Photobooks of 2018: Rémi Coignet

Photobooks of 2018: Rémi Coignet

8 by Marguerite Bornhauser
During the summer of 1960 the writer Françoise Sagan spent time in Normandy. From Deauville casino to the purchase of a manor the number 8 plays an important role in this episode of her life. 8 is a variation, a fugue, a free interpretation on this theme. Marguerite Bornhauser avoids the pitfall of nostalgia using a truly contemporary photographic approach. It is by being current that she joins the approach of Françoise Sagan.

Behind the Glass by Alexandra Catière
Behind the Glass consists of an unpublished series made in 2005-2006 in Moscow and Minsk as well as more recent works, in particular photograms. Notable for it’s layout of each double spread unfolding to reveal hidden images. The book flows in a non-linear fashion and features an equally powerful blend of landscapes, portraits and still lives.

Sobre la resistencia de los cuerpos by José Luis Cuevas
This striking book is a story of violence against the body. By machines, weapons, medical devices or other bodies. But more this violence is essentially social and economic. The relation, fed by his own devils, whom establishes José Luis Cuevas between cold strength and wounded humanity evokes David Cronenberg’s work. The real-life violence is doubled by a symbolic one: the models are paid to pose.

American Winter by Gerry Johansson
To seize a new Gerry Johansson’s country book is like finding a beloved novelist. We are immediately on familiar territory. The title is always explicit, the cover is rough, the identical format of the volume as images participate in the style as much as the content. The editing is minimalist: photographs are ordered in alphabetical order by names of places. And yet the magic operates. It’s about experiencing a poetic documentary.

Margins of Excess by Max Pinckers
With Margins of Excess, Max Pinckers challenges the notion of reality in the post-truth era. This brilliant and prolific essay mixes photographs, interviews, press articles to establish the impossibility of an unambiguous reality when alternative truths arise and the accusations of “fake news” rain down. Pinckers’work is in line with the other great contemporary essays that are On Abortion, Monsanto and Negative Publicity.

Housing Plans for the Future by Donovan Wylie
After years exploring the architecture of conflict around the world, Donovan Wylie is back in Belfast. He highlights with his usual rigor the fact that the urbanism of numerous apparently commonplace districts of the city was thought at the time of the Northern Ireland conflict in a logic of surveillance and separation of communities. It’s about bringing the war home to paraphrase Martha Rosler.

Rémi Coignet is the editor in chief of The Eyes magazine. He is also the author of two books, Conversations and Conversations 2 which discuss the current state of the photobook in a series of interviews with distinguished photographers. A third volume is due out in 2019.


Images: top – Alexandre Catiere – Behind The Glass, below – Gerry Johansson – American Winter