Sometimes a single book can summarize a period, an event, a phenomenon. Only the talent of the author can make the difference. Jérôme Sessini’s photographs of Ukraine’s uprising are not nice, they are appropriate and necessary. They rightly question the horror, violence and hypocrisy that characterize six years of wars at the gates of Europe. Inner Disordergathers photographs and text of both harshest moments and low times of a war paced by life, death, boredom and silence. The proximity of the events leaves no respite to the reader as the familiarity of the faces blatantly illustrates the banality of war. And yet, he reaches beyond the context to produce a universal message.
Richard Rothman's Town of C is a photographic meditation on what lies beneath the unsettling surface of American culture, as seen through the lens of a small town along the Front Range of Southern Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Rooted in the tradition of the socially critical photography books that have taken America as their subject— Walker Evans’ “American Photographs,” Robert Frank’s “The Americans,” and Robert Adams’ “What We Bought,” among them — “Town of C” both encompasses and expands on the American theme, provoking thoughts about the larger environment. It begins with a prologue of alternating titles and images that announce the elemental forces of nature: water, and the source of the river that runs through the town; the region’s tectonics and the mountains that have risen above them to shape and frame the landscape; and light, the source of energy that fuels life itself.
The increasingly dystopian American experience is placed within the larger context of our disturbed presence in the world. The book, a novel-like, sustained visual narrative, attempts to penetrate and reveal the heart of a small town and, by extension, the culture it has sprung from and the lives of the people who have shaped that culture, and who are in turn shaped by it. Varied, wide-ranging portraits span generations and classes, from infants to the elderly, from the homeless to the wealthy. They bear witness to the struggle to survive and ascend, and attest to an eternal hunger for unrequited longings that fuel human interaction in unpredictable ways. The tragic nature of the human condition explored in the portraits, nudes, and altered landscape of C is set against the rapturous beauty of a vanishing natural world still capable of generating awe, wonder, and a reverence for life.
David O'Mara has been documenting his life working as a painter and decorator in London for nearly 15 years, his photographs capturing the labour, friendships and environments of working on building sites. His first book, If you can piss…, drawing from this long-standing project, was published in 2019. More recently, David has been making limited edition handmade books that eschew the normal materials to create unique documents that speak to the photographic content.
During the pandemic lockdowns and enforced absence of work, David revisited his archive of negatives taken while working on a numerous building sites. His chosen selection of 35 images were hand printed at home in his darkroom, and Spit and Sawdust is the result of those reflections.
Edition of five hand-sewn books made of decorator’s lining paper, with unique covers created using house paint - materials found on all building sites. 31 x 25cm. 36p containing 35 tipped-in hand printed photos on Ilford resin coated paper.
Yukari is the fourth volume of a four books new series by Daido Moriyama 'Woman in the Night'.
"The woman who called herself Shinobu in Shinjuku, Hiroko in Minami, and Naomi in Nishiki, went by the name of Yukari in the Nakasu district of Fukuoka. “Someday, I’m gonna live in New York” – that’s what she always said. It’ll soon be two years since she disappeared from Nakasu. Maybe she fulfilled her dream and lives in New York these days. Even now, I still think of her sometimes. This is a profile of her as she appears in my memory, although she may be in New York now."
- Daido Moriyama
Edition of 350 numbered copies with silkscreen printed canvas cover.
SIgned copies due in stock early October, reserve your copy now.
A few days ago in the evening, I suddenly felt the urge to take a train to Yokosuka. It was already after 8 PM when I arrived in the ”Wakamatsu Market” entertainment district behind Yokosuka Chuo Station on the Keihin Line, but due to the ongoing pandemic, the lights of the normally crowded shops were all switched off. The streets at night had turned into a bleak, dimly lit place, with the usual drunken crowd nowhere in sight. I eventually held my camera into the darkness and shot a dozen or so pictures, while walking quite naturally down the main street toward the “Dobuita-dori” district. However, most of the shops here were closed as well, and only a few people passed by. It was a truly sad and lonely sight.“Little wonder,” I muttered to myself, considering that more than half a century had passed since the time I wandered with the camera in my hand around Yokosuka, right in the middle of the Vietnam War.
It was here in Yokosuka that I decided to devote myself to the street snap style, so the way I captured the Yokosuka cityscape defined the future direction of my photographic work altogether. I was 25 at the time, and was still in my first year as an independent photographer. I remember how determined and ambitious I was when I started shooting, eager to carry my pictures into the Camera Mainichi office and get them published in the magazine. It was a time when I spent my days just clicking away while walking around with the camera in my hand, from Yokosuka out into the suburbs, from the main streets into the back alleys.I had been familiar with the fact that Yokosuka was a US military base since I was a kid, and it also somehow seemed to suit my own constitution, so I think my dedication helped me overcome the fearfulness that came on the flip side of the fun that was taking photos in Yokosuka.
