A new edition of Chinese artist Muge’s tranquil photobook “Ash”, released by Japanese publisher Zen Foto Gallery.
Based on Lao Tze’s “Theory of Nature,” Muge’s series approaches objects, sceneries and places from the perspective not of an intruder or observer but as an insider, as someone who belongs, giving his subjects the necessary space to weather, grow, decay, and simply exist. Divided into three parts (“Still Life,” Shan Shui,” and “Scenery”), Muge’s images draw on symbolism and metaphor to create larger connections between the pages of the book. The three parts of the book are stacked on top of each other, forming a staircase-like design, with each photo printed in black and gray and finished “with glossy varnish, matte varnish or special color varnish, depending on the delicate state of each object.”
When I used the large format camera to re-understand my hometown as it is now, I’ve discovered that all things in the real world derive from our internal desire: the Karma cycle of yearning for nature, destroying nature, and mending nature (...) These images are taken from the understandings gleaned from my daily life, conveying the traces of time and history in nature, and a person’s thoughts of the future when faced with reality. — Muge
As the title of Kovi Konowiecki’s debut monograph – and in its place, another – reminds us, we are always and forever subject to the twin certitudes of transience and change. As is the artist, who has moved back and forth between California, Mexico, Europe, and the Middle East, all of which places are part of the fabric of this sprawling, unscripted book.
Here we are confronted with the geographical and emotional margins of society and the mind: the external and internal boundaries that inhibit both human movement and human potential. The photographs portray individuals and communities that exist in a liminal space between belonging and abandonment, many of which exert feelings of desolation.
But what might seem on the surface political is made intensely personal through Konowiecki’s purposeful reliance on emotional connections in the pictures rather than specific relationships of place or subject. As he says, this work comes as a “happy accident, inspired by the frequent travels that nourished a sharp eye for the liminal types of communities to which I am drawn: people I have met in my wanderings, passersby in the street, a horse trained in a small Arab village, and untended gardens.”
The “unscripted” nature of the work has an impact on the form of the book, in particular in the variety of genres and colors, from landscape photography to portraiture and from black and white to color. The various forms of expression serve as ways to materialize the ideas at the core of the project and to break down barriers or restrictions within the photographic medium.
In October 1979, Pope John Paul II came to the Boston Common. Susan Kandel was there taking pictures of families who’d come to see him, carrying on with work she had started months earlier photographing families at Revere Beach.Among the people she photographed that day on the Common were two women and the five children they’d brought with them. They told Kandel that she should come take pictures at their homes, since they had younger kids who hadn’t come that day.She eagerly took them up on their offer.
“These two families lived around the corner from each other in Everett, Mass., and I returned to their homes many times over the next ten years or so. And I sought out other families who might let me come photograph them at home as well. I approached folks in grocery stores and bowling alleys, Woolworth’s and corner stores, telling them that I’d give them some pictures in exchange for allowing me to come photograph them at home. Although I got a lot of quick refusals and looks of suspicion, I also managed to get invited to many homes. And sometimes there were repeat invitations.” - Susan Kandel
Through her work Kandel discovered that each home she entered was a distinct world unto itself, and each home offered up stories.
"I am often attracted by what repulses or scares the others. I like misfits, outcasts, eccentrics, those who don’t fit in the norms. Although I look quite normal and common, I identify in a way with those who do not fit in society. For this reason, I followed the Black Label Bike Club for about 3 years when I was living in NY. The Black Label Bike Club is known as the first “outlaw bicycle club.” It was created in 1992 by Jacob Houle and Per Hanson in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has chapters nationwide. They are one of the main contributors to the rise of tall bike culture and organize jousting competitions. It is interesting to see this destructive, rebel culture revolving around such a non-threatening object: the bicycle.
I consider them as a blend of punk, grunge and hippie culture. They are an independent community rebelling against the system. In a society that pushes us to consume, focus on money and overly use technology, it is interesting to see a group of young people resisting and fighting against it. Their community is mainly based on the bike culture, art and on the real value of relationships; these basic, simple values that seem to have disappeared. This particularly affected me when I was in NYC and everyone seemed to be living virtually on social networks and obsessed by success. These “kids” felt real: they speak frankly and are not afraid to take risks and hurt themselves (physically or life decisions). They are living in the moment, in a risk-less society yearning for security. They are passionate, well-read, talented young people with real discussions.
