PhotoBiblioMania at the ICP Library


an exhibition of
books about photobooks
October-December 2014

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Welcome to the launch of the PhotoBiblioMania project at the ICP library. Please peruse our initial compilation of a bibliography of books about photobooks [see below] along with some thoughts on a taxonomy and criteria for evaluation. We very much are looking for this to be a continuing and expanding effort and eagerly solicit suggestions around
– Additions/corrections to the bibliography
– Comments/thoughts on the taxonomy and criteria
– Input to developing a template for the reference data on photobooks in books on photobooks (technical specs, design, production, edition, extras/inserts, etc.)
– Anything else you might think of!

Feel free to post comments or to send to Dave Solo ( and Matthew Carson ( We’ll update the content periodically and, who knows, maybe even turn it into a publication one day.

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Books about photobooks have been a rapidly expanding subject for the past few years, with seemingly several appearing every month – whether broad surveys, single photographer or country/region references, exhibition catalogs, etc. The first Book on Books on Artist Books appeared a few years ago to further establish this as a category and I’ve been collecting them (as a subset of the overall photo/artist book collection) for a number of years. They are both reference material and also sometimes wonderfully made books in their own right (they’re also alas a way of expanding one’s wishlist, too).

It’s also been an opportunity to start thinking about both a taxonomy of books on photobooks and about criteria for what makes a more or less successful one and I’m hoping this might be an opportunity to instigate more discussion about that topic.

• Single artist “catalog raisonne” style
• Locality based survey (country, city, region, etc.)
o introduction
o creating a canon
• Broad survey
o general introduction
o creating a canon
o Period based (books of a decade)
o Topical (nudes, propaganda, etc.)
• Detailed study/critical
o Essays
o In depth analysis (often on a single book or focused set of books)
o Scholarly publications (e.g. dissertations, specialist, academic)
o Interviews/dialogs
• how-to books

• Selection (the most important criterion: how does the choice fit the objective; completeness; inclusion of some “new” items; was it meant to be idiosyncratic or authoritative; number of books)
• Book design (is it itself an interesting object and does the design serve the purpose)
• Bibliographic details (often a frustrating element – does the book provide comprehensive bibliographic information on the selected books)
• Reproductions (will vary significantly depending on the purpose of the book – quality, number and choice of spreads, inclusion of cover)
• Writing (are the choices explained, is there interesting additional information provided on the books (especially around their design and history), is it well written/edited)
• Impact/influence
• Audience (collector, scholar, artist/bookmaker/designer, librarian, general)

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PhotoBiblioMania – the Bibliography


McCausland, Elizabeth. “Photographic Books”, Complete Photographer Vol. 8, Issue 43
New York: National Educational Alliance, 1942

Goldschmidt, Lucien & Naef, Weston J. The Truthful Lens – A Survey of the Photographically Illustrated Book, 1844-1914
New York: Grolier Club, 1980

the canon

Fernández, Horacio. Fotografía Pública – Photography in Print, 1919-1939
Madrid: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía & Aldeasa (pub.), 1999
TR145.F67 1999

Parr, Martin & Badger, Gerry. The Photobook: A History, Volume l
London: Phaidon, 2004
TR15.P37 2004

Parr, Martin & Badger, Gerry. The Photobook: A History, Volume II
London: Phaidon, 2006
TR15.P37 2006

Parr, Martin & Badger, Gerry. The Photobook: A History, Volume III
London: Phaidon, 2014
TR15.P37 2014

Roth, Andrew. The Book of 101 Books – Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century
New York: PPP Editions in association with Roth Horowitz LLC, 2001
TR145.B66 2001

Roth, Andrew. The Open Book – A History of the Photographic Book from 1878 to the Present
Göteborg, Sweden: Hasselblad Center, 2004
TR145.O64 2004

single artist

Iizawa, Kotaro. Arakibon 1970-2005 – A Book of Araki Books!
Tokyo: Bijutsu Shuppan-sha, 2006
TR145.A72 2006

Kohara, Masashi & Nagahara, Koji. Shashin shūkyō Arākī – Ararchy Photobook Mania
Shizuoka: Izu Photo Museum & Nohara, 2012
TR647.A72 2012

