TRAVELING —————————————-EXHIBITION: A Survey of Documentary Styles in early 21st century Photobooks

See photos of the opening and panel discussions on Facebook.

 

Welcoming the iPL for the first time to the West Coast, Gallery Carte Blanche in San Francisco will host the 3rd Indie Photobook Library feature-length exhibition curated by Darius Himes (Assistant Director, Fraenkel Gallery and Co-Founder, Radius Books) and Larissa Leclair (Founder, Indie Photobook Library). Concurrently, an exhibition of photographs chosen from the selected photobooks will be displayed in the gallery curated by Gwen Lafage, (Founder, Gallery Carte Blanche).

The early- to mid-20th century produced a handful of photographic styles with a photojournalistic or documentary vocabulary at their core. This “documentary tradition” flourished in the latter half of the century, as photographic equipment shrunk, film speeds increased and world-wide traveled became easier and cheaper. The last decades have seen an explosion in art-photography educational programs and self-publishing, coupled with a continuing desire to explore the world, near and far. As we stand in the morning light of a new century, already some 12 years old, it is worth considering the question, What of the documentary style? When it comes to approaching the world around us—its people, places, conflicts, development and intertwined societies—how have the languages within the growing world of photography changed and shaped the conversation we have in images?

– Darius Himes

T H E   D E T A I L S:

“A SURVEY of DOCUMENTARY STYLES in early 21st century PHOTOBOOKS”
Selections from the Indie Photobook Library

70 photobooks selected by DARIUS HIMES and LARISSA LECLAIR

And limited–edition photographs by a selection of artists including ELIOT DUDIK, MATT EICH, McNAIR EVANS, MICHAEL JANG, ERICA McDONALD & LACEY TERRELL

GALLERY CARTE BLANCHE
973 Valencia, San Francisco, California
September 14, 2012 – October 18, 2012 – extended to OCTOBER 22, 2012 AND TRAVELING TO FOTOWEEK DC, November 11-18, 2012

Opening reception Friday, September 14, 2012
with a weekend full of photobook events.

WEEKEND EVENTS

Friday, September 14th, 2012 6-9pm: OPENING

Saturday, September 15th:

11.30am-2pm: Photobook Club

2.30pm-6pm: 3 panel discussions moderated by Larissa Leclair and Darius Himes:
‘The Art of Artists Book’ – Lauren Henkin, John DeMerritt, Michael Light
‘Publishing a Photobook’ – Patrick Aguilar (Owl & Tiger Books), John Steck Jr. (Make Book Blog), Dan Milnor
‘Documentary photographic styles in the early 21st century’ – Todd Hido, Eric W Carroll, Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin

Sunday, September 16th: Spend the day with Daniel Milnor & Lauren Henkin
Limited space available – Fee: $150; $130 for early registration

10am-1pm: “How to make a book that works” with Dan Milnor

Daniel Milnor, Blurb Photographer at Large, will demonstrate how to make a professional quality photography book using the Blurb publishing platform. Milnor will walk students through a start to finish process of creating a print-on-demand book, from downloading the Blurb software, defining what their book is, editing and sequencing, through design and promotion. Milnor will illustrate the range and nuances of the Blurb platform by showing real-world examples of books that work. Other topics will include choose the right cover, building an audience for a book, using the Blurb bookstore, adding eBook to your offerings and realities of making books in the print-on-demand world.

2-5pm: “Introduction to self-publishing Artist books” with photographer and bookmaker, Lauren Henkin

This lecture will provide an introduction for photographers looking to self publish artist books. By presenting potential advantages/benefits as well as the challenges of publishing, explaining types of publications, and a walk-through of her own experiences in publishing, Henkin will leave participants with the knowledge of what tools, skills, and resources will be necessary to complete a self published artist book.

SPACE IS LIMITED FOR ALL EVENTS. Please register at http://iplgcb.eventbrite.com/.

For press inquiries, please contact Larissa Leclair, contact@indiephotobooklibrary.org.

 

The EXHIBITION CATALOG, designed by Patrick Aguilar of Owl & Tiger Books can be purchased through the Blurb bookstore.