When I find subcultures like the Black Label Bike Club, a creative group, using very little technology, interested in defending causes and resisting the main stream, it gives me hope, and I think it could be very encouraging for today’s youth."
_ Julie Glassberg
Trade edition (untitled) of 400 copies, of this acclaimed book originally created during the Reminders Photography Stronghold Photobook workshop.
“31st August 2019 … from that moment on, the way I look at the world has changed. Everything has changed. Maria’s untimely death, her decision to end her own life, has made a distinct cut, a sharp delineation of the before and after.” - Martin Kollar
After was formed in the wake of the death of Martin Kollar’s partner, Maria.
As time slowly went by after the cataclysmic event, Kollar cautiously started to browse through his photographic archive. He was returned to the years, months, and days they spent together by the scores of materials from trips they made to location-scout and film together. In their last two years together, they had visited various research centres and public institutes as they started to prepare and shoot 'Chronicle', the film they were to make together.
These excursions into the past happened in various stages, from Kollar’s original inability to bring himself to open the archive, through to periods of obsession during which he was unable to stop browsing through the multitude of photographs of his and Maria’s past life. What gradually started to emerge from the pictures were hidden contexts and threads he had not seen before.
Kollar started to assemble them, but not with the aim of reconstructing their life. Instead, he sought to express how the before transcends into the after; how the most anticipated events always find you unprepared.
Momo Okabe's first domestic photo book is now published six years since Dildo (2013) and Bible (2014), both published by Session Press in New York. With no advertising or publicity, her works have become highly acclaimed and have won various national and international awards.
After that, Momo Okabe kept her distance from the contemporary photographic scene and continued to take photographs in her own way, and her pregnancy and birth became an opportunity to announce this work. This book contains photographs taken in Japan between 2014 and 2019. This great experiment includes friends, regular landscapes, and her pregnancy and birth as an asexual. Red, blue, yellow, purple ... these photographs of various colors are her very personal record, and at the same time they appear to us as a special story revealing emotions.
The Monferrato and Roero Woods, the limits imposed by confinement, the exploration of oneself and the natural environment, in a closed dialogue between the photographs of Tomaso Clavarino and the illustrations of Patrizio Anastasi, which confront each other, resemble each other, and overlap.
‘Ballad Of Woods And Wounds’ is a stream of consciousness, an investigation into pure places lived during a period of tension and disorientation, namely the lockdown in Italy, and over a defined period of time which, with little margin for error, runs from 9 March to 19 May 2020. Both artists, forced into social isolation in an environment of little to no anthropization, had the opportunity to redefine their gazes, limiting interpersonal exchanges and movement.
A short and intense journey of discovery, a reflection on society and contemporary living, a trace of a unique, perhaps unrepeatable time.
The artworks of Clavarino and Anastasi interweave, they talk to each other, as if they had been developed together. Clavarino's photographs are a personal and intimate narration of an inner tension, which speaks of his roots, of his relationship with a place that is important to him and full of memories. Anastasi's illustrations are a reflection on the exploration of the limit and one’s own limits, on the wait that allows one to focus on body and mind by creating a bridge, a connection, between the human being and the Nature that surrounds him.
‘Ballad Of Woods And Wounds’ is a sort of country ballad, in which you can breathe the earth, the smell of the forest, and where an almost melancholic stillness provides the backdrop to a broader reflection on the very essence of our nature.
Keepers of the Ocean by Inuuteq Storch is a personal exploration of intimacy with and within the overwhelming nature of west Greenland. The book portrays the close community of Storch’s hometown Sisimiut photographed over the past three years.
Everyday images of friends, family, food and interiors form part of the subject matter combined with Storch’s own intervention and experimentation. Unstaged yet absorbing, intimate and vulnerable. His intuitive narrative style draws the viewer into the image, giving us the feeling of being present ourselves. A rare sight when it comes to portrayals of Greenland – exceptional, meaty and sorely needed.
