Category Archives: Photography books
I am delighted to have come across the wonderful book, The Walk by August Eriksson and published by Kerber Verlag. Eriksson, based in Sweden, captures his movement along a series of ancient pilgrimage routes in Japan. Sixty-six images follow one after another, all with the same strict composition: the path, seen from the eye level of the walker, disappears into the vanishing point of the image.
TOP 10 PHOTOBOOKS
- Highway Kind – Justine Kurland
- ZZYZX – Gregory Halpern
- Intimate Distance – Todd Hido
- Jazorina – Freya Najade
- DTLFTSOTE – Mark Power
- Cuba La Lucha – Carl De Keyzer
- In Flagrante Two – Chris Killip
- Tulip – Celine Marchbank
- Badly Repaired Cars – Ronni Campana
- Provisional Arrangement – Martin Kollar
I’m delighted to discover the beautiful new book by Philipp Ebeling called London Ends.
“Leaving behind the landmarks of the centre, London Ends takes the viewer on a journey to the places where the city ceases to be a city and becomes a series of amalgamated villages. Sleepy and yet full of life, the places where London ‘ends’ are the places that Ebeling has been drawn to with his camera for many years, culminating in a 250km circular walk to join them all together.”
London Ends is published by Fishbar and costs £37. Images from the book are on display at Fishbar Gallery, 176 Dalston Lane, E8 1NG.
Image © Philipp Ebeling
Night Walk, the new book from photographer Ken Schles, takes a fascinating look at the nightlife of New york. Grainy and confrontational, the work paints a harsh picture of New york and the suffering of its inhabitants.
The book itself seems to follow a loose walking narrative. We are taken through the book by the inclusion of occasional images featuring people passing through the streets on their way to some unknown location. Further in, we are taken around seedy apartment blocks and clubs where we see a version of 80’s New york life that has rarely been seen before. Curiously, we occasionally see images of individuals heading towards fireworks in the sky. This gives the impression that although the individuals seem to be enjoying their anarchic lives, they also long for an escape.
We are never told the intention of the work and are thankfully left to make up are own version of the story. In the final images of the book we are shown the smiling faces of women as the cityscape turns to day. The night has come to an end and they look happy to begin a new day, ending the book with a sense of hope. I have waited a long time for this book to be released and it was well worth the wait. I also highly recommended checking out the brilliant Invisible City by Ken Schles, likewise published by Steidl.
The MAP6 publication The Moscow Project was on show at the Photo Publishers’ Market this weekend. It was also great to see so many other fabulous publications on display.
The Photo Publishers’ Market was held at The Phoenix and was organised by Brighton Photo Fringe, Photoworks, Brighton Photo Biennial and Miniclick.
MAP6 will be part of the Photo Publishers’ Market with our Moscow Project publication. Come down and have a browse….
Sat/Sun October 18th and 19th
The Phoenix Brighton
10–14 Waterloo Place
Brighton BN2 9NB
The Photo Publishers’ Market is organised by Brighton Photo Fringe, Photoworks, Brighton Photo Biennial and Miniclick.
I was delighted to come across the series Olifantenpaadjes, otherwise known as Desire Lines, by Dutch photographer Jan-Dirk Van Der Burg. A desire line is a path created by a continuous passing of people over a singular piece of land. The path usually represents the shortest or most easily navigated route between two places and is often a shortcut between other constructed routes. The image of a path created by people walking or cycling is seen by some as a small act of defiance against those paths mapped out for us by society.
The book Olifantenpaadjes, first published in 2011, offers 77 examples of these unofficial pathways. Pedestrians can be seen traversing pavements whilst evading traffic-safety barriers and avoiding designated pedestrian areas. Jan-Dirk Van Der Burg explores this curious phenomenon with his remarkably well crafted medium format photographs. For me his images have a similar european feel to them as the work of Joachim Brohmn, Hans van der Meer or the early work of Andreas Gursky. This wonderful collection of photographs not only demonstrates our defiant desire to not keep off the grass, but also humorously depicts how inherently lazy and impatient we can be when faced with the simple task of getting to where we want to go. Something I’m sure we can all relate to.
You can see more of Jan-Dirk van der Burg’s work on his website here.
All Images © JanDirk
MORE LONG WALKS
Back in December, I did a post about David Johnston’s book Long Walks. Since then I’ve had the chance to hear more from David and took the opportunity to ask him about walking, his work and his book. David’s early life on a farm first aroused his passion for the countryside. This uninterrupted country life carried on through a series of jobs before he turned his hand to maintenance in a home for the mentally disabled. But walking the countryside, camera in hand, was still his greatest pleasure and he has continued to do so throughout his life. David’s photographs first appeared in local newspapers and magazines in 1987, and Long Walks was published by Photoworks in 1999, accompanied by a major exhibition. Later, he went on to publish his book West Sussex Barns & Farms Buildings in 2002 with Dovecote Press.
How important is walking to your photographic practice?
