The Library Project contributed to CCCB‘s current exhibition on the Photobook Phenomenon with books from the collection. These are the titles on loan:
Thomas Sauvin, Until Death Do Us Part, Jiazazhi Press
Eamonn Doyle, i
Cristina de Middel, The Afronauts
Doug Rickard, A New American Picture, White Press & Schaden
Leigh Ledare, Pretend You’re Actually Alive, PPP Editions
Hans Eijkelboom, Portraits and Cameras 1949-2009,
Jacqueline Hassink, The Table of Power 2, Hatje Cantz
Check the list here: #CCCB
The show is curated by Gerry Badger, Horacio Fernandez, Ryuichi Kaneko, Erik Kessels, Martin Parr, Markus Schaden, Frederic Lezmi, Irene De Mendoza and Moritz Neümuller, who is the executive curator of the overall project. Read the full details from the CCCB website, below.
17 March – 27 August 2017
The exhibition highlights the role of the photobook in contemporary visual culture and takes it as the departure point for a reinterpretation of the history of photography. Nine curators with years of expertise in the forefront of the photobook movement share their respective visions in a joint exhibition at the CCCB and at Fundació Foto Colectania.
The book is the natural home for photography.
Gerry Badger, photographer and curator
Recent years have seen a period of great expansion for photobooks, which now occupy a central position in contemporary photography. Today, more books are produced than ever; they are bought and sold, swapped and collected. Independent or self-publishing of books and zines has become a high impact phenomenon in both the editorial and the artistic sector, and now, at the peak of the digital era, we are seeing a return to the printed object. For many artists, this format is not just a useful means for showing their photographs, but also the perfect space for experimentation and creativity. Added to these factors there is also a growing interest in reinterpreting the history of photography in terms of the historic role of the photobook and printed photographs, as shown by ambitious studies and projects conducted worldwide.
Also taking part in the exhibition are various contemporary artists who bring their own very special vision to the medium, as well as illustrating the processes of creation of a photobook: Laia Abril, Julián Barón, Alejandro Cartagena, Jana Romanova, Vivianne Sassen, Thomas Sauvin and Katja Stuke & Oliver Sieber.
A photobook is a story in images.
Turning its pages is like watching a film or reading a novel.
Horacio Fernández, photographer and curator
An exhibition with over 500 photobooks
Among its many contents, Photobook Phenomenon ranges from the works of Rodchenko, William Klein and Robert Frank to Japanese photobooks, pioneers in the phenomenon. Photographer Martin Parr presents the best examples from his own private collection. A section dedicated to photobooks of protest and propaganda brings together the most radical designs. Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Gabriel Cualladó and Henri Cartier-Bresson are other names present in the exhibition, along with the latest proposals by renowned contemporary artists who bring their own very special vision to the medium, such as Laia Abril and Vivian Sassen, as well as illustrating the processes of creation of a photobook.
We are seeing a marked return to the printed object.
Moritz Neumüller, executive curator of the exhibition
The challenge of displaying photobooks
Photobook Phenomenon also addresses the challenge of exhibiting a photobook, using various interactive systems to explore and “experience” the book and the photograph from very differing viewpoints.
The show sets out to bring the photobook to a broad public; to do so, it has recourse to various digital devices and technologies, such as video and touch screens, along with reading areas and a series of parallel activities related to the communities associated with the world of the photobook.
Photobook Phenomenon is divided into seven thematic sections that dialogue with each other to give us an idea of what a photobook is, from very differing perspectives. Six of the sections (plus the reading space at Beta Station) are located at the CCCB and the seventh one at Foto Colectania (Passeig Picasso, 14, Barcelona). They can be visited independently or jointly, without changing the meaning of the show.
The exhibition is organized in seven exhibition chapters and one reading space in the Beta Station of the CCCB:
- The Collector’s Vision. Martin Parr’s Best Photobooks
- Propaganda books versus protest books
- Reading New York. A PhotoBookStudy on William Klein’s “Life is Good & Good for You in New York”
- Five Aspects of Japanese Photobooks
- Contemporary Practices + Contemporary Photobooks (Beta Station)
- Fascinations and Failures
- The library is the museum (displayed at Foto Colectania)
1. The Collector’s Vision: Martin Parr’s Best Photobooks
Curator: Martin Parr. Venues: CCCB and Fundació Foto Colectania.
The fifty-seven works selected by Martin Parr from his collection consisting of more than thirteen thousand pieces provide the narrative thread running through the exhibition in the two venues. Set out in glass showcases opening up the show’s seven sections, the books chosen by Parr offer a complete overview of the history of the photobook.
2. Propaganda Books versus Protest Books
Curator: Gerry Badger. Venue: CCCB
This section presents a selection from two genres of photobooks which are, in fact, two sides of the same coin: the propaganda book and the protest book. By means of projections onto the walls of the exhibition space, Gerry Badger presents books praising the status quo and books denouncing it, their differences and similarities.
3. Reading New York: A PhotoBookStudy on William Klein’s “Life is Good & Good for You in New York”
Curators: Markus Schaden and Frederic Lezmi. Venue: CCCB
This section shows, page by page set out on the walls of the CCCB, one of the fundamental works in the history of the photobook: New York, by William Klein (1956), which moved and excited photographers, editors and photobook fans all around the world.
4. Five Aspects of Japanese Photobooks
Curator: Ryuichi Kaneko. Venue: CCCB
Japan is the country of photobooks. In this section Ryuichi Kaneko, curator at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, focuses his gaze on photobook culture in Japan and the formats that have allowed the production of a great abundance of masterpieces.
5. Contemporary Practices
Curators: Irene de Mendoza and Moritz Neumüller. Venue: CCCB
The projects shown in this section are the work of Laia Abril, Julián Barón, Alejandro Cartagena, Jana Romanova, Vivianne Sassen, Thomas Sauvin and Katja Stuke & Oliver Sieber, all of them representatives of a generation of photographers who have given impulse to their careers by means of excellent photography publications.
Beta Station. Contemporary Photobooks
This is a reading zone presenting photographic books published in the last two years and selected by a committee of twenty-five members from five continents—booksellers, bloggers, artists, publishers, curators and collectors—with the aim of offering a total, up-to-date overview of photobook production on the international scale.
6. Fascinations and Failures
Curator/artist: Erik Kessels. Venue: CCCB
The contribution to this exhibition of the Dutch curator and artist Erik Kessels has two parts. The first focuses on books and manuals illustrated by “useful photography” which has the sole aim of offering a visual explanation. The second part consists of an installation of images found in the National Archive of Catalonia, showing disasters, failures and defects.
This space has been made possible thanks to the financial support from the Mondriaan Fund, a Dutch public institution which funds projects in the fields of the visual arts and cultural heritage. The International Presentations Programme committee of this fund has supported the project because of its contribution towards recognition of Dutch contemporary art, in which Erik Kessels is a key figure.
Section exhibited at the Fundació Foto Colectania Passeig de Picasso, 14. Barcelona.
7. The Library Is the Museum
Curator: Horacio Fernández. Venue: Fundació Foto Colectania.
This section consists of an exhibition of photography within an exhibition on the photobook. The libraries of Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Gabriel Cualladó and Henri Cartier-Bresson reveal the influence of some photobooks on their creative work. In this show in praise of the photobook, photographs and books mingle in the work of three pioneering artists.
More details at CCCB