The landscape is a recurrent subject, as is the sky, the light and the dark. The natural world is always close by, and just as the tides come and go, nature flows in and out of Keepers of the Ocean. In a culture where the weather and the ocean have always played a key role, it is natural for someone who lives by the coast to look out for whoever is at sea. People take care of and watch over each other. When asked about the book’s title, Innuteq replied with a picture of a sunny ocean view from his apartment in Sisimiut, captioned: “Keeping an eye on every sailor”. – From the preface by Martin Brandt Hansen
The Danube Delta is the second greatest European river delta: a natural labyrinth of reeds and water that extends over more than 3500 square kilometres. It lies between Romania and Ukraine, on the geographical boundary of Europe, on the shores of the Black Sea. The delta region is sparsely populated and its few hamlets can only be reached by boat. It lacks basic infrastructure and its streets are plunged into the depths of darkness as soon as the sun sets.
Living on the delta means living in oblivion, amidst marshlands. Like Minotaurs, the inhabitants of the delta find themselves immersed in their own labyrinth, putting up with the emptiness it imposes on them. The circular rhythm of the seasons defines their rhythm of life; it affects their moods, conditions their desires and habits and sets up physical and mental barriers.
For four years I’ve submerged myself in the delta, striving to understand and document these profound connections. In the different seasons, I’ve beheld the landscape and its gradual changes almost obsessively, in order to record their physical and psychological upshots.
Throughout this long research process, the territory has assumed the psychological role of a true labyrinth.
In a language that hovers between anthropological observation and symbolic transfiguration, I’ve drawn my map of the territory, and my interpretation transcends the physical and geographical reality of the marshes, challenging the profound meaning of the act of inhabiting. Inhabiting a territory, inhabiting a labyrinth. Inhabiting oneself.”
Delta is divided into two sections, complementary to each other and equally relevant. The first one collects the photographic body of work, offering a purely visual narrative. The second consists of 30 field notes. Previous collaborations with anthropologists have influenced my methodology.
Since my first trip to the Delta, I felt the need to conduct an investigation parallel to the photographic research, recording my daily observations in a notebook. The result is a diary of ethnographic inspiration made of descriptive notes, interview extracts, personal reflections and short fiction. A hybrid text that fits the photographic narrative filling the gaps generated by the image and expanding its narrative potential.
Half a century ago, Hashimoto Shoko photographed blind female musicians called the goze who toured and performed in the rural areas along the Sea of Japan. [Note: In Japanese, goze is pronounced as in “rosé”]
The goze would visit farmhouses and sing a short song accompanied by shamisen at the entrances in the day time. At night, they would sing songs in different lengths, including narrative songs for the villagers who would gather, and they were rewarded with rice and other crops and money.
When Hashimoto followed three elderly goze with his camera in the early 1970s through the seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter, their existence was already nearly lost - the industrial and urban development in Japan at that time led to a decline in agriculture and rural population, directly impacting their livelihood.
This publication is a reprint of all the articles on the goze photographed by Hashimoto, which were originally published in Asahi Graph, a Japanese weekly pictorial magazine that continued from 1923 to 2000. Articles included are: “Goze, Sightless Female Singers” from May 8, 1970; “Four Seasons of Goze” series from October 26, November 2, November 9 and November 16, 1973.
This reprint includes English translations for all the articles and an additional essay written by Hasegawa Hiroshi.
In March 2016, the Japanese Academy of Pediatrics announced that they estimated 350 children across the country died due to abuse. According to the Ministry of Health, Education, and Welfare’s tally, roughly 90 children per year die due to abuse, including forced double suicide. So 260 children’s deaths are being overlooked.
Upon discovering this anomaly, Japanese photographer Miki Hasegawa started her own research on child abuse cases. Hasegawa interviewed the child abuse victims, photographed their portraits, and collected and edited materials that summon up their childhood memories such as their diaries, notebooks and photos. This project “Internal Notebook” is her attempt at visualizing the invisible sufferings and traumas of the abused children from her own perspective as a mother and a possible child abuser. Dealing with the social issues facing Japanese woman and children, Hasegawa tries to visualize what exactly maternal love is in such a traditional country. “It seemed to me that their parents were no different from the rest of us in thinking that we were normal parents,” she states. “We can see that the ones who tormented were not just parents but other adults in society as well.” The wide variety in perspectives mark her work and gives an interesting insight into this well-hidden shame of society.
New handmade edition of 500 copies based on the original handmade edition produced at Reminders Photography Stronghold (which was limited to just 66 copies.)