DJ – For me, walking and photography go hand in hand, they are bound together, one working with the other; and for that reason, I find the two of equal importance. For I may be out there, wandering the country lanes at any time of the year, and unexpectedly spot something rare and exciting. It’s then captured instantly on film. No matter how many times I have gone over the same ground, there is always something new to see, and it was this compulsion, this need to always walk with my camera, which gave me every single opportunity to photograph the great variety of country images that I have in my archive of around 10,000 colour slides of the Sussex countryside, all built up over the past thirty years.
How did you go about making Long Walks; what was your working process?
DJ – The making of Long Walks began from the moment I started recording my country rambles on film, and in my diary, back in 1987. I had then some vague hope that one day my detailed observations may be of interest to others. It was at this early stage, that I found myself instinctively seeking out the hidden nooks within our rural county, for there was always so much to see, so much to inspire a curious mind. On arriving home, I would jot down these observations, each page being filled with the beauty of the landscapes and occasionally adding those happy pauses for hot tea from the flask, or fish ‘n’ chips in the car, while watching the sunset! Yet, beside these random personal snippets, it was a serious study of our living countryside, photographed, and scribbled down exactly as I saw it – with a hope of stirring the imagination, and urging others to go out to explore the beauty of the land we live in. It was always a leisurely project. One which I knew in the back of my mind would be a long term venture, lasting perhaps thirty years, if not more.
What are your current thoughts about Long Walks, how do you feel about the work now?
DJ – My thoughts about Long Walks, have always been the same, tinged with a fragment of disappointment. For, to my way of thinking, there was no real point in having my appallingly untidy handwriting printed within the book, the very same notes would have been better illustrated with a good italic typeset. But having said that, Long Walks was, of course, an important medium for proclaiming my photographic work of some recognisable importance to the county of West Sussex. The book certainly broadcast the joy of walking and photographing the rural life and natural world within our county, and for that, I will always be thankful.
What are you working on at the present moment, do you have any more long walks planned for the future?
DJ – This year I have been working on, and coincidently just finished compiling into one complete volume, my Long Walks Diaries – all of which cover the years between 1987 and 2003. The manuscript has 130 pages, made up of around 48,000 words. It is in fact a documentary of the changing countryside in Sussex, built up over a quarter of a century. Within its pages are hundreds of nature notes along with the recording of many interesting old farm buildings: shepherd huts, redundant farm machinery, and any curious artefacts we came across. Also contained within are the many country people we met and spoke to, from Lords and Ladies to Sussex farmers, country rustics and odd eccentrics. Then there are events, the great storm of 1987 and the change it made to the countryside, also the floods, the snow storms and the weather we noted each day. And there are the fourteen separate village photo-shoots for the Millennium that I undertook. These things and much more are all within the pages of the Diary and I am now looking for a publisher, who would find this new book of interest to publish.
You can purchase Long Walks on the Photoworks website here. You can also view a short piece on BBC Television about David here.
Every now and then, I come across a book that makes me think: This is right up my street (no pun intended). Walking and Mapping: Artists as Cartographers (2013) by Karen O’Rourke is such a book. Karen O’Rourke is an artist and writer whose theoretical research on contemporary art has led to a number of articles and publications, this is one of them. Over its 328 pages, the book is a deeply engaging look at the modern state of walking, art and cartography. The book pays particular attention to experimental mapping techniques, online databases and a vast array of other modern technological devices made to map our way through the world. O’Rourke notes how “mapping is our way to locate ourselves in the world”, and throughout the course of the book, she manages to create her own chronological map of walking art and cartography. The first part of the book begins with the origins of contemporary walking practices in the 20th century by looking at the likes of Guy Debord, and how practitioners of psychogeography utilised cartography. The later parts of the book then take us into unfamiliar territory, examining the relationship between walking and modern technological mapping techniques. By presenting us with numerous artists’ experiments, some of which the writer actually participates in, we are shown how this practice continues to evolve today. These experiments involve mental mapping, surveillance mapping, emotional GPS and datascapes. Although confusing at first, these unusual terms are well explained and begin to make sense throughout the course of the book. Admittedly, at times I got lost and found myself re-reading chapters until I managed to grasp some of the more complex methods.
What I find really valuable with this book is the way it collates many of these ephemeral works into one volume. Walking art often takes the form of a performance piece, a fleeting experiment played out to express or communicate a point of view. Often with time, some of these works become forgotten or even lost. Here, however, O’Rourke manages to bring them together and give them a new life by re-contextualising them into her own history of events. Thankfully, many of the artists had used photography and moving image to document these performances, enabling us to get a visual sense of each piece. For me, it is fascinating to discover so many unfamiliar works and to see how they have each developed and built upon those that came previously.
The book comes fully illustrated in black and white with many film stills, photographs, diagrams and maps that assist the reader with understanding each project. The book also collates a large and varied set of practices that expose the ever growing interest in this area. Until now, I have never come across a book that charts walking and cartography so thoroughly, making it really quite unique. I can’t help but feel that it’s bound to become a valuable academic text used by those that share an interest in walking or cartography. Fascinating, erudite and remarkably well researched, Walking and Mapping is for me, an essential addition to the increasingly prominent study of artistic walking.