Schube, Inka. Boris Mikhailov: Bücher – Strukturen des Wahnsinns, oder warum Hirten in den Bergen oft verrückt warden – Fotomanie auf der Krim; Boris Mikhailov: Books – Structures of Madness, or Why Shepherds Living in the Mountains Often Go Crazy – Photomania in Crimea
Hannover: Sprengel Museum; Köln: Walther König, 2013
TR140.M354 2013

Basilico, Gabriele. Photo Books 1978-2005
Mantova, Italy: M. Corraini, 2006

Suzuki, Kiyoshi. Soul and Soul 1969-1999
Groningen, NL: Stichting Aurora Borealis & Noorderlicht, 2008
TR647.S891 2008


Morioka, Yoshiyuki. Nihon no taigai senden gurafu-shi – Books on Japan 1931-1972
Tokyo: BNN, Inc., 2012
TR145.M67 2012

Kaneko, Ryūichi & Vartanian, Ivan. Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and ’70s
New York: Aperture, 2009
TR105.K36 2009

Carson, Matthew; Lang, Michael; Lederman, Russet & Yatskevitch, Olga. 10×10 Japanese Photobooks
New York: 10×10 Photobooks, 2014

Kern, Magrit. España a través de la cámara
Leipzig: Plöttner, 2008

Fernández, Horacio. Photobooks Spain 1905-1977
Madrid: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia & Acción Cultural Española, 2014

Núñez, José Arturo Rodríguez. Hojeando . . . Cuatro décades de libros y revisits de artista en España = Leafing . . . Four Decades of Artists’ Books and Magazines in Spain
Madrid: Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural (SEACEX), 2008

Scholz-Hänsel, Michael. Spanien im Fotobuch – von Kurt Hielscher bis Mireia Sentís – eine imaginäre Reise von Barcelona in die Extremadura
Leipzig: Plöttner, 2007

Wiegand, Thomas. Deutschland im Fotobuch – 287 Fotobücher zum Thema Deutschland aus der Zeit von 1915 bis 2009
Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2011
TR145.W54 2011

Koetzle, Hans-Michael. Eyes on Paris – Paris im Fotobuch – 1890 bis heute
Hamburg: Haus der Photographie, Deichtorhallen; Munich: Hirmer Verlag GmbH, 2011

Bouqueret, Christian. Paris, les livres de photographie, des années 1920 aux années 1950
Paris: Gründ, 2012

Pfrunder, Peter; Gasser, Martin & Münzenmaier, Sabine. Swiss Photobooks from 1927 to the Present – A Different History of Photography
Winthertur, Switzerland: Fotostiftung Schweiz; Baden, Switzerland: Lars Müller Publishers, 2012
TR145.S39 2012

Brunner, Laurenz & Wälchli, Tan. The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2007 – Back to the Future Book – Vol. 1 – The Past Issue
Bern: Bundesamt für Kultur, 2008
TR145.M67 2007

Brunner, Laurenz & Wälchli, Tan. The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2008 – Vol. 2 – The Present Issue
Bern: Bundesamt für Kultur, 2008
TR145.M67 2008

Brunner, Laurenz & Wälchli, Tan. The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2009 – Vol. 3 – The Future Issue
Bern: Bundesamt für Kultur, 2010
TR145.M67 2008

Lehmann, Aude & Wälchli, Tan. The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2010
Bern: Swiss Federal Office of Culture, 2011
TR145.M67 2010

Lehmann, Aude & Wälchli, Tan. The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2011
Bern: Swiss Federal Office of Culture, 2012
TR145.M67 2011

Lehmann, Aude & Wälchli, Tan. The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2012
Bern: Swiss Federal Office of Culture, 2013
TR145.M67 2012

Gierstberg, Frits & Suermondt, Rik. The Dutch Photobook – A Thematic Selection from 1945 Onwards
Rotterdam: NAI, 2012
TR145.D87 2012

Eskola, Taneli. Suomen painettua valokuvataidetta 1966-2003 – Finnish Photo Books 1966-2003
Helsinki: Musta Taide, 2003

Novospasskiĭ, V. (Vilenin). Fotografii︠a︡ v knige
Moskva: Izd-vo “Kniga”, 1973.
TR145.N68 1973