These are the results of a mere two days of shooting, but somewhere between the changing faces of Yokosuka, and my own response from the position of a somewhat cold and distant observer in the present, I think they are reflecting the passage of time, and the transformations of the times.
– Afterword by Daido Moriyama
SIgned copies due in stock early October, reserve your copy now.
Lunar Library is dedicated to Moni's eye as an artist with Petra as the subject and muse. This book is years of work between the two artists. Most of which was created in secret and mainly as a form of play. With their audience being only themselves, Petra and Moni have created a ridiculous circus of characters and settings.
John Alinder, son of a farmer, was born in 1878 in the village of Sävasta, Altuna parish, in Uppland, a province in eastern central Sweden. Alinder remained in the village all his life. He chose not to take over his parents’ farm and instead became a self-taught photographer and jack of all trades. He was a music lover, holder of the Swedish agency for the British record label and gramophone brand His Master’s Voice. For a time he ran a country shop from his home, and he even operated an illicit bar for a while. From the 1910s to the 1930s he portrayed the local people, the landscape around them and their way of life. He often photographed them in their homes and gardens, using the technology of the time, glass plates. These he developed in a small darkroom he had built and then made the prints in the sunlight
The Alinder collection was “discovered” in the 1980s when a curator found over 8,000 glass plates stacked away in a library basement. Children placed on chairs, people perched in trees, labourers, confirmation candidates and old ladies; often depicted against a background of foliage and sprawling greenery penetrated by sunlight. Alinder’s portraiture allows for the magic of chance, both liberating and defining the subjects. Often they are looking straight into the camera. As if they can see us. As if their gaze can travel the hundred years or so that lie between their time and ours. As if they were saying, “You are alive now, but we were once alive.”
This book shows Alinder’s portraits for the first time. Published in collaboration with Upplandsmuseet and Landskrona Foto, it coincides with the launch of the first major exhibition of his work. He is a unique portrait photographer whose work can match other acknowledged photographers from the same period, such as Gertrude Käsebier, Mike Disfarmer or August Sander, and whilst he worked within the confines of his own small village, it is clear that such an original and skilled photographer deserves to be showcased to a broader, world-wide audience.
Kawada’s The Map / Chizu is the most famous and sought after book in the history of Japanese photography. Designed with the noted graphic designer Kohei Sugiura,Chizu has seen numerous editions since its original publication in August 1965. In November 2001, New York Public Library acquired the rarest version of the book, Kikuji Kawada’s unique, handmade maquette. The maquette presents a notably different physicality than that of the published edition—many of the pictures are the same but with variant croppings, tonalities, orientations, and a markedly dissimilar configuration with a pair of jacketed volumes—each nearly twice as large in format as the published version—separated by a black-and-white divider. With its pages made of thin, silvery darkroom prints, folded in half and pasted back-to-back, there are no folios to unfurl, only a progression of intense, full-bleed images. This MACK version is an exquisite facsimile of the two-volume maquette, and includes an accompanying bilingual booklet featuring new scholarship by Joshua Chuang and Miyuki Hinton, together with an extended interview with the artist, detailing the evolution of one of the greatest photobooks ever made.
Two hardback books, each with a jacket, plus one paperback booklet with leporello fold. Housed in a buckram bound hardback slipcase, protected in a printed cardboard mailer. Text in English and Japanese.
The signed edition includes a slip signed by the artist and bound into the inside back cover.
Due in stock mid-September, reserve your copy now.
“This is how I remember New York City in 2002. I was 19 years old and had just moved to Manhattan from my family’s small farm on Long Island. It was the first summer after the September 11 attacks. Workers were removing the last of the debris from the collapsed Twin Towers. The city felt both immense and fragile compared to the groundedness of my childhood home.”
“On weekdays, I worked in Arnold Newman’s photography studio. After hours and on weekends, I walked through the city’s five boroughs with my camera. When someone made eye contact with me, I asked if I could make a portrait of them. At first, I assumed people would respond with caution. I was a stranger. The city was recovering from an event that shook its sense of security. Yet, most people said yes and looked straight into my camera lens. I am grateful they chose to trust me.” - Lucas Foglia
Published on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Lucas Foglia’s portraits show the tremendous diversity of New York City. Everyone is portrayed with dignity, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. Today, as the world begins to heal from the coronavirus pandemic, the photographs remind us to approach strangers with compassion, across social distances.
"The first picture, gas station through the car window, starts the trip off.I drove eight days, in July,1991, from Atlanta, Georgia to Memphis, Tennessee along small roads, and stopped along the way. When I got to the cities, like Jackson or Birmingham, or Montgomery, I stopped at parking meters and walked around blocks. My intention was not to make a book---only pictures.
