...this book (and the next volume) will surely become the standard reference...
December 2004 verscheen bij de Britse uitgeverij Phaidon het eerste deel van The Photobook: A History. Het heeft er alle schijn van dat de makers, Martin Parr en Gerry Badger, een standaardwerk hebben gecreëerd dat de waardering voor het fotoboek ingrijpend gaat beïnvloeden.
In de visie van Parr en Badger is de impact van fotografie in goede fotoboeken groter, want tijdlozer en geografisch minder begrensd, dan beelden in de massamedia en tentoonstellingen.
Gerry Badger is curator, fotohistoricus, de auteur van Collecting Photography (2003) en monografieën over Eugene Atget en Chris Killup.
opgenomen: De Hongerwinter van de fotografen van De Ondergedoken Camera,
van der Elsken, drie van Johan (Joan) van der Keuken, een Sanne Sannes en het Chiliboek van Koen Wessing. In dit boek krijgen ook veel onbekende boeken een plek: bijvoorbeeld van Tjechische, Portugese, Noorse , Japanse en Sovjet-fotografen. Die verrassingen, de soepele eigenzinnige teksten en de mijns inziens optimale vormgeving maken The Photobook tot de schatkamer die de liefhebber met ongeduld naar het tweede deel doet uitzien.
Voor het pas verschenen 'The Photobook: A History, volume II' zijn door samenstellers Gerry Badger en Partin Parr vijftien Nederlandse fotoboeken geselecteerd. In het ontwerp van het omslag zijn 5 van 24 boekcovers van Nederlandse origine.
De twee delen van 'The Photobook' vormen samen de bijbel van de fotoboekenwereld. Fotograaf en boekenverzamelaar Parr heeft het samengesteld met fotohistoricus Gerry Badger. Het eerste deel verscheen twee jaar geleden.
Macedonia Portraits and Landscapes; Cuny Janssen (Schaden.com)
Christien Meindertsma kocht in het kader van haar afstuderen aan de Eindhovense Design Academy de objecten die in een week op Schiphol bij ruim zeshonderdduizend passagiers in beslag werden genomen: een kubieke meter moordwapens! Een bijl, 301 kurkentrekkers, 315 Zwitserse messen en 402 nep-Zwitserse messen, briefopeners, veel aardappelschilmesjes, 116 scharen van Ikea, 7 neppistolen die aan sleutelhangers bungelden, 12 darts, 7 Afrikaanse speren en 54 aanstekers, want je mag niet alleen niet roken in het vliegtuig, je mag zelfs geen aansteker meer meenemen! Meindertsma rubriceerde de objecten, fotografeerde ze en maakte er een prachtig vuistdik boek mee, met de titel Checked Baggage." (uit de rubriek 'Koffietafelboek' in het Volkskrant Magazine van 18 oktober 2003)
In the 19th century, the object was to collect and to classify, whether the subject was a foreign landscape, a war, the surface of the moon or the manufacture of bread. Conversely, 20th-century photobooks are often frankly subjective, drawing on movements ranging from surrealism to the Beats. Yet a quasi-scientific approach could result in poignant imagery (as in Facies Dolorosa, a study of the faces of seriously ill people), and artistic subjectivity could yield bitter truths (Helen Levitt's A Way of Seeing, images of poor children in New York). Describing photobooks of the polemical 1930s as "the great persuaders," Parr and Badger remark that the best documentary work demonstrates an awareness of the ambiguities and contradictions inherent in the medium. Although we tend to think of propaganda solely as the product of totalitarian regimes (see "Long Live the Bright Instruction," a Chinese tract featuring unnervingly happy workers), the authors remind us that photobooks celebrating the American way of life often naively ignored the complex socio-political forces that underlie a sentimental or cheerful scene. The final chapter, devoted to postwar Japanese photobooks, vividly illuminates the cocktail of hedonism, rage and despair that makes these volumes extraordinary visual documents. --Cathy Curtis
This volume, along with its companion volume, offer little in the way of useful or intelligent commentary (it is otherwise recycled pabulum wasted on a body of books that, for the most part, were treated to celebrity status by Roth). Instead, we're treated to an obscure and incomprehensibly limited canon which is sold as if it were created in a vaccuum with only the purest of intellectual and aesthetic intentions and aspirations (please look at Parr's actual photographs before buying this book--you can get a better appreciation of his specific photographic style). The reality--both of these volumes (and the books contained therein) seem to have been selected primarily for their price in the rare book world (Roth is guilty of basing his selection process on the market as well, but at least he's tranparently a rare book dealer). This wouldn't bother me so much except that there are glaring omissions from both Parr/badger volumes (Misrach's Bravo 20, anything from John Pfahl, anything from Helmut Newton, Frank Horvat, Andres Serrano, Jan Dibbets, Ken Schles, James Van Der Zee, Jerry Uelsmann, Richard Prince, etc...) It is also troubling because up until perhaps even a year ago the rare photobook market was dominated by a handful of collectors (whose ability to judge photography, as far as I can tell, is somewhat suspect). The general proposed intent of the project is noble (cataloging the important photobooks of the world), but I don't think