilitarian feel, which I thought was an interesting contrast to its content which could perhaps be viewed as having a more romantic or sentimental tone.

Also see Untitled 2, which was made as an extension of (and to be displayed with) this book.

Monday, October 03, 2011


Abendsonne. Photographs by Misha de Ridder., 2011. 14 pp., illustrated throughout, 30x36,5cm. Images from here.

I really like the work of Dutch photographer Misha de Ridder and have previously featured the book Dune with his work.

'Abendsonne', which can loosely be translated to "evening sun", is a beautiful series of photographs capturing this twice-yearly natural phenomenon.

Book description:

"Sometimes natural phenomena can become so estranged and mysterious, that we are inclined to describe them as unreal realities. It might be the extraordinary shape of a tree, a mountain, a shadow, a cloud or the mirroring reflection of nature in a lake, but it is foremost the unfamiliarity of the natural aesthetics of reality.

The photos in this book literally refer to such an unfamiliar natural phenomenon, a phenomenon that appears twice a year during the end of the autumn and the beginning of spring for the period of one week in an area in the Swiss Alps.

During the winter season a village is permanently covered by the shadow of a high mountain in the west, which eliminates all direct sunlight. A week before darkness falls, the sun appears one more time after it has set every evening. A mysterious phenomenon known as 'Abendsonne'. "