Photobooks of 2021: Jenia Fridlyand

One Star and a Dark Voyage by Barbara Bosworth, TIS Books

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”,  thus begins one of the greatest novels in the history of literature. “All happy families are more or less dissimilar; all unhappy ones are more or less alike.”, contests a somewhat less famous one.  Tolstoy was a genius, but I have always found Nabokov’s models more widely applicable. Each photobook that makes me happy does so in its own unique way: A handful of pictures that propel the book to an entirely new level of meaning. An obsessive exploration of one-word subject matter. A recognition of a kindred soul in the maker of the pictures. A simple jest that remains amusing, more tenderly so with each iteration. An execution so tight it causes goosebumps. A shimmer of intellect that makes the images glow in a particular way. A towering testimonial. A master’s magic, distilled.

Here is a list of photobooks that made me happy in 2021:

A Certain Logic of Expectations by Arturo Soto, The Eriskay Connection

Arbustos de la Muerte by Mike Slack, Gato Negro Ediciones

Cloud Physics by Terri Weifenbach, Atelier EXB/The Ice Plant

Double Orbit by Grégoire Pujade-Lorraine, MACK

Ícaro by Irene Zottola, Ediciones Anómalas

Judith Joy Ross, Fotografías 1978-2015 by Judith Joy Ross/Joshua Chuang, Fundación MAPFRE

La Halte by Claudio Silvano, self-published

One Star and a Dark Voyage by Barbara Bosworth, TIS Books

Somersault by Raymond Meeks, MACK

Sub Sole by Massao Mascaro, Chose Commune

The Dark Wood by Danielle Mericle, The Ice Plant/Perimeter Editions

Two Men Arrive in a Village by Jo Ractliffe, with a short story by Zadie Smith, The Gould Collection

Watching the Black Between the Stars by Tine Guns, Grafische Cel

Jenia Fridlyand (Moscow, 1975) is a photographer and educator based in New York City and the Hudson Valley. She is a co-founder of Image Threads, a non-profit educational collective, and is the chair of the Long Term Photobook Program at Penumbra Foundation in New York. Her work has been published by TIS Books, Brooklyn, and she is represented by Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, Amsterdam.

One Star and a Dark Voyage by Barbara Bosworth, TIS Books
Sub Sole by Massao Mascaro, Chose Commune

Sub Sole by Massao Mascaro, Chose Commune