 

T H E  B O O K S :

Estaría Bien Poner un Título Aquí, Alba Yruela

Ohio, Alec Soth and Brad Zellar

Uncommon Intimacy, Amy Stein, Amy Touchette, Erica McDonald, Juliana Beasley

The Kaddu Wasswa Archive, Andrea Stultiens and Arthur Kisitu

Woman With a Camera (35mm), Anne Collier

Odo Yakuza Tokyo (second edition), Anton Kusters

Hose Variations, Bjarne Bare

BURN.01

Memory Traces, Cary Markerink

The Distance Between Us, Christopher Capozziello

Concresco, David Galjaard

27 Good-byes, Deanna Dikeman

574 Views of Johnstown, Ed Panar

Road Ends in Water, Eliot Dudik

French American Trip, Eric Tabuchi

This is Not My Wife, Erik van der Weijde

How Terry Likes His Coffee, Florian van Roekel

Sadkids Number 5: Gonerfest Edition, Geoffrey Ellis

No Destiny (Transitions-Rochester), Gregory Halpern

A Falling Horizon, Heidi de Gier

Butte, America: A Vernacular History. Vol. 1, Ian van Coller

10, in-public

Cityscapes + Birdmen, Jacquie Maria Wessels

Unmarked Sites, Jessica Auer

My Brother’s War, Jessica Hines

Found Piles & Other Topograhica, John Steck Jr.

Last Call, Judith Stenneken

CENSURA, Julián Barón

The Color of Hay, Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin

offSET, Lacey Terrell

The Ninety-Nine Percent, Mathieu Asselin

Desert Days, Matt Austin

Carry Me Ohio, Matt Eich

Ramadan in Yemen, Max Pam

See You Soon, Maxwell Anderson

A Journal of Southern History, McNair Evans

Summer Weather, Michael Jang

No Man’s Land, Mishka Henner

Geolocation, Nate Larson & Marni Shindelman

The Pier, Nils Petter Löfstedt

Gone Quickly, Noah Beil

Visitor, Ofer Wolberger

There is Nothing Beautiful Around Here, Paccarik Orue

Donovan Wylie One Day Taking Photographs in Belfast, Peter Mann

Muddy Treads, Peter Sutherland

Grassland, Phil Underdown

The Constant Change, photo.circle

Firework Studies, Pierre Le Hors

Preston Bus Station, Preston is My Paris

Crime Victims Chronicle, Ray Meeks and Deborah Luster

Stay Cool, RJ Shaughnessy

Alpine Star, Ron Jude

Thrashers, Sacha Maric

May the Road Rise to Meet You, Sara Macel

9/11 Flipbook, Scott Blake

Owner of this World, Shawn Records

The Election Project, Simon Roberts

Hackney Wick, Stephen Gill

Vedove / Widows, Takashi Homma

Cathedral Cars, Thomas Mailaender

Looters, Tiane Doan na Champassak

Behind the Curtains, Tomas van Houtryve

Gomorroh Girl (second edition), Valerio Spada

Qaammaqqivaar, Verena Bruening

Empty Bottles, WassinkLundgren

Tokyo Tokyo, WassinkLudgren

Parking Garages, Willson Cummer

Kitintale, Yann Gross

Before Tomorrow, Yannik Willing

The Story of Four Generations, Yee Ling Tang

3 Comments

  1. [...] is the opening of the exhibition “A Survey of Documentary Styles in early 21st century Photobooks” at Gallery Carte Blanche in San [...]

  2. [...] NW Washington, DC Curated by Darius Himes and Larissa Leclair. The exhibition draws from the Indie Photobook Library’s collection and features 70 photobooks along with a selection of photographs from the books (Eliot [...]

  3. [...] in Early 21st Century. De tentoonstelling is een selectie van 70 fotoboeken uit de collectie van de Indie Photobook Library, samengesteld door Darius Himes & Larissa Leclair, en te zien in Gallery Carte Blanche in San [...]

TrackBack URI

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

iPL moves to Yale

iPL Yale

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University recently received, through acquisition and donation, the Indie Photobook Library (iPL), a major collection of photobooks from Larissa Leclair ’03 M.A. The collection includes more than 2,000 photobooks from around the world along with related ephemera, archives of the iPL’s history, and Leclair’s personal collection related to self-publishing.

“We were delighted to work with Larissa to acquire this major archive,” says George Miles, Curator of the Yale Collection of Western Americana at the Beinecke. “These volumes build on an already great strength of the library and will surely be used extensively by scholars and students at Yale and beyond for a long time.”

The iPL focuses on self-published photobooks, imprints independently published and distributed, photography exhibition catalogs, print-on-demand photobooks, artists’ books, zines, photobooks printed on newsprint, limited edition photobooks, non-English language photography books, and more.

“This collection reflects a contemporary movement in publishing,” explains Leclair, who began collecting independently produced photobooks in May 2010, “and it allows for the development of future discourse on trends in self-publishing, the ability to reflect on and compare books in the collection, and for scholarly research to be conducted years, decades, and centuries to come. To have this work now at Yale ensures this legacy.”
Inspired by Wexler’s master class

The catalyst for her collection, Leclair notes, was Yale professor Laura Wexler’s “Photo Memory Workshop” master class at the Beinecke, which focused on Peter Palmquist’s Women in Photography Archive. “He had and his collection will continue to have a big impact on the history of photography specifically relating to women in photography,” said the alumna. “He was one individual collecting independently of an institution, making an impact and shaping history. What he had encapsulated for his collection was what I wanted to do for self-published photobooks.”

