Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Notations. By William Brice. Twin Palms Publishers, 1983. 96pp., illustrated throughout, 10x13".

Book description:

"In order to visualize and experiment with compositional elements for his large-scale paintings, William Brice began drawing on four by six inch index cards.

These cards made for a more portable means of sharing his work with others and when assembled in a sketchbook they are a concise presentation of one artist's working methods.

This volume is a reproduction of William Brice's original sketchbook, each card is sequenced and mounted on the page as they appear in the artist's original sketchbook."

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Read You Like A Book: Time and Relative Dimensions in Storytelling

© Mike Nicholson. Image from here.

I really like this issue (Vol 12, No 4) of Image & Narrative Journal, and especially the 'visual article' by artist Mike Nicholson entitled 'Read You Like A Book: Time and Relative Dimensions in Storytelling' (abstract below, full pdf here).

I've long been a fan of his work and am lucky enough to own quite a few editions from his 'Bio Auto Graphic' series (published through the Ensixteen Editions imprint), which this piece can be said to be an extension of.

His work is always funny, sweet and poignant, but at the same time serious and I think there's also always an honesty and a deeper level to it, which (if you're not familiar with his work) comes across well in this piece for example.

For more of Mike Nicholson's work, or for which event or bookart fair you can catch him at next, go here.


"Life unfolds as irreversible, linear progression - day on day on day - like the reading of a traditional codex book, though we process it through the random subjectivity of memory, imagination and emotion.

In the solitude of our minds, we effortlessly connect points and personal themes in the story of ourselves, back and forth across distances of time and physical geography. Can limited architectures of sequential narrative - even expanded from analogue paper to digital formats - explore and express the above? Do new story shapes allow parallel readings from the same material? What constitutes the pages of our day, the chapter headings? Could the really important truths be hidden in the footnotes?

Nicholson’s 'Bio Auto Graphic' editions travel a landscape of metaphor, metafiction and psycho-geography. Senses of place and self have developed alongside the resonance of objects. The significance of the insignificant is key. The gaps between things drive the work; tensions of image and text, self-image and the image others see of us, what we say and what we actually mean, what we expect of others and what they expect of us.

In this article Nicholson further combines visual languages of text and image to examine a particular journey and event. The anticipation of the experience, and final immersion within the reality of it, evoke hard-wired notions of a regional identity embedded in the artist-author’s earliest cultural references. The most profound journeys, towards a morality that links individuals to society, may even bring us back to where we started."

Friday, January 27, 2012

Time Lost.

Time Lost. 1968-1974. By Pablo Larreta. Libreria Brambila, 2010. Unpaged, illustrated throughout, 8,35x10,75". Edition of 350. Images from here.

Book description:

"Pablo Larreta’s photographs might seem like anticipatory studies for his later career as a sculptor.

They are about light and space; and even when inhabited by people, they are permeated with a silence that puts his living subjects on equal footing with architecture or statuary.

Only incidentally anthropological, these artful photographs are nonetheless an idiosyncratic window into the Argentine pampas in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries."

View inside the entire book here (video).

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Today I wrote nothing.

Today I wrote nothing. By Natalie Czech. Editions Gwinzegal, 2010. 44pp., illustrated throughout, 13x20cm. Limited and numbered edition of 500.

Book description:

"The photographic series 'Today I wrote nothing' by Natalie Czech is based on a diary entry by the Russian avant-garde author and poet Daniil Kharms (1905-1942).

Founder of the OBERIU or 'Union of Real Art' movement, Kharms was a well-known poet and performer of the early Soviet literary scene. He was denounced as an 'anti-Soviet' writer in 1931, and arrested and imprisoned in a psychiatric ward in 1941.

Kharms died in his cell, most likely of starvation, in 1942. In 1937, Kharms wrote the following entry in his diary: Today I wrote nothing. Doesn't matter. January 9th.

'Today I wrote nothing' is a series of 22 photographic tableaux. Each tableau consists of a printed book page, inscribed with the text of Kharms' diary-entry. On each page some of the words of the entry are missing, so that the written statement changes."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Trees and Plinths

This work by artist Ralph Dorey goes very well with my Sunday I must say. I really liked 'Trees and Plinths' when I first encountered it (as I still do), I feel quite moved by it really.