Toman, Jindřich. Modern Czech Book 2 – Foto/montáž tiskem – Photo/Montage in Print
Prague: Kant, 2009

Fernández, Horacio. El Fotolibro Latinoamericano
Mexico City: Editorial RM, 2011
TR145.F47 2011

Fernández, Horacio. The Latin American Photobook
New York: Aperture; Mexico City: Fundación Televisa, 2011
TR145.F47 2011

Villaro, Leandro. The Photobook in Argentina
New York: Library of the International Center of Photography & Leandro Villaro, 2011
R TR145.V555 P46 2011

Villaro, Lenadro. The Photobook in Chile
New York: Library of the International Center of Photography & Leandro Villaro, 2014
TR145.V555 2014

Sira, Victor. Venezuelan Photobooks & Catalogues
New York: Library of the International Center of Photography, 2010
R TR145.S571 2010

Carson, Matthew; Lederman, Russet & Yatskevitch, Olga. 10×10 American Photobooks
New York: 10×10 Photobooks & bookdummypress, 2013
R TR145.A44 2013


Heiting, Manfred & Jaeger, Roland. Autopsie – deutschsprachige Fotobücher 1918 bis 1945
Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2012
TR145.A87 2012

Schäfke, Werner & Heuberger, Roman. Köln und seine Fotobücher – Fotografie in Köln, aus Köln, für Köln – im Fotobuch von 1853 bis 2010
Köln: Hermann-Josef Emons Verlag, 2010
TR145.K64 2010

Wye, Deborah & Weitman, Wendy. Eye on Europe – Prints, Books & Multiples – 1960 to Now
New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2006
TR145.W94 2006

Bertolotti, Alessandro. Books of Nudes
New York: Abrams, 2007
TR674.B47 2007

Karasik, Mikhail. Парадная книга Страны Советов – Great Stalinist Photographic Books
Moscow: Kontakt-kulʹtura, 2007
TR85.K37 2007

Foster, Sheila J.; Heiting, Manfred & Stuhlman, Rachel. Imagining Paradise – The Richard and Ronay Menschel Library at George Eastman House, Rochester
Göttingen, Germany: Steidl; Rochester, NY: George Eastman House, 2007
TR145.J42 2007

Desachy, Éric & Mandery, Guy. La Guilde du livre – les albums photographiques, Lausanne 1941-1977
Melun: Les Yeux Ouverts, 2012

Kessels, Erik & Kooiker, Paul. Terribly Awesome Photobooks APE#24
Brussels: Art Paper Editions, 2012
R TR145.K4812 2012

Kessels, Erik & Kooiker, Paul. Incredibly Small Photobooks
Ghent, Belgium: Art Paper Editions, 2013

Dickel, Hans. Künstlerbücher mit Photographie seit 1960
Hamburg: Maximilian-Gesellschaft, 2008

Keuken, Johan van der. Paris Mortel retouché
Amsterdam: Van Zoetendaal Publishers, 2013

Di Bello, Patrizia. The Photobook, from Talbot to Ruscha and Beyond
London: Tauris, 2012

Auer, Michel & Auer, Michèle. Photo Books – 802 Books from the M.+M. Auer Collection
Hermance, Switzerland: Editions M. + M., 2007
TR145.P46 2007

Debat, Michelle. La photographie et le livre – analyse de leurs rapports multiformes, nature de la photographie, statut du livre
Paris: Trans photographic press, 2003

Mora, Gilles & Nori, Claude, Les Cahiers de la photographie – Les espaces photographiques
Laplume, France: A.C.C.P, 1982

Machiguchi, Satoshi. 1000 [One thousand]
Japan: 1000BUNKO, 2013

Newhall, Beaumont. Photography and the Book (Delivered on the occasion of the eighth Bromsen Lecture, May 3, 1980)
Boston: Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston, 1983
TR15.N49 1983

Wilkie, Theresa; Carson, Jonathan & Miller, Rosie. Photography and the Artist’s Book
Edinburgh: MuseumsEtc Ltd, 2012
TR179.5.W55.P46 2012

Dugan, Thomas. Photography Between Covers – Interviews With Photo-bookmakers
Rochester, NY: Light Impressions, 1979