THE GRAY LINE is Laura Rodari’s first book, ‘the work who came out of visceral feelings and melancholy’, as she would tell you. Laura whispers, sometimes. She does it to time, to thoughts, to the universe and to its inhabitants. The response is mutual, bodily gut-deep mutual. Landscapes bend under her eyes, faces crumble, time evolves in the opposite direction and its arrow moves continuously as the most unrest being. THE GRAY LINE is this place in between past present and future, barely visible, an acknowledgment of absolute solitude. Both the origin and the end, along with light, beauty, joy and death. Nowhere life is more viscerally needed.
the womb is frail, the distance ephemeral, the consumption of a latent promise, the fog, the sentimental no, the agreement of death, the key to the senses
the lack of language, hers, after her.
the womb is frail when empty, the presence ethereal, time produces quakes on the shroud of eternity, the thickness, the density, nearly here never again
men and women walking, the darkness they bear, beating the glimpsed years ahead until they are, you Mother, the dim and the faint, flowers in your garden smell, they died and they bloomed again, they die and they bloom always.
Slipcased edition of 300 handmade copies. 61 images of which 24 torn and tipped in.
Final few copies with faint bump to slipcase (see example image)
Dry Hole is an eclectic selection of images extracted from a collection of Real photograph postcards, these were manufactured preprinted card backs for photographs that allowed postcards to be printed directly from a negative. The early part of the last Century spawned an explosion in popularity for RPPCs where they were both collected and used as an affordable and efficient way to communicate, particularly in North America. Fuelled by a reduction to the postal rates and the wider accessibility of small cameras designed specifically for this format. While many were mass produced and used commercially a proportion were made by amateurs and stand as unique historical documents conveying life in small town and rural America through the events, places and people they depict.
Collected and edited instinctively, David Thomson emphasises details contained within the larger frame of the postcards by cropping into specific areas - a subtle nuance of the light, a strangers gaze, an impending tornado, where the mundane and extraordinary hold company in equal measure. The accumulative effect of this diverse collection of images begins to elicit stories of past endeavour and adventures during a time when life was tough, but aspirations and hope were abundant.
“Bristningar (Rupture) is the middle part of Katinka Goldberg's trilogy of works, in which she is ‘exploring the tension between closeness and distance’, trying, no less, to locate herself both within herself and within the world. The trilogy began with her book Surfacing (2011) which examined the relationship between herself and her mother, in a complex and highly poetic way. In Bristningar, she is making collages, which, like Hans Bellmer's, deconstruct and reassemble the body, but do so with a very different aim, a healing rather than a destructive or pathological purpose. And also a process of add and subtracting, or rather, of adding in order to subtract.
‘I am trying to answer the question; how much can you take away of yourself without disappearing? How close can you get before the closeness becomes a distance?’
Her intentions are both formal and psychological. On one level, she is pushing at the medium’s boundaries, pushing beyond the imperative of the camera and provoking a clash between photography, sculpture, and painting. On another, she is exploring different aspects of her psyche, using the same kind of allusive approach, but very different formal means to those deployed in her previous book. In Surfacing, it seemed to be a matter of trying to make peace with what seemed to be an obviously close and sometimes difficult relationship, a letting go perhaps. Bristningar seems more of a reaching toward, not to her mother but to herself. By making fragmented collages from the human body Goldberg would seem to be fashioning a visual metaphor, no less, for the process of psychoanalysis, tearing the soul apart, examining the pieces and the data, then reconstructing a more complete whole. In these fragmented and highly abstract collages, Goldberg is utilizing ‘the amputated and then reconstructed body as a way to visualize a fragmented identity that has been mended. Forming a reconstruction of oneself to be seen. Seeing as a way of belonging’.”
In Christmas Day, Bucks Pond Road, his second book with The Ice Plant, Brooklyn-based photographer Tim Carpenter (born 1968) revisits the Central Illinois topography of his first monograph, Local Objects, with a sequence of 56 black-and-white medium-format photographs, all made on a single winter morning. In Local Objects he meandered this semi-rural Midwestern landscape through changing seasons in an abstract sequence, but here Carpenter follows a straightforward path, literally taking the viewer on a two-hour walk from point A to point B. Nothing much happens along this brief narrative arc—there are fallow fields, standing water, dormant trees, the occasional tire track on worn pavement—yet Carpenter explores the stillness of this outdoor space with a palpable, almost erotic anticipation, revealing intimate subtleties as the journey unfolds. Made with an intensity of attention and a lightness of touch, the photographs in Christmas Day, Bucks Pond Road are less about the confines of this specific time and place than about a poetic strategy for narrowing the distance between human desire and the factual content of the everyday world. Recommended.