For more of his work go here, I have previously also featured his publication It shook me by the hand, and then it punched me in the ear.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Things Here and Things Still to Come.

Things Here and Things Still to Come. By Jose Pedro Cortes. Pierre von Kleist Editions, 2011. 116 pp., illustrated throughout, 24,5x31cm. Normal edition limited to 1000 copies, special edition limited to 100 copies (including an original print). Images from here.

Book description:

"During nine months I lived in Tel Aviv. During this period I met four young Jewish women who were born in the USA.

They had all decided, at the age of 18, to go to Israel to do the military service.

After completing the required two years of service, they decided to stay and live in this idyllic Middle Eastern city."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Before Silence.

Before Silence. Photographs by Mathias Grate, text by Mikael Timm. Mathias Grate, 2011. 64 pp., illustrated throughout, 6,75x8,5". Images from here.

Book description:

"Mathias Grate’s photographs are less moments of touching down in time than keystrokes in an ongoing script of compressed experience.

They seem to be drawn from a journey in the same unfamiliar landscape, a zone (to use a Tarkovskian association) which borders on the one side on everyday life and on the other on all that is timeless, other-worldly. (...)

The subjects in this series from the zone could provoke grief. But they have been so gently developed (exposed feels like far too brutal word) that, instead, they are comforting.

They form a short film of still images on the subject of tenderness. On the subject of that which takes place between the words."

Friday, January 13, 2012

Many Voices Speak

Image modified, source for original here .

"Many Voices Speak.
Yours is like water.
Yours is like rain,
when it falls through the night.
Murmuring deeply,
sinking tentatively,
slow, hesitant,
painfully alive.

Rippling like shallows
behind all sounds,
trickling and dripping
against my skin,
shrouding softly,
closing me in,
filling my ears
with whispering memories.

I want to sit quietly
where I cannot disturb you.
I want to live and dwell
where I can hear you.
Many voices speak.
Through them all
I hear only yours
falling as a night rain."

Karin Boye: Many Voices Speak (translation into English by David McDuff).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Essex County.

Essex County. By Stephen Shore. Nazraeli Press, 2002. 36pp., illustrated throughout, 14x17". Images from here.

Book description:

"Using an 8 x 10 inch camera, Stephen Shore began this body of work in the early 1990s. At that time he had a cabin on Spread Eagle Mountain, in Keene, Essex County.

Here, in the High Peaks region of the Adirondack Mountains, the forest is a mixture of hard and soft woods. The boulders scattered about are mostly anorthosite, an igneous rock (one formed by volcanic action) that is found not only on much of the earth’s crust but also on the moon.

Shore is internationally acclaimed for his large-format color photographs, but for this body of work he turned to black-and-white film. The simplicity of his subject matter - trees photographed straight on, and rocks embedded in the soil on the forest floor - is matched by its nobility, all of which is emphasized through Shore’s masterful control of silver and light.

'Essex County' is an oversized book measuring 14 x 17 inches, beautifully printed in duotone and hand-bound in Japanese cloth. This first printing is limited to 1,000 copies."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Seismic Shift. Lewis Baltz, Joe Deal and California Landscape Photography, 1944-1984.

Seismic Shift. Lewis Baltz, Joe Deal and California Landscape Photography, 1944-1984. Curated by Colin Westerbeck, work by various artists. University of California Riverside/California Museum of Photography, 2011. 96 pp., illustrated throughout, 9x12".

Book description:

"The now-legendary 1975 New Topographics show represented a true 'seismic shift' in American landscape photography, moving past the romantic legacy of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston to the minimalist-influenced work typified by Lewis Baltz and Joe Deal.

This catalog of 2011’s Seismic Shift exhibition offers a comprehensive narrative of California photographic history made by the 43 featured artists; it includes 58 reproductions (mostly black-and-white) and essays by curator Colin Westerbeck, photographic historian Susan Laxton and regionalist Jason Weems.

The exhibition is one of over 60 funded by the Getty Research Institute’s initiative looking at Southern California art 1945-1980, called Pacific Standard Time."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

As Long As It Photographs / It Must Be A Camera.

As Long As It Photographs / It Must Be A Camera. By Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs. Tonk, 2011. 60 pp., illustrated throughout, 29,7x42cm (two books). Images from here.

