Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mushrooms from the Forest 2011.

Mushrooms from the Forest 2011. By Takashi Homma. Blind Gallery Tokyo, 2011. 288 pp., illustrated throughout, 17x25,5cm. Images from here.

Book description:

"Photographer Takashi Homma takes us on a journey deep into densely wooded areas in search of the many different types of fungus that grow there.

More the collection of a curious wanderer than a serious hobbyist, the unidentified mushrooms are photographed against sterile white backgrounds as if recently plucked from the forest floor, with soil, bark and even small creatures still attached.

The fungal portraits are interspersed with images of the forest itself, as if providing a natural context - a sense of actually being there - with surroundings of lichen covered trees, dense leafage, and the natural interplay of shadow and light."

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Part. Little Journey #3.

A Part. Little Journey #3. By Andreas Frei. Bellybandbooks, 2009. 16 pp., illustrated throughout, 15,2x21,4cm. With an signed original print. Limited & numbered edition of 189 copies. Images from here.

Book description:

"Andreas Frei, born in 1972, lives in Munich, Germany

'When I go into the wild, in my mind there is a border between me and nature. After a while this illusion weakens and the border dissolves. This feeling is what I want to show in this pictures - a landscape without distance from the viewer.' "

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nakano Sakaue.

Nakano Sakaue. By Olaf Holzapfel, text by Andreas Spiegl, design by Surface. Sternberg Press, 2009. 112 pp., illustrated throughout, 22x27,5cm.
Book description:

" 'Nakano Sakaue' documents a series of photographs realized by Olaf Holzapfel during a residency in Tokyo.

The artist has depicted a kind of residue from the city’s buildings: neon lights, images, and street signs, which are featured as so many promises for orientation. Most prominent are the signs that guide the blind: they are markings in the ground, forming a guidance system that can be felt by a blind person’s cane.

As a rule, the marks are long, yellow grooves or dotted surfaces that inform whether a route continues or changes direction. These marks constitute a city within the city, the markings of an unseen city in the midst of the visible city.

Holzapfel’s attention is drawn precisely to this motif: at the intersection of visible and invisible, a system of coordinates exists for a visual concept that uses the discernible to discuss the imperceptible.

According to the author Andreas Spiegl, the artist’s pictures 'offer both vision and a view that is searching for orientation. In this sense, they represent both images and maps alike. They show specific situations, and allude to an abstraction that liberates itself from place in order to point to the imaginary. Seeing the imaginary, the eye moves through the image to return to the coordinates of perception itself. The geography that Holzapfel sketches with this atlas describes perception as a territory - the view of the visible and the imaginary, as a city, appears anywhere the relationship of each to the other can be seen'."

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Nina Simone

Nina Simone performing 'To Love Somebody' at the 1969 Antibes concert.

Hands down the best cover I've ever heard of this song (I've actually never liked it until hearing this version, which I'm pretty floored by).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Covers. By Ofer Wolberger. Horses Think Press, 2010. 59pp., illustrated throughout, 21,59x27,94cm. Edition of 50 copies.

I've only just come across the work of artist Ofer Wolberger and his artist book project published under Horses Think Press. I'm pretty eager to see more books in this series...

(If you're in NYC Wolberger's 12th, and concluding, book in the series has its release at Printed Matter this coming Friday).

Book description:

"The original idea was to produce an artist book for every month of a single year. The publishing schedule failed miserably.

The book form itself is rigorously questioned and reconfigured throughout this self-published series of books."

'Covers' is the sixth book in this series of books (The Photographic Book Series).

Monday, September 17, 2012

Grapefruit. A Book of Instructions and Drawings by Yoko Ono.

Grapefruit. A Book of Instructions and Drawings by Yoko Ono. By Yoko Ono, introduction by John Lennon. Simon & Schuster, 2000. 320pp., 5,8x5,8".

I really enjoyed the exhibition Yoko Ono, Grapefruit at Moderna museet, which took its starting point from Ono's book 'Grapefruit' (originally published in 1964).

I thought it was a pretty great body of work on display, some though-provocative, some known, some singularly important, some magical. Overall, just seeing something unequivocally positive was pretty wonderful.

This is a reissue of the original book, with new work added.

Book description:

"Back in print for the first time in nearly thirty years, here is Yoko Ono's whimsical, delightful, subversive, startling book of instructions for art and for life.