Lebeck, Robert & Dewitz, Bodo von. Kiosk – eine Geschichte der Fotoreportage 1839-1973 – A History of Photojournalism
Göttingen, Germany: Steidl, 2001
TR820.K56 2001

Himes, Darius & Leclair, Larissa. A Survey of Documentary Styles in Early 21st Century Photobooks, Exhibition Catalog – Selections from the Indie Photobook Library
Washington, DC: Indie Photobook Library, 2012

Grigolin, Fernanda. Experiencias de Artistas: Entre a Fotografia e a Livre
– Artists Experiences: Approximations Between Photography and the Book
Sao Jose des Campos, Brazil: XII Prêmio Funarte Marc Ferrez de Fotografia, 2012
TR145.G75 2012

Laurent, David. BOPB: Best of Photobooks – le Meilleur des livers photos
Paris: David Laurent, 2012

Koetzle, Hans-Michael. Photographers A-Z
Köln: Taschen, 2011

Ewing, William A. & Herschdorfer, Nathalie. Impressions en continu – l’art du liver.
Göttingen, Germany: Steidl; Lausanne: Elysée Lausanne, 2009

Various Artists. OTB.14, Samplings from one thousand books art book festival
Copenhagen: Lodret Vandret , 2014.
TR145.O85 2014

Glenn Horowitz Bookseller. Books on Photography
East Hampton, NY: Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, 1996
TR145.R68 1996

Glenn Horowitz Bookseller. Books on Photography II
East Hampton, NY: Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, 1997
TR145.G54 1997

Roth-Horowitz. Books on Photography III
New York: Roth Horowitz, 1999

Roth, Andrew. Provoke Catalogue by Andrew Roth.
New York: Roth Horowitz, 1999

Donohue, Deirdre & Ferreira de Andrade, Joaquim Marc̦al. Publicaciones sobre libros fotográficos y fotografía impresa
La Plata, Argentina: Leandro Villaro and Biblioteca Pública de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata, 2014.
TR145.P83 2014

Neumüller, Moritz; González, Ángel Luis. Martin Parr’s best books of the decade
Dublin: PhotoIreland, 2011.
TR145.P37 2011

Fárová, Anna. Anna Fárová & photography from 1956 to present
Prague: Langhans Galerie, 2006.
TR145.F271 2006

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Magnum Contact Sheets: 139 Contact Sheets by 69 Photographers

Luise, who lives in Germany, loves Raymond Depardon's contact sheets of the Berlin Wall

Luise, who lives in Germany, loves Raymond Depardon’s contact sheets of the Berlin Wall

The book I chose to write about is a book that allows you to look into the working process of photojournalists. It starts with the work of photographers in the 1930s and 1940s, showing manly war photography. Later you see many pictures that were taken at special occasions as for example during the arrival of the Dalai Lama in Siliguri.

Often you recognize the pictures that were published in the end. It’s nice to read about the story of the picture, which is usually explained in a comment either of the photographer himself or of Kristen Lubben.

It’s interesting to see the process of drawing up a shortlist, and making the final pick and then to compare the procedure of the different photographers.

But what I especially like is to look at the contact sheet and think about which photo I would have chosen or to see what else has happened during the shoot or the event.

The book gives you the opportunity to not only see unpublished photos but also to get a glimpse of what it means to be a photojournalist and how (more or less) famous photographers work and think.

Luise Heiderhoff
[Today is Luise's last day of her autumn internship at ICP. Thanks for everything, Luise! We will miss you. Please come again soon!]

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A FORM OF LOVE: An Exhibition of Contemporary Conflict Photography October 18, 2014 4PM – 8PM 205 Avenue A New York

An Exhibition of Co
Contemporary Conflict Photography
October 18, 2014
4PM – 8PM
205 Avenue A New York

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A Form Of Love is a group exhibition curated by photographers Jordan Sullivan, Aaron Stern and Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini of contemporary conflict photography. In the wake of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff’s deaths, the three curators have brought together photojournalists past and present to raise awareness and funds to benefit the Tim Hetherington Trust and James W. Foley Legacy Fund.

The exhibition will feature Larry Burrows, Marcus Bleasdale, Peter van Agtmael, Sebastiano, Tomada Piccolomini, Paolo Pellegrin, Yuri Kozyrev, Franco Pagetti, Thomas Dworzak, Jean- Pierre Laffont and Tim Hetherington.