I have a really serious soft-spot for handmade/self-made cameras, I'm really endlessly fascinated by them, so the "pure apparatus" part of this project was always going to be pretty great to me.

On top of this however, 'As Long As It Photographs / It Must Be A Camera', also features some really interesting and beautiful photographs.

Book description:

"Synopsis: A pair of books by the Swiss photography duo Tonk (Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs).

The first book, 'As Long As It Photographs', focuses on the camera as pure apparatus featured in a variety of hands and media.

The second, 'It Must Be a Camera', features subjects united by a (sometimes literal) thematic frame."

Friday, January 06, 2012

War Primer 2.

War Primer 2. By Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. MACK Books, 2011. 100pp., illustrated throughout. Limited edition of 100 (signed & numbered).

Book description:

" 'War Primer 2' is a limited edition book that physically inhabits the pages of Bertolt Brecht's remarkable 1955 publication 'War Primer'.

The original is a collection of Brecht's newspaper clippings, each accompanied by a four-line poem that he called Photo-epigrams. It was the culmination of almost three decades of intermittent activity.

The title deliberately recalls the textbooks used to teach elementary school children how to read; Brecht's book is a practical manual, demonstrating how to 'read' or 'translate' press photographs.

Brecht was profoundly uneasy about the affirmative role played by the medium within the political economy of capitalism and referred to press photographs as heiroglyphics in need of decoding.

'War Primer 2' is the belated sequel. While Brecht's 'War Primer' was concerned with images of the Second World War, 'War Primer 2' is concerned with the images of conflict generated by both sides of the so-called 'War on Terror'.

'Don't start with the good old things but the bad new ones' Brecht famously said, and in this spirit Broomberg and Chanarin have gathered their material from the internet - compressed, uploaded, ripped, squeezed, reformatted, re-edited and often anonymous images - rather than sifting through newspapers with a pair of scissors.

Heiner Müller once said that to use Brecht without changing him is an act of betrayal. With 'War Primer 2' Broomberg and Chanarin have appropriated Brecht's original, giving us their critique of images of contemporary conflict, which is simultaneously a betrayal and a homage."

Read/see more from artists Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin here, and more about the book here.

Thursday, January 05, 2012


Idyll. Orchard Volume Three. By Raymond Meeks and Mark Steinmetz. Silas Finch, 2011. 60 pp., illustrated throughout, 11,25x14,75". Patron, Sustainer and Contributor editions. Images from here and here.

Book description:

" 'Idyll' with Mark Steinmetz combines two separate but complementary bodies of work, one by Meeks and the other by Steinmetz, to remarkable effect.

Made once again by hand in Portland, Oregon, the book features bold front and back covers with a letterpress-printed photograph by Mark Steinmetz.

The Sustainer and Patron editions include 'Pastoral,' an additional book of photographs by Mark Steinmetz. A total of only 90 copies of this very special book will be available for sale.

The Patron edition also includes a freestanding broadside of two silver gelatin prints by Raymond Meeks and Mark Steinmetz."

I've previously also featured Not Seen | Not Said (Orchard Volume Two).

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Day After.

The Day After. By Hiroshi Sugimoto. Pace Gallery, 2011. 108 pp., illustrated throughout, 11,75x9,5". Images from here.

Book description:

"In Hiroshi Sugimoto's first solo presentation since joining The Gallery Pace, the revered photographer and architect exhibits two new 50-foot photographic diptychs from his 'Lightning Field' series (2009-10), accompanied by nine single 'Lightning Field' photographs.

Created in the darkroom with the help of a Van de Graaff generator, sheets of unexposed film are subjected to electrical discharges, creating sparks of light that scar the film with patterns reminiscent of organic life forms and tree-filled landscapes.

Seven photographs from the artist’s iconic 'Seascapes' series will also be on view."

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Winter. © Rare Autumn.

"Sparkling creaking hard crust.
Lonely, lonely is the night sky over white roads.
I am filled with a angry thirst
for the winter sky.

Will you not soon leap up before my foot,
deep earth-cold water that sometimes chilled me,
O strong darkness that
my star conceals?

Then dizzyingly hard and pure
you will drown putrid lies as before you mercilessly did.
Where are you, bitter sea
of ice and truth?"

Karin Boye: Winter Night (translation into English by David McDuff).