Beautiful, Still. is the first monograph from photographer Colby Deal, documenting the people, objects, and environments of everyday life in the Third Ward neighbourhood in Houston, Texas, where the artist grew up. In this ongoing project, currently consisting of over a thousand negatives, Deal sets out to provide a visual record of overlooked communities and the cultural characteristics gradually being erased by gentrification, as well as a depiction of communities of colour whose members are often portrayed with negative connotations. Through these instinctive black-and-white photographs, Deal’s down-to-earth approach to his subjects is made apparent; at times candid and blurred, other times poised and sharply focussed, the series builds to convey the dynamism and vibrancy of family, community, and individual life in the Third Ward. The scratches and dust left on the negatives reflect the marks of lived life and simultaneously suggest the fragility of these documents and the corresponding precarity of the fabrics of social life they often depict. Deal’s almost conversational tone — the antithesis of media portrayals of the neighbourhood — invites his viewers in with a sense of joy and intuitive playfulness. From these alternately staged and documentary images, a new narrative emerges about a reductively and oppressively narrativized place, celebrating the agency and freedom that the photographic medium can offer.
The signed edition includes a slip signed by the artist and glued into the inside back cover.
“Control deals with the dark side of the aftermath of the 2000s in Turkey, where instincts collided with modernism. The story of a night in Istanbul includes sex workers, dog fights, gun violence and political armed conflict. At first glance, these activities seem different, but once we delve deeper into these stories we can see that they are part of the same chain of motives. Turkey entered a new political climate after the 2000s. The climate, which has become increasingly conservative, has given certain ideologies a platform and at the same time led people with opposing thoughts be vilified and pushed into the night. These include secret sex parties and dog fight competitions. Armed political conflicts that arise due to social issues and pressures in the country are also emerging at night.
I moved to the Gazi district of Istanbul in 2014 to complete the Night Blind project. I am currently photographing the armed political conflicts, dog fights and sex parties that take place in Gazi and other segregated neighborhoods in Istanbul. The common factor between the segregated neighborhoods is that the residents are mainly Kurds, Alevi’s and refugees. In recent times the government has increased the pressure, and are looking into different policies to wipe out these segregated neighborhoods. The conflicts in the east of the country, often increase the severity of the pressures applied to these neighborhoods. Long term projects such as urban transformation are being introduced and dissembling the culture created in these neighborhoods. Problems within the education system also bring pressure and problems to the neighborhoods. There are simply not enough schools in these areas to cater to the population and there are also not enough teachers which results in most of the children leaving school without completing high school. This causes the children to carry out their potential in other areas. The children grow up trying to prove themselves from a very young age. Unfortunately this leads some to follow a path that leads to drug trafficking or taking part in illegal dog fights. After a while, this becomes a way of life. Sexual activities are one of the most secretive events that are pushed into the night. Those who cannot live out their different sexual orientations and preferences within society, live them secretly at night. People from different classes and professions come together to organize sex parties. Those who participate in these events are usually people who are forced to hide their sexual orientations and preferences from society. ”
“Whether a photo was taken yesterday or two years ago is immaterial. Inspired by theories of non-linear time, astrophysics and quantum mechanics, Julie van der Vaart has begun experimenting in the darkroom. [...] A photo is prosaically a record of the past, but now it remains eternally afloat in imaginary time.” - Merel Bem
‘Blind Spot’ by artist Julie van der Vaart is a poetic exploration of the concepts of imaginary time and deep time. Photographs of the human body, caves and water(falls) are choreographed into disorientating sequences to reveal correlations between images. Created over six years, each series of work in the book contributes to the artist’s ongoing attempts to represent through the photographic image the discrepancies between imaginary time and experienced linear time.
The title of the book refers to the blind spot where the optic nerve connects to the retina and no light-sensitive cells are present. The brain fills in the empty space based on the information surrounding the blind spot. The title acts as a metaphor for the potential divergence—the trick of the mind—between what we see and experience, and what is real.