A Form of Love will be published as a limited edition book by 205-A, featuring work by each of the exhibiting photographers and poetry by Tom Sleigh and text by Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini. The book will be launched at the opening reception of the exhibition. It also available at the ICP Library and in the ICP Museum Store.

205A is a gallery, curatorial and publishing projected founded by photographer Aaron Stern and author and photographer Jordan Sullivan in 2014. 205A organizes fine art and documentary photography exhibitions and publishes limited edition books and zines.

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ICP Guide to The NY Art Book Fair (2014)

Printed Matter presents their ninth annual New York Art Book Fair from Friday, September 26 to Sunday September 28, 2014 at MOMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens.



Free and open to the public, the NY Art Book Fair is the world’s premier event for artists’ books, catalogs, monographs, periodicals, and zines. This year, the fair features over 350 booksellers, antiquarians, artists, institutions and independent publishers from twenty-eight countries.

ICP is proud to have many students, current and former staff and faculty, affiliated groups and alumni exhibiting at the fair and participating in events during the weekend. Here’s a guide to our folks at the fair and if you can’t make it in person be sure to follow ICP on Instagram @icp for pics.

ICP at NY Art Book Fair Events

  • 9/27 at 12pm: Here and Now, MFA faculty member and ICP curator Christopher Phillips speaks with Ishiuchi Miyako and Linda Hoaglund in The Classroom
  • 9/27 at 2pm: Photo Meets Text panel organized by ICP Librarian and Archivist Matthew Carson at the Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference
  • 9/28 at 1pm: Printed Web #2 discussion with contributing artists including Daniel Temkin (MFA ’12) in The Classroom
  • 9/28 at 2pm: Faculty member Jem Cohen in conversation with Sadie Benning moderated by Andrew Lampert in the PS1 MOMA Basement Theater

ICP at NY Art Book Fair Book Signings

  • 9/26 at 4pm, G03: Signing of Jesus Days with Greg Reynolds. Presented by Bywater Bros.
  • 9/26 at 5pm, D: – Norway Focus Signing with Morten Andersen. Presented by Morten Andersen / Shadowlab.
  • 9/27 at 2pm, A39: Signing of Internet Directory by Daniel Temkin (MFA ’12) published by AND.
  • 9/27 at 3pm, W06: Signing of Half Wild by Peter Happel Christian published by Conveyor Editions an essay by Liz Sales (MFA ’10)

See all The NY Art Book Fair book signings and launches.




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Friends of ICP Library Toast Ishiuchi Miyako

On Tuesday afternoon, 16 September, a small gathering of Friends of ICP Library, artists, curators and ICP supporters celebrated Ishiuchi Miyako, this year’s Hasselblad winner at a reception in Bacaro on Division Street as guests of ICP Trustee and Friends of the Library Co-Chair Stephanie Shuman and esteemed gallerist and publisher Andrew Roth.

001 Toast to the Hasselblad Award 2014

A toast to artist Ishiuchi Miyako

kevin downs_ishiushi1087

Filmmaker Linda Hoaglund, Ishiuchi Miyako and Mitch Epstein.

kevin downs_ishiushi730Zoe Leonard meets Ishiuchi Miyako.

kevin downs_ishiushi733ICP Curator Christopher Phillips presents Asia Art Archive’s Jane Debevoise to Ishiuchi Miyako.

002 Ishiushi and ICP director Mark Lubell

ICP Director Mark Lubell with Ishiuchi Miyako.

kevin downs_ishiushi1022Miyuki Hinton, Christopher Phillips, Aya Tomoka and Ishiuchi Miyako.

005 Ishiuchi and Andrew Roth

Andrew Roth and Ishiuchi Miyako at Bacaro

From the Hasselblad nomination:

During a period of 35 years Miyako Ishiuchi has established an international career, which is both impressive and highly significant. Her strength of character and uncompromising vision has resulted in some of the most powerful as well as personal representations of postwar Japan.”

