Monday, August 4, 2014

Wim Wenders and Mary Zournazi - INVENTING PEACE

I've just been reading the collaborative book, INVENTING PEACE, a dialogue between photographer and film maker Wim Wenders and Australian writer and philosopher Mary Zournazi. The book is a compelling and insightful read. Inventing Peace revolves around the question of how we look at the world, but do not see it when there is so much war, injustice, suffering and violence.

What are the ethical and moral consequences of looking, but not seeing, and most of all: what has become to the notion of PEACE in all this? In the form of a written dialogue, Wim Wenders and Mary Zournazi consider this question as one of the fundamental questions of our times and consider the need to reinvent a visual and moral language for peace. Inspired by various cinematic, philosophical, literary and artistic examples Wenders and Zournazi reflect on the need for a change of perception in everyday life as well as in the creation of images. In its unique style and method, Inventing Peace demonstrates an approach to peace through sacred, ethical and spiritual means, helping to make peace visible and tangible in new and unforeseen ways.

 Among other things Wim Wenders has this to say, a comment that is profound, sensible and obvious. American politics should never have declared "WAR" on terrorism. That upgraded terrorists to soldiers... and brought our own morals down to theirs: into the pits. There WAS an alternative... for a small loophole in time, in late September and early October 2001, as America was mourning, and as it had ALL the world's sympathy, there was potential of hope and a future for peace. The remote possibility of another way of thinking. The vague realisation that the "Right of the Stronger" could be replaced by the "Right of the Wiser". But then the opposite happened and Bush imposed the "Right of the Foolish", combining American Strength with the desire for Revenge, and coupled with an unhealthy greed for influence, resources and profit. In that loophole in time, an alternative existed and that would have been the "War on Injustice". Not to fight the symptoms of terrorism, but rather their roots: Poverty and Inequality... that would have decapitated Terrorism, instead of pushing millions towards it.

You can read more on the site INVENTING PEACE - HERE.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Errata Editions x 3 new releases

Errata Editions have just released three new titles in their Books on Books series to add to an already impressive list. Nineteen titles to date. The Errata Editions Books on Books series is an on-going publishing project dedicated to making rare and out-of-print photography books accessible to students and photobook enthusiasts. These are not reprints nor facsimiles but comprehensive studies of rare books. Each in this series presents the entire content, page for page, of an original master bookwork which, up until now, has been too rare or prohibitively expensive for most to experience. Through a mix of classic and contemporary titles, this series spans the breadth of photographic practice as it has appeared on the printed page, enabling further study into the creation and meanings of these great works of art.

Martin Parr's Bad Weather is the debut book from Britain's most world-renown and prolific photographers. Armed with wry humor (and a water-proof camera), Parr captured the social landscape of the UK during downpours, snow storms and the most challenging elements. Published in 1982, Bad Weather has been long out of print and is one of Parr's most sought after books. Books on Books # 17 offers an in-depth study of this important photobook including a new essay by Thomas Weski called Even the Queen Gets Wet.

Richard Billingham's Ray's a Laugh is considered one of the most important contemporary photobooks from Britain. Centered around Billingham's working-class family who live in a cramped Birmingham high-rise tenement apartment and his father Ray - a chronic alcoholic - these candid snapshots describe their daily lives in a visual diary that is raw, intimate, touching and often uncomfortably humorous. Books on Books #18 contains every page spread from this classic book including a contemporary essay by Charlotte Cotton.

Donigan Cumming's The Stage is one of the most challenging photobooks published in the last century. Collaborating with his subjects to explore a kind of psychological portraiture, Cumming created a theatre of domestic and institutional interiors peopled by the strange and eccentric. Books on Books #19 presents an in-depth study of this remarkable and little known Canadian photobook with an essay by Richard Enright called The Overwhelming Quotidian: Donigan Cumming and The Stage.

You can see the complete Books on Books series on the Errata Editions site HERE.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Thanks to my friends for their birthday wishes!

It was a special day on Sunday, so many birthday wishes from so many friends, thank you all. Emilie Hallard, Werner Amann, Lynn Alleva Lilley, Bob Bisscat, Sheila Newbery, Syd Hargis, Eliane Pickermann, Natasha Beckman, Alessandro Calandra, Carolle Benitah, Nicolas Dusart, Christer Ek, Robin Loves Paris, Wolfgang Zurborn, Simon Kossoff, Jens Sundheim, Terri Weifenbach, Lydia Panas, Katarzyna Dubik, Isabelle Pateer, Winfried Heininger, Andreas Schmidt, Pedro Alfacinha, Christian Patterson, Victor Sira, Roy Kahmann, Michael Ast, Norbert Goertz, Vincent Cianni, Priska Pasquer, John Baker, Suzi Jowsey, Rosa Verhoeve, Stephan Zaubitzer, Martina Schilling, Gabriele Harhoff, Rolf Philips, Sudhanshu Malhotra, Mark Page, Sebastian Arthur Hau, Julia Thorne, Oliver Schmidt, Bert Teunissen, Patrizia Serra, Tom Griggs, Clare Strand, Thorsten Vieth, Allan Smith, Pete Bossley, Elena Schwarz, Eve de Castro-Robinson, Linda Tyler, David Cowlard, David Kregenow, Hubert Schober, Becky Nunes, Christine Rose Divito, Chris Helcermanas-Benge, Bertie Plaatsman, Uwe Bedenbecker, Carmen Castaño Méndez, Bruce Connew, Klaus Kehrer, Aline Smithson, Majlinda Hoxha, Bruno Zhu, Linn Phyllis Seeger, Bruce Hopkins, Curt Holtz, Anita Totha, Bruce Foster, Kate De Goldi, Parisa Taghizadeh, Hannah Holm, Raewyn Kitching, Werner Mansholt, Hubert Schober, Tony Fisher, Frederic Fornini, Laurent Barban, Charly Artmann, Jeroen Kummer, Kazuhiko Washio, Sam Sampson, Warwick Lee, Rowena Yalland, Lucy de Castro, Nick Morgan, Michael Draper, Mirium van Vassel, Rina van Bohemen and my dear family - Josh, Kyla, Sam, Emily, Arlo, Lucy, Alex and Zoe.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