'Burn this book after you've read it'. -- Yoko

'A dream you dream alone may be a dream, but a dream two people dream together is a reality. This is the greatest book I've ever burned'. -- John

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I'm always dragging that horse around / Sea Prayer

"Sea swell, come washing,
let me taste that sound's round, salty flow,
the sound that was given me
as primordial name aeons and aeons ago!
Words that no mortal
lips can tell
lie hidden
in the fresh, cold swell.

Long, too long
I starved on human words too easily told.
I want to rise up,
I want to satisfy my mouth at my mother's board.
Like a child in loathing's remorse
lost far away to roam,
I turn hungrily round
to the songs of my home.

Let me drink
the speech of speech from a dull roar that never abates.
Let me clear
to your resting depth of light that creates.
Within soul and spirit
I hear your song.
Rise in my blood, and flower
in my tongue!"

Sea Prayer by Karin Boye. From 'Karin Boye: Complete Poems'.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Giving in to Live the Experience.

Giving in to Live the Experience. By Paul Wackers. Seems Books, 2009. 24pp., illustrated throughout, 9,5x12,5". Edition of 500 copies.

Book description:

'Giving in to Live the Experience' was published to accompany artist Paul Wackers' Tournesol Award exhibition at The Luggage Store (July 10th-August 8 2009).

"Wackers’ paintings and drawings are neither realistic nor entirely fantastical. They span the genres of landscape painting and still life; representation and abstraction.

He depicts the remnants of human activity, but people are noticeably absent from his compositions.

He focuses instead on what is left behind, or perhaps abandoned: facsimiles of the natural world, vacant interiors, and clusters of accumulated objects."

Quote from here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Call Ampersand Response.

Call Ampersand Response. By Michael Dumontier and Micah Lexier. Nieves and Artexte, 2012. 196pp., illustrated throughout, 19,5x25,5cm.

Book description:

" 'Call Ampersand Response' is a collaborative artwork made of images exchanged via email.

Over a period of several months, Dumontier and Lexier sustained an image-based correspondence by sending each other scans of book covers, found objects, drawings and illustrations belonging to each artist’s respective collection.

The project is based on the idea that their collections speak of their shared artistic affinities while informing their practices. Two rules dictated their conduct: each image was to function as a “call” seeking a “response” from the other artist, and the dialogue was to end when an image recalling the project’s opening image emerged, thereby constituting a narrative loop.

Their conversation gave rise to a bookwork co-edited by Nieves and Artexte.

In Artexte’s new gallery space, the project is [was] shown as an installation in which shared themes and motifs are seen to play out over time, alongside objects selected from the source material"

Saturday, September 08, 2012


Sonic. Fotohof edition, Vol. 99. By Antje Hanebeck, text by Hans-Michael Koetzle and Ulrich Winko. Fotohof Editions, 2008. 128 pp., illustrated throughout, 30x24,5cm. Edition of 1500 copies. Images from here.

Book description:

"The theme of Antje Hanebeck’s photography is the built-up space.

After beginning with building-like structures such as harbour cranes and their sculptural appearance, she has now turned to the creations of avant-garde architecture, the buildings of Frank Gehry, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Zaha Hadid and Daniel Libeskind.

But Hanebeck is not seeking to compile an atlas of hotly debated architecture; rather she takes a very close look at the buildings which match her vision and subjects them to an artist’s visual examination, not that of the documentarist.

In her photography Antje Hanebeck bridges the gap between architecture as a motif (one of the medium’s very early themes), pictorial aesthetics (through chemical processing and the often coarse texture and emotionality of the images) and the modern themes of abstraction, reduction and alienation in connection with the most modern buildings."

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Picturesque.

The Picturesque. By Jan Kempenaers. Roma Publications, 2012. 80 pp., illustrated throughout throughout, 33,5x26,5cm. In collabortion with Academy of Fine Arts Ghent. Images from here.

Book description:

"Book with 45 landscapes and architecture photographs by Kempenaers. This book, together with his previous book 'Spomenik' (2010) present the results of Kempenaers' practice based research on 'contemporary picturesque'.

Dirk De Meyer, quoted from this book: "Yet, even when gratifying due to their composition and "their living tints and endless varieties", Kempenaers' photographs of landscapes altered by man forestall the nostalgia that has, over time, become typical for the picturesque. They force the viewer to remain in the present and think about its conditions and its future, and about the forces threatening our environment.

Using Gilpin's topoi of the picturesque - which, by now, are themselves 'classical' - Kempenaers' images confront us with the picturesque's slightly disconcerting aspects.

As one visitor of the 1975 New Topographics exhibition at the George Eastman House observed, the photographs on display were saying "This is it, kid; take it for its beauty and its ugliness." "