 “Here and Now: Atomic Bomb Artifacts, ひろしま/Hiroshima 1945/2007-” at Andrew Roth Gallery 160a East 70th Street

Saturday, 27 September 12:00-1:00 pm in The Classroom at the Printed Matter New York Art Book Fair at PS1

Here and Now by Ishiuchi Miyako
The 2014 recipient of the Hasselblad Award for excellence in photography, Ishiuchi Miyako has been photographing artifacts from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum archive since 2007. PPP Editions has published Here and Now, a limited edition artist’s book, presenting the most comprehensive survey of this on going project to date. To discuss this book and Ishiuchi’s Hiroshima project, the artist will be interviewed by Christopher Philips, Curator of Photography at ICP in New York. They will be joined by translator Linda Hoaglund, who produced Things Left Behind in 2013, a documentary film about the photographs Ishiuchi has made at the Hiroshima archive. Presented by Andrew Roth and PPP Editions.

If you would like to visit the ICP Library and learn more about Ishiuchi Miyako and her photo books, please contact us at or (212) 857-0004.





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Buon Compleanno Sophia!

This gallery contains 52 photos.

On September 20, 2014, the legendary actor Sophia Loren will turn 80 years old. To celebrate her birthday, we present here a selection of publications that feature her photograph. As early as 1955, LIFE magazine called Sophia Loren “Europe’s number … Continue reading

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beach life

Yogananthan_Vasantha001Piémanson by Vasantha Yoganantha
Chose Commune, 2014.
R TR655 Y642 2014

Summertime is here and families flock to the beach. In southern France there is a beach in Piémanson in the heart of Carmargue Nature Reserve that every year from May 1st until September becomes an alternative resort for people from all over Europe. Vasantha Yogananthan has been documenting the beach-niks of Piémanson since 2009.

The official line is that the campers can stay for one night without charge but many stay for the entire summer and in that time they construct some amazing structures using wood, plastic sheeting, etc., and whatever they can find to compliment the tents and caravans that they take there. There is a lot of pride in the community for making the best possible ‘homes’ for their stay. There is also a lot of ingenuity and creativity. It has to be mentioned that the community at Piémanson who have been coming to live here for free on the beach since the 1970s are not hippies nor are they gypsies – they are regular families who cannot afford vacation’s elsewhere and see a great opportunity to live on a beach for the summer and decide to act upon it.

Vasanatha has been working in Piémanson for two weeks every summer (2009-2013) and has been totally immersed and imbedded with the community there. He has very strong and authentic ties to its transitory population. In 2014 Vasantha Yoganantha self-published a book that was simply titled Piémanson in an edition of 650 (50 as a special limited edition) with a short essay from Remi Coignet and also some explanatory notes and stories. The book is subtle, containing a concise selection of only 36 thoughtful images chosen from a large collection of over 3,000 images that were taken during a five year period. The photographs are substantial and give you a true visual depth and experience of this beach and its extraordinary community. As a photobook it is very well designed, tightly edited and printed and bound with both quality and sensitivity. It is really no wonder that this book sold out in three weeks [some limited edition books still available].

It is the self-published hit of the summer.


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I caught up with Vasantha and asked him a few questions. . .

Q. What initially attracted you to Piémanson? Why did you decide to go there in 2009?
VY: I discovered the beach by chance while I was having a day off in the countryside.
The french coastline has been hard-surfaced by realty developer over the last 40 years. Everywhere nature has been converted into suitable touristic resorts.
But one could see that Piémanson was the exception to the rule. I began walking looking at all the shelters but I did not stay alone for long: after 10 minutes, a family invited me to share their lunch.

Q. When you first went there in 2009 what was that like? Did you ever think at that time that you would spend another four summers going there?
VY: I stayed only 5 days in Piémanson in 2009 knowing that I will come back at least 2 more years.

The human relationships were far too complex to be understood without living with the Piémanson’s inhabitants (meaning I had to come with a tent – eat and sleep there – for more than a few days). At the time I had no idea it would take me that long. But each year I was coming back I discovered something else. I was drowned more and more in their way of life. Going back was actually very important to feel what Piémanson’s inhabitants feel : a summer’s cycle that has never stopped since the 1970’s.

Each year they were leaving Piémanson not knowing if they will be allowed to come back… I think this is what is giving the beach such a mythical status.

Something broke open on the third year. Piémanson’s inhabitants were now considering me part of the “family”. I was able to shoot whenever I wanted, without anyone paying attention. It is quite interesting to note that in the end there is only one picture from 2009 and a few pictures of 2010 included in the book. Most of the interesting pictures came about between the third and the fifth summer I was living there.