William Eggleston - Happy 75th

It was a pleasure to be reminded that William Eggleston has a birthday tomorrow, he turns seventyfive. Extra special for me as we share the same birthday. I'm not as old as Eggleston but catching up fast. The New Yorker reports that Eggleston plans to spend part of his birthday playing Bach sonatas on his recently installed Bösendorfer piano, looking out on Overton Park, in Memphis. And they suspect he will never be far from a glass of bourbon.
Happy Birthday Bill!

Martin Parr - Here's one for you...

As this coming Sunday happens to be my birthday, one with a nought on the end (fuck!) a dear friend has given me a very special present in the form of a photobook called the Sporting Life Guide To Wrestling. The book is packed with photographs of hefty wrestling stars and holds like the Indian Death Lock that I just can't wait to try out. The book heralds a whole new genre, you could call it The Guide Book category, a certainty for inclusion in The Photobook: A History Volume 4. And I bet this opens a gaping hole in the Parr collection!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Copeland Book Market, London this weekend

If you're in London this weekend, July 25 - 27th, get on down to the Copeland Book Market. It's an art book market in a unique location with over forty publishers from across the world. Including an events programme of talks, screenings and performances, the Copeland Book Market offers publishers and artists an opportunity to showcase the best of their recent work. The Copeland Book Market was founded by Guy Robertson and Tom Saunderson in 2011 and takes its name from the yard in which their gallery, Son Gallery, was located in Peckham. This year Copeland is organised by Guy Robertson, Kat Black, Lewis Chaplin and Oliver Griffin. Copeland Book Market is funded and supported by Bold Tendencies.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

BLIND SPOT - Issue 48


BLIND SPOT issue 48 is now available. The issue features - Sam Contis, Tim Davis & Joe Hagan, Jason Lazarus, Mara McKevitt, Ye Rin Mok, Jack Pierson, David Benjamin Sherry, Stephen Shore, Michael Vahrenwald, and others.

BLIND SPOT has published some of today’s most renowned artists working in the medium of photography as they were building their careers--Adam Fuss, Vik Muniz, Doug & Mike Starn and James Welling appeared in the first issue--and since its launch in 1993, the magazine has featured more than 400 living artists, including Robert Adams, Francis Alÿs, John Baldessari, William Eggleston, Rachel Harrison, Zoe Leonard and Ed Ruscha, as well as younger artists like Walead Beshty, Peter Coffin, Anne Collier, Seth Price, Michael Queenland and Amanda Ross-Ho. Printed in the United States by Meridian Printing, Blind Spot is known for its commitment to the highest quality reproductions. Features are often designed in collaboration with the artists, and recent issues have been guest-edited by contemporary artists, providing a visual exploration of specific ideas and approaches to photography-based image-making. 

Guess edited by Doug Aitken, Paperback, 9" x 10.5", 80 pages. 
You can get it direct from BLIND SPOT HERE.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Elisabeth Tonnard makes artist's books

Elisabeth Tonnard is a Dutch artist and poet working in artists’ books, photography and literature. Printed Matter Inc. NYC recent mailing featured her work. Tonnard has published thirty books that are included in international collections and exhibited widely. Much of her work involves responding to existing books, texts and images, reworking them into poetry, and creating photographic visual narratives.
Several of Tonnard’s books appropriate the physical form of the novel. Traditionally printed and bound with unassuming covers, books like THE STORY OF A YOUNG GENTLEMAN, TWO OF US and IN THIS DARK WOOD do not announce themselves as artists’ books, disguising them just as their contents challenge the divide between artists’ book and literature.
THE STORY OF A YOUNG GENTLEMAN includes the entirety of War and Peace, written in miniscule type and couched within a minimalist narrative of Tonnard’s own devising.
TWO OF US constructs a visual narrative from street photographs of pairs of people walking, combining the images with a poem by Baudelaire in a reflection on the concept of the double described by Baudelaire, Benjamin, and Freud.
IN THIS DARK WOOD, similarly novel-like in size and bearing, opens to reveal Tonnard’s haunting meditation on urban alienation in America: 90 unique English translations of the first three lines of Dante’s Inferno are each accompanied by a different photograph of a person walking alone in a city at night, resituating their modern solitude, with Dante’s words, into an ancient narrative of human isolation.

You can see more of Elisabeth Tonnard's work on her website HERE.