II. Photographs versus Contemporary Art: Beyond the Pleasure Principle

I must apologize for the rather long silence, during which I have been traveling, meeting lots of people, while almost constantly in public, which has made it difficult to think, let alone to write. Actually, if I were producing a series of photographs rather than a blog, it would have been easy. I could have made thousands of them (even taking a selfie while giving a public speech—why not, it might have been considered cute!) and indeed post them on Instagram, as mentioned by my co-blogger Casey Smallwood, taking part in the “casual” art production so characteristic of our times. Read More »

Posted in Blogger Post | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

I. Photographers versus Artists: A Colonial Story?

In this blog, I will explore—in a necessarily fragmented way—some of the paradoxes inherent to the complex relations between photography and so-called contemporary art, as seen through the eyes of a curator, a writer, and, in the first place, a teacher, since for almost a decade I have been teaching at a school that educates both photographers and artists. Just as an aside: The Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia is a small postgraduate or, rather, alternative art school—set in a country where professional art education still produces mainly nineteenth-century-like academic painters, and photography is being taught widely, but in its purely commercial iteration. Read More »

Posted in Blogger Post | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Responses

6. On Digital and Analogue Books and a Possible Scenario for the Future

(I will take the liberty here to describe my wildest fantasies).

Lorenzo Rocha and Andreas Langen in their discussion on September 24 and 25 raised an interesting point that I want to reflect on.

What could be the new medium for digital images? Do digital images need analogue manufactured books as a presentation medium, or something different or new? Read More »

Posted in Blogger Post | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Responses

5. A Portuguese Interception

Our journey has brought us from the end of the Roman world (Cape Finisterre) over Santiago de Compostela to Portugal. In Santiago we saw an impressive and interesting group exhibition called On the Road in the restored Bishop’s Palace (Palaco de Xelmirez and Iglesia de Bonaval) next to the cathedral. An ambitious project of the Galician Tourist Board and local administration and yet another example of how contemporary art and photography can be shown in very old buildings (Romanesque architecture of the 12th century).

OntheRoad_santiago

Read More »

Posted in Blogger Post | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Responses

4. Distribution and Money, the Frankfurt Book Fair and the PhotoBookMuseum, Cologne

This may be a slightly boring entry, but I thought it would be worthwhile to explain why, in most cases, artists or photographers must supply the publisher with money to produce their book.

As I write this, I am sitting in Sobrado dos Monxes, next to one of the stranger and more beautiful churches near the Camino Real (or Camino de Santiago), only 60 km away from Santiago de Compostela, and far away from the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is currently running until Sunday, October 12.

Pilgrims arriving at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Pilgrims arriving at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Read More »

Posted in Blogger Post | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Responses

3. Honoring Two Great Photo Book Publishers: Gigi Giannuzzi and Walter Keller

Welcome back – now from Jaca, Spain!

Those who follow this blog may be aware that I am on a road trip through France, Spain, and Portugal. The trip started in Stuttgart and the last location I wrote about was Arles. More about the trip at the end of this entry. And again, to those who follow this blog: Feel free to contact me – I am always happy about advice on where to go, what to see, and who to meet!

In this post I would like to honor two publishers who I had the pleasure to work with throughout the 25 years of my own publishing career. Both died far too early in the past two years, and both I unexpectedly met again during this trip through their books. Read More »

Posted in Blogger Post | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Responses

2. What Works in the Photo Book World Today and What no Longer Works?

The photo book market faces the same challenges that most markets are facing these days. This includes overproduction (or “overpublishing,” as we call it in our world), a shrinking customer base in the main markets (Europe, USA), changing distribution channels, discount wars, and competition from other media (e-books, online information, print on demand), to name just a few. The competition of the Rencontres d’Arles festival can serve as an example for the current overflow:

BookOverflow_arles

All the photo books that were submitted to the book award competition at Rencontres d’Arles, 2014. Only two of them will win awards.

Read More »

Posted in Blogger Post | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Responses

1. The Current Scene of Photo Book and Art Book Publishing, As I See It

Welcome to everyone following this blog!

I am not a theoretician, nor overly intellectual, nor an art historian, nor a regular writer – just a manic art book publisher who, after 25 years in the business of making art and photography books, has taken a break to consider the years gone by. I am taking a deep breath of freedom now, granting myself the time to indulge my curiosity about our world in general, and that of art and photography in particular, as this was the world to which I have devoted my life during the last decades. So, for a while, I will change my position of an insider to that of an outsider, to explore a different perspective and new ideas. Read More »

Posted in Blogger Post | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Responses