After thirty years, and the exposure of extreme political incompetence with the recent past governments, I looked at this work again and thought it might be an accidental view of the South in three parts: Black people, white people, and the infrastructure at the time. Cotton was an early, fundamental, economic driver, with profit enhanced and insured by slaves. Cotton is a picture book, but with a political and social backstory. I stopped at a small black church and used two pictures to emphasize the hold of religion and strong women.Instead of square miles of cotton fields I saw its trace in small cardboard boxes.
The book’s last picture of the five boys on the bench seems emblematic of the region’s resulting, and often segregated leisure. The camera made an unconscious litmus test with black and white film exposed to the acid nature of racism."
As a young adult Jörgen Axelvall moved to New York City and soon made a curiously illuminating discovery about himself. The works in this book represent a visual testament to his discovery, explained and reflected upon in a short story penned by Axelvall.
"And I reminisce" is Axelvall’s life-work and attempt to recapture time. It’s an intimate collection of photographs – portraits of friends, lovers and young men personifying Axelvall’s ‘visual memories’ from childhood through adolescence - paired with photographs of flowers. The flowers, captured in much the same style as Axelvall’s portraits, represent an equally crucial part of Axelvall’s early memories, as we soon learn from the introductory text. Setting out with his predilection for Polaroid and Instant Films, to connect with the traditions of casual, studio, and illicit photography, Axelvall pursues the immediacy and tactility to preserve the thrill of each fresh encounter. The photographs are meticulously scanned for subsequent treatment. With the regularly occurring flaws and imperfections of Instant Film as well as Axelvall’s preference for photographing in low, natural light – always handheld and with slow shutter speeds - the resulting photographs have a painterly quality. Axelvall is not simply taking portraits or depicting memories though. In his own words:
“Taking pictures of people I feel affection for is a way of getting to know them better, to get a deeper understanding, to love more. The camera allows me to converse without words, to gaze into somebody’s mind and soul. I watch, study and try to capture the beauty I see.”: "And I reminisce" might be an exploration of Axelvall’s past but it is not a search for an idyllic past that inaccurately occurred; Axelvall is seeking clues and junctions that would have altered his present if acknowledged or acted upon earlier. Included with the book is a pamphlet titled 「ruminations」 comprising two short essays by Paul McInnes and Yuki Harada, both accomplished writers. Through these texts we get further insight into Axelvall’s work method and personality.
In 2011 Jörgen Axelvall moved to Tokyo after living in NYC for 15 years. The work in “Go To Become” is Axelvall’s expression of his feelings as a newcomer to Japan. It is in every aspect biographical. The oxymoronic combination of feeling excluded and lonely on the crowded streets of Tokyo led Axelvall to seek out desolate and quiet environments. These places soon became his personal sanctuaries where he would find refuge and peace of mind from the hustle of the city, often in the middle of night. Several of these photographs earned Axelvall the New Exposure Award from US Vogue and Bottega Veneta in 2013. When asked by the jury for a brief description Axelvall said the following:
“I live in a big city the biggest in the world by some measure I’m a foreigner here at times I feel trapped, alienated and lonely amongst the millions of people calling this home
These images were all photographed in central Tokyo not far from my home in Shibuya at the sanctuaries where I find peace”
A lover of poetry and literature, Axelvall later teamed up with Mutsuo Takahashi, one of the most prominent and prolific poets in contemporary Japan. With more than 130 books published, including dozens of poetry collections, Takahashi’s poetry successfully spans all the major Japanese poetic forms. After listening to Axelvall’s story and looking at the photographs, Takahashi wrote the poem “Go To Become” [なりに行く in Japanese] specially for this project.
“Perhaps the two main factors that allowed me to definitely cross over to colour, in 1985, were the realization that I could find guidance in the great tradition of Spanish painting, and the decision to have the entire image in focus; the latter forced me to use a shorter focal length (28mm) than I normally used and it made it necessary to widen the field of vision on which I was working. I no longer reacted to a situation that was in front of me, but rather to the visual rhythms of a situation in which I was immersed. So easy, and yet so complicated.
I had been working for 17 years in black and white when I started working exclusively in colour. I was then 39 years old. Suddenly I felt very comfortable, liberated and euphoric. The colours dazzled and overwhelmed me, they reacted with each other, everything vibrated and I felt enveloped by colour and its possibilities. The intensity of this first experience progressively declined but I regained the enthusiasm and dedication that I had almost lost after so many years of frustration.”
- Cristóbal Hara
Fingerprint by Jim Goldberg
The “Raised by Wolves” Bootleg Series No. 2: A Review of Jim Goldberg’s “Fingerprint,” by Robert Dunn