that these authors are qualified in any way to be the critics of what photobooks have actually been important (can we get Irving Penn, William Klein, Araki,and a panel of actual legends to make some selections?). And so, we are treated to a very strange mixture of blue chip photobooks, some of which are obviously important, and some of which are just expensive cult favorites with the collectors. Buyer beware--most of the books within have catapulted even higher in value almost exclusively based off of the premise that they were included in these books. There are plenty of photobooks worth collecting (perhaps even more worthy than most of the books included herein) and there are lots of little-known volumes from the greats (also not treated here) worth pursuing and, more importantly, viewing and enjoying. Photobooks were being produced before this list was assembled and will continue to be created long after these forgettable volumes are replaced with more academic and more interesting attempts. These books are not a terrible point of departure for the neophyte collector but be advised that these books repeatedly confuse monetary and artistic merit without apparently being aware of their own confusion. If you are interested in serious collecting, I'd advise either finding a copy of Roth (if you are interested in collecting a canon of well-established books that are unlikely to shift in value significantly) or, more simply and elegantly, spend some time at your local library learning who Mapplethorpe, Lartgiue, Saudek and rest really are (you can find the names on the internet fairly simply and looking through the actual books beats reading these surveys any day). It's free and you'll be able to craft your own tastes before you begin the process of investing in your won photobook collection.
Much Anticipated Second Volume of the Story of Photography through the History of the Photobook; Compiled by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger
"The Photobook: A History, Volume I, by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, is the most important contribution to the field since modern histories of photography began to appear in the early twentieth century. We can be sure that this book, and its forthcoming second volume, will lead the way to revitalization of thinking and publishing in the field. It dwarfs previous publications in both its scope and the information it provides." (Photo-Eye, December 2004)
More photobooks are being published now than ever. For most photographers, this format is the ideal vehicle to present their work and communicate their vision to a mass audience. While the history of photography is a well-established canon, much less critical attention has been devoted to this alternative history of the medium through the pages of the photobook
Following the critically acclaimed first volume, THE PHOTOBOOK: A HISTORY: VOLUME II, co-edited by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, brings the most comprehensive illustrated history of the photobook fully up to date. Featuring over 200 photobooks, this lush survey offers a fresh approach to photographic history and is a celebration of the medium's diversity. Broadly thematic in structure, each chapter features an introductory easy followed by detailed discussion of the individual photobooks alongside images of the book covers and spreads.
While the first volume stressed the subjective nature of the history of the medium and how that history was molded by the influences of curators and historians, the second volume brings a new perspective from the viewpoint of the photographer and the editor. A secret web of influences and interconnections between photographers and photographic movements around the world is revealed producing a global network of ideas.
Spanning from Edouard Baldus's magnificent book for the Paris-Lyons Railway Company of 1861 to Stephen Shore's American Surfaces of 2005, the development of photography in its published form is the main focus. THE PHOTOBOOK: A HISTORY: VOLUME II is a chronicle of contemporary life, covering key artistic genres, including The American Photobook, The European Photobook, The Artist's Photobook and The Company Photobook.
Gerry Badger explains the narrative function this unique format provides, "The photobook has become a worldwide phenomenon as practitioners of all cultures look to photography as a means of understanding the world around them." The books that fill the pages of this magnificent volume have defined photography, telling us just as much about the history of the medium as the history of the world. THE PHOTOBOOK: A HISTORY: VOLUME II is an indispensable resource.
Gerry Badger is a photo historian and critic. He writes and lectures on photography regularly and has curated a number of exhibitions, including `The Photographer as Printmaker' for the Arts Council of Great Britain and `Through the Looking Glass: Post-war British Photography' for the Barbican Arts Centre, London. His published books include Collecting Photography (2003) and books on EugÃ¨ne Atget and Chris Killip (published by Phaidon). He is currently completing a major book on the Berlin work of the American photographer John Gossage. He lives in London.