“As early as 2005, with photographers Stephen Gill, Rob Hornstra, Jason Fulford, and Alec Soth independently publishing amazing photobooks, there wasn’t a platform for the presentation of self-published titles. So the idea of wishing for a central place to look at self-published photobooks was in my head on the day I saw Peter Palmquist’s collection,” notes Leclair.

The moment spurred her own specific collecting, she says: “I was blown away that a single individual could follow his passion, create a collection, and in the process have an impact on the history of photography. I was not only interested in promoting these kinds of books but most importantly I was very interested in creating an archive for the long-term. So two weeks after that master class, with an idea, one book, and a Facebook page, I founded the indie Photobook Library, a browse-able archive for self-published photobooks.”

For Leclair, placing the iPL at the Beinecke fulfills an aspiration she had from the very beginning. “I always intended that the iPL would one day transfer to an established archive. I wanted it to be preserved and accessible to future photo-bibliophiles long after my lifetime. For the legacy of the photographers and photobooks that collectively make the iPL what it is, I am absolutely thrilled that these artists will be part of the Beinecke’s collecting history.”

[Yale Professor Laura Wexler presented the Larissa Leclair with the 9th Annual Focus Awards' Spotlight Award for far reaching impact in the field of photography, October 2014. (Copyright Griffin Museum of Photography)]

Yale Professor Laura Wexler presented the Larissa Leclair with the 9th Annual Focus Awards’ Spotlight Award for far reaching impact in the field of photography, October 2014. (Copyright Griffin Museum of Photography)
The Beinecke has an renowned collection of 19th century American photographically illustrated books, including such classics as Alexander Gardner’s “Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War,” A.J. Russell’s “Great West Illustrated,” Josiah Whitney & Carleton Watkins’ “The Yosemite Book,” and Ferdinand Hayden’s “Sun Pictures of Rocky Mountain Scenery,” as well as dozens of other, less well-known examples of the genre.

In the 1920s and 1930s photobooks continued to be a form of artistic expression but also emerged as a major vehicle of social commentary and criticism. The Beinecke holds first editions of such artistic works as Ansel Adams’ “Parmelian Prints of the High Sierra” and Taos Pueblo,” Walker Evans’s “American Photographs,” and Paul Strand’s “Paul Strand.” The Beinecke also boasts a wide range of such politically charged books as Julia Peterkin and Doris Ulman’s collaboration, “Roll Jordan Roll”; James Agee and Walker Evans’ “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” and “Many are Called”; and Evans’s collaboration with Carleton Beals “The Crime of Cuba.” Yale’s library also holds first editions of all the important Farm Security Administration related books featuring work by Dorothea Lange and Margaret Bourke-White among other photographers.

“Robert Franks’ ‘The Americans’ is often seen as ushering in a new kind of photobook,” Miles observes. “We at the Beinecke have both the French (1958) and American (1959) first editions, as well as a complete collection of every book in which Lee Friedlander has ever published a photograph, while the acquisition of Peter Palmquist’s collection of women photographers brought more than 2,200 photobooks by and about women photographers.”

The iPL is particularly interesting in its own right, according to Miles. “While photobooks became more economical with the emergence of photo mechanical reproduction in the 19th century, they still required considerable investment and with the exception of a few very high-end artistic productions, they were commercial ventures that relied on publishers to underwrite production in the hope/expectation of profitable sales.”

However, the early 21st century emergence of digital photography and ink-jet printing dramatically changed the landscape for photographers looking to present their work in book-form. “Photographers can now self-publish their work in ways unimaginable 15 to 20 years ago,” he emphasizes. “They can distribute them through their websites and book fairs. This has allowed photographers to experiment in content and in form: to share images that commercial publishers might have been reluctant to take on, or to play with sequencing and/or narrative strategies.”

Leclair recognized the potential of this transformation when it was in its infancy and cultivated relationships with photographers. She has been a leader in creating this independent archive and identifying artists important to the contemporary movement in self-publishing, all while curating exhibitions and lecturing throughout the United States and in Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Australia, the Philippines, and China. The alumna has built an “extraordinarily complete” collection of these books, according to Miles. “The staff at Haas Arts Library and I have been following and collecting photobooks, and when Larissa first approached us, I thought we would have at least half, if not more, of the books in her collection. I was way off. Our searching revealed that we had only around 10% of the collection.”