Yogananthan_Vasantha013aQ. The collection of images presented to us here have a beautiful light Mediterranean air, but they also seem grounded in the documentary work of a Martin Parr, Paul Graham or Chris Killip. There is an English feel to the work. Do you feel that? Is there an influence from those photographers in your work?
VY: Chris Killip is one of my greatest influence of all time. His work “Seacoal” in particular has been critical to my thinking on how to photograph a community with empathy but with the good distance.  I have also been greatly influenced by American photography. Lately I have to say that one of the greatest work I’ve seen is Bryan Schutmaat’s Grays the Mountains Sends.

Q. What do you think is the future for the beach community in Piémanson? Will you go there this summer?
VY: I was there 2 weeks ago to offer the book to the families I was living with. It has been a very emotional moment.
If the place doesn’t close in the coming years, I plan to come back in 5 years or so to see how the kids I’ve been photographing have grown up.

Yogananthan_Vasantha023aQ. What are you currently working on? Is this project also a book project?
VY: I’m currently working on a project in India and Sri-Lanka about the Ramayana. I already did two one-month trip last year.
The Ramayana, a masterpiece of world literature written in Sanskrit over two thousand years ago, is to the Asian civilisation what Homer’s Odyssey is to the European civilisation. The Ramayana’s strength is in its apparent simplicity : it can be read as an epic tale in which humans, gods and demons encounter, covering a geographical area from the North of India to the heart of Sri Lanka. However, more than a journey, Indians draw from this text, which conveys moral and philosophical values, an ideal to which they measure their own existence. My project aims to photograph the « Indian soul » and capture the distinctive nature of this continent country, guided by the Odyssey of the Ramayana as a common thread.
As this project starts from a book it will be obviously turned into a book. I will mix my photographs with extracts of texts from different versions of the Ramayana, old press clippings and pictures related to the political use of the epic. This way, my photographs will act as an allegory of the epic, the extracts of the myth as the common thread of the story, the press clippings as documents giving historical context regarding the impact of the Ramayana on the Indian society… This is going to be a multi-layered photobook very different than Piémanson.

Q. Will you be looking for a publisher or will you self-publish again?
VY: I will self-publish it again – I’m already working on the concept of the book (even if it will be probably published in 3 years, I like working slowly on concepts).
I have 5 more one-month trips to do and I’m actually thinking the whole project knowing that the medium of predilection to show it will be the book.
It think it is very important to know from the very start of your project if you intend to do a book with it.
It allows you to pay attention to a lot of details you will not necessarily think about if wanting to do only an exhibition for example (because the viewer will not have as much time as they will while reading the book at home). It helps you working on your narrative while you’re out there shooting.
Yogananthan_Vasantha006aQ. How was the self-publishing experience for you?
VY: It was a lot of work, a lot of stress, a lot of doubts, but I’m really glad that I produced the book this way. I’m not sure a traditional publisher would have realised my vision. I made no concessions – either on the editing or on the materials used. For example, we were worried about where in the sequence we should put the one picture I took at night. It has an important meaning in the story so we couldn’t take it out. Finally we decided to produce 650 small prints and to hand-glue them in each copy – just like a real family photo album. It works very well in the end, and I guess the readers are seeing all these kind of details in the book which are part of its originality.

Q. Would you recommend self-publishing your photobook to others?
VY: I would recommend self-publishing if you are well supported. Self-publishing doesn’t mean you should do everything by yourself. I’ve worked with a graphic designer, a photo-engraver, a professional printer, a translator, a proofreader (etc). You need to put a lot of energy to guide all these people to make the book you want to make. Last but not least, you need to be ready to spend a considerable amount of time promoting the book. You’re not special and if you don’t get out there to show it to people from the industry, no one will buy it. Engaging directly with your audience is also something you need to do. People will be more likely to support you and buy the book if they feel you’re interacting with them. There are many ways to do that, either by giving talks about your work or simply answer to emails from people you don’t know. At the end, I find all this work particularly rewarding. Being in control of everything from the definition of the book’s concept to its promotion allows you as a photographer to show your work exactly how you want it to be seen.


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