Photobooks of 2016: 10×10 Photobooks
A strength of 10×10 Photobooks is the distinct perspectives of its founders: Olga Yatskevich, Matthew Carson and Russet Lederman. This Best of 2016 list reflects three individual tastes presented as a collective voice. See if you can guess which 10×10 founder selected which books! (Full disclosure: some of the selected books elicited praise from more than one founder.)
Hiroyasu Nakai – North Point
In North Point, Nakai presents photographs of Hachinohe, his hometown in the northeast Aomori Prefecture of Japan. Black-and-white images of gritty street scenes coupled with dark brooding seascapes reference his childhood memories of daily struggles in a postwar coastal city. The book is beautifully printed on a combination of glossy and matte papers and includes an essay by Daido Moriyama.
Donatas Stankevicius, ed., Nuogo Kuno Teorija (The Theory of a Naked Body)
The theory of a naked body is a superb exhibition catalogue from the Kaunas Photography Gallery in Lithuania. If you remember all the way back to 2014, these are the folks who gave us the excellent book Nuotraukos Dokumentams / Photographs for Documents by Vytautas V. Stanionis. With truly wonderful photographs, this publication offers great insight into the recent history of Lithuanian photography and some of its important practitioners. It contains nudity.
Antony Cairns – OSC (Osaka Station City)
Cairns explores the Japanese city of Osaka with his gritty, magical and soul searching style. As always he is pushing the boundaries of photography technically and conceptually. He then delivers the ‘book’ project printed on old computer punch cards. Never saw that coming and it makes perfect sense.
Amak Mahmoodian – Shenasnameh
Amak Mahmoodian uses nearly identical standard portraits to tell the story of women in Iran. This unexpectedly intimate project searches for a glimpse of personalized female identity. Thoughtful book design movingly delivers the message.
Katrin Koenning and Sarker Protick – Astres Noirs
In Astres Noirs, the Paris-based publisher Chose Commune, beautifully pairs two photographers who were previously unknown to one another. A collection of photographs taken on mobile phones, Koenning and Sarker’s monotone images—printed in silver on black paper—find magic in ordinary sightings of reflected light or dust filled skies.
Diane Dufour, Matthew Witkovsky, Duncan Forbes and Walter Moser, ed. – Provoke: Between Protest and Performance
For non-Japanese speakers, the Provoke catalog—which is associated with a traveling exhibition of the same name—is a treasure trove of information on a period of groundbreaking artistic, social and intellectual experimentation in Japan from 1960-1975. Many important texts that were previously only available in Japanese are translated for an English audience. Both as a reference and a “photobook as object,” this intelligently arranged black-and-white publication is a pleasure to read, view and touch.
Thomas Vandenberghe – Can’t Pay You To Disappear
A sensitive hand-made book of poetic imagery and prose. Thomas Vandenberghe’s offering is so superb that the publisher Akina Books have even made a t-shirt to go with it.
Moises Saman – Discordia
Moises Saman’s Discordia is a powerful re-examination of the Arab Spring. Its thought-provoking narrative captures the intensity of the period and offers the whole range of vividly personal emotions. It is an elegantly crafted photobook that smartly blurs the lines between photojournalism and art.
10×10 Photobooks, a non-profit organization founded in 2012, offers an ongoing multi-platform series of photobook events, including salons, reading rooms, publications, online discussions, and partnerships with art organizations and institutions. Co-organized by Matthew Carson, Russet Lederman and Olga Yatskevich, 10×10 engages and supports a diverse and global photobook audience.
Images – top: Thomas Vandenberghe – Can’t Pay You To Disappear, below: Antony Cairns – OSC