Photobooks of 2020: Emilie Lauriola

Lora Webb Nichols

Un Village by Madeleine de Sinéty, Gwinzegal

A gem of a book. A very classic and quiet design which reveals an outstanding and little known work once you start turning the pages. For 10 years, Madeleine de Sinéty lived in a small village in France, capturing its daily life through photographs and a journal, resulting in an extensive archive of 33,280 color slides and 23,076 black and white negatives. Between a documentary and a personal diary, De Sinéty brilliantly encapsulated a gone era of french rural life and landscape in the 1970's.

Encampment, Wyoming: Selections from the Lora Webb Nichols Archive 1899-1948 by Lora Webb Nichols, FW:Books

'Encampment, Wyoming' was just released by Fw:Books and I instantly knew it had to be part of my list. This book displays works by Nichols herself as well as amateur photographs she collected in the early 20th century of settlements on the American Western Frontier. The striking and gorgeous selected images, chosen from an archive of 24000 photographs, gives us a glimpse of idea of what life might have been there at the time. Outstanding.

78 by Issei Suda, Chose Commune, 2020

Not an original choice as this book is probably part of many lists already! From the selection of images to the graphic design, the publication is a 10/10. Published after Suda's passing, it brings a fresh and original twist to the japanese master's work through a great choice of unseen photographs and clever editing.


State of Shame by Indré Urbonaité, self-published

I saw that work as a dummy years ago during a jury in Arles and I'm glad it's finally being released in a self-published edition of 100 copies. State of Shame is a witty work with many layers around the image as proof of evidence. Cut-up contextless photos show men and women covering and hiding their faces away from the camera on dozens of pages. Providing a little background, the photos were taken in court sessions in countries where media is allowed to publish the image of a suspect before their guilt is proven. Through a simple layout and idea, the resulting work leaves you pondering on many questions. 


Ici by Louis Gary, September Books

A meditative and understated book of photographs by artist Louis Gary, taken during a residency in New-Zealand and published by September Books. Black and white snapshots quietly display intimacy, family life and possess an elusive sense of time. A book that will slowly break your heart.

Emilie Lauriola is the head of LE BAL Books, bookshop and publishing imprint of photo institution LE BAL in Paris. She curates the art book fair Rolling Paper every year and programs all things book related at LE BAL. She previously worked for contemporary art publisher MER.Paper Kunsthalle (BE) and on independent publishing projects for various institutions.  

Images: top - Encampment Wyoming by Lora Webb Nichols, below - 78 by Issei Suda

Issei Suda