Van der Vaart’s photographic archive consists of many series of nudes and romantic vistas which she continually draws upon to make new work. For the series ‘Beyond Time’, she experimented with darkroom chemicals to make the human form appear and disappear in the print—simultaneously present and absent—dissolving into the cosmos. She captured the insides of caves with photopolymer etches based on analogue photographs for her series ‘Deep Time’. The mineral deposits in the caves were formed by water continuously percolating between the rocks over millennia, creating sculptural bodies which represent a giant mass of time. The series ‘Waterfall’ takes its starting point the works of Zen monk and teacher Shunryu Suzuki in which the waterfall is used as analogy for life and the conscious. The waterfall representing a separation of energy and its later return to the whole.
The boyfriend’s parents can’t accept her age after all, and their relationship ended there. That’s how Chinese photographer Yingguang Guo (b. 1983) became single at the age of 33, a “left-over woman”, considered by the eyes of contemporary Chinese society. Burdened by all of the questions she could not find answers to, Guo went to the People’s Park in Shanghai to perform as her own “matchmaker”, holding a sign with her own accomplishments, while the parents come sniffing around to assess her suitability for their children.
In addition to being a place of relaxation, Shanghai People’s Park is also a well-known market for matchmaking that has been in existence for ten years. Hundreds of parents gather there every weekend regardless of weather, clutching succinct summaries of their children on single information sheets that contain their age, height, education, job, salary etc. all in an effort to find an “acceptable” partner for their child to marry.
By photographing daily scenes and details of personal adds at the matchmaking corner, Guo also uses photo-etching techniques to create a series of abstract images that reveal the turbulent truths of arranged marriages beneath the seemingly calm surface depicted by peaceful images of the park, such as traditional intergenerational relationships and views of marriage, as well as discrimination against the so-called “left-over women”.
Emi Anrakuji’s “Balloon Position” is a stream-of-conscious-like unfolding of the artist’s conflicted soul. Taken twenty years ago, the soft, sensual black-and-white photos form a visual poem about loneliness and existential confusion.
“I cannot explain this photobook in words.” – Emi Anrakuji
Edition of 500 copies.
Shortlisted for Paris Photo Aperture Foundation Photobook of the Year 2019.
As the sun fell in the west, Grímsey seemed to emit a vibration, a faint buzzing that can only be felt at certain times in that far-removed place. Its tune, persistent and dense, wove through living rooms and careened over the harbor like a slow pull on a cello. It’s a pulse that can only be sensed, if even for a fleeting moment, during periods of change. The first time, for a young boy, with his father on a fishing boat. Or the loss of a brother, his memory now living in photographs and within the folds of a sweater tucked away in a closet. Or, perhaps, the first sunset alone at the northernmost tip of the island, a place the locals call The Foot. A swooping hook of land that curves down to the water, revealing caves that always seem to be whispering—telling, with a slow exhale, the secrets of the island.
I have this desire to sum up my life in the form of a story.
My parents killed themselves, one after the other, in the winter of 1998.
My mother’s depression led her to take her own life, and my father followed her nine days later. Having suddenly a closer relationship with death at just 21 years of age, I decided to write down the things I saw around me, as they were, and to capture in photographs the emotions I would only be able to feel then and there.
I was alone in the house we had all lived in as a family. I had almost completely lost sight of the point in living. But even so, I kept on living. Though my parents weren’t there, I had the many paintings my father left me and the family pictures my mother loved taking. They spoke to me and consoled me.
Happiness is “living alongside the people you love”.
Surrounded and engulfed in the love of my parents, I was taught the meaning of happiness. Now, after being blessed with a new family and a child of my own, I am surprised to find myself having conversations with my parents who still live on inside me. The look I give my child overlaps with the look my parents once wrapped me in.It is then I sense my parents are still here with me and I get a feeling of happiness, like I am being watched over.
If you are able to share your love for someone, perhaps you never really die.
In order to continue living with the people I love, I want to share with my family what I have learned from my parents. I would like to also share it with all of you in this book. - Junpei Ueda Special edition with a signed print on Hahnemuhle PhotoRag Baryta 315 gsm, 20 x 30 cm. Choice of sea or trees image.