“Larissa started collecting this material at a critical time, when photographers started to reconsider and experiment with the printed book format through self-publishing,” notes Heather Gendron, director of the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library at Yale. “A lot of these publications fall outside of typical library acquisition streams, making it a real challenge for librarians to keep up. That’s what makes this Indie Photobook Library so special. On the heels of the reopening of the Beinecke, this broadens the university’s holdings in a very contemporary way.”
“Essential records of human expression”

Miles says that the Beinecke’s growing collection of photobooks, including this new acquisition, complement important creative work across campus collections, such as the Arts Library and galleries, and the curriculum. “These materials in the Indie Photobook Library/Larissa Leclair Collection are essential records of human expression,” he notes, “and the Beinecke works to make sure they are accessible and used by students and scholars through our reading room, classroom visits, and our fellowship programs for graduate students and for visiting postdoctoral scholars.”

Barbara Tannenbaum, curator of photography at the Cleveland Museum of Art has described the Indie Photobook Library as “an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the contemporary photobook.”

The iPL also complements other collections at Yale, Miles adds. “One of the great strengths of the Yale Collection of American Literature are the many examples of poetry and short stories published by small, non-commercial presses throughout the country — ‘Little magazines’ as Pat Willis and Nancy Kuhl call them. They reflect the ways in which American writers have found to share their work. The photobooks in the iPL reflect a similar pattern in the visual arts and scholars will be able to explore and discover how these materials speak to each other and speak to the broader culture.”

Leclair says that the iPL inspired the creation of other independent photobook archives, including the Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive; influenced museum photobook exhibitions; and spawned the promotion and celebration of self-published photobooks. “I’m thrilled that the photographers in the iPL who challenged and subsequently shaped the current publishing industry will add to the continuum of printed expression at Yale along with cuneiform tablets, the Gutenberg Bible, Fox Talbot’s ‘Pencil of Nature,’ and works by Robert Frank and Ed Ruscha — adding to that Soth, Fulford, Fujii, de Middel, Galjaard, Cartegena, and Sancari, among many others,” she says.

With the iPL now part of the Beinecke collections, Leclair will promote its use with the library’s curators and collaborate on curriculum. The entity of the iPL is closed to submissions now, existing as a unique look at self-publishing from around 2008 to 2016. Leclair will continue to look at new titles and work directly with museums and libraries to collect self-published titles from around the world, directly connecting collectors and makers and shaping photobook history.

“Ahead of her time, Larissa’s farsighted vision will benefit future generations of photographers and scholars to come,” states Elizabeth Avedon, independent curator and photobook designer.

For more information on the Beinecke Library, visit: http://beinecke.library.yale.edu

Exhibition Catalog for “A Survey of Documentary Styles in Early 21st Century Photobooks”

More about the exhibition here, here and here.
Order the book here.
Thank you to Patrick Aguilar of Owl & Tiger Books who did such an outstanding job designing the iPL’s first exhibition catalog!

“…the Indie Photobook Library is fast becoming one of Washington’s more interesting small collections.” – Mark Jenkins, Washington Post Express, November 9, 2011

America in Color

America in Color

Title: America in Color

Photographer/s: Brian Dailey

Contributor/s: Wendy Grossman, Klaus Ottmann

Date of publication: 2013

Grìmsey

Grimsey

Title: Grìmsey

Photographer/s: Cole Barash

Contributor/s: Ian Frisch

Date of publication: 2015

Grays the Mountain Sends (Second Edition)

Grays the Mountain Sends 2

Title: Grays the Mountain Sends (Second Edition)

Photographer/s: Bryan Schutmaat

Date of publication: 2014

Islands of the Blest

Islands of the Blest

Title: Islands of the Blest

Photographer/s: various

Date of publication: 2014

L.A., 1971

LA 1971

Title: L.A., 1971

Photographer/s: Anthony Hernandez

Date of publication: 2014

Transmission

Title: Transmission

Photographer/s: Lucy Helton

Date of publication: 2015

NEWFOTOSCAPES

NewFotoScapes

Title: NEWFOTOSCAPES

Photographer/s: Jonathan Shaw

Contributor/s: Andy Adams, David Campbell, Charlotte Cotton, Donall Curtin & Nathaniel Pitt, Mishka Henner, Francis Hodgson, Dewi Lewis, Stephen Mayes, Katrina Sluis

Date of publication: 2014

Crash

Crash

Title: Crash

Photographer/s: Jonathan Shaw

Contributor/s: Foreword: Stephen Snoddy and Stephen Dutton Essay: Jean Baird

Date of publication: July 2009

(re)collect

recollect

Title: (re)collect

Photographer/s: Jonathan Shaw

Contributor/s: Foreword: Debra Klomp, Essay: Peter Ride, Essay: Jean Baird

Date of publication: 2006