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The Art of Publishing – MACK on show at Australia’s CCP

Spread from Paul Graham's shimmer of possibility, first published by steidlMACK in 2007

The London-based photobook publisher is one of the best-respected in the world, and has a show devoted to its pioneering work with artists such as Paul Graham

London-based publisher MACK is one of the world’s best-respected photobook makers. A leading producer of contemporary books, working with some of the most established artists in the field, MACK has also won acclaim for republishing hard-to-find classics such as Masahisa Fukase’s Ravens and Luigi Ghirri’s Kodachrome, and for supporting and promoting emerging artists, particularly through its prestigious First Book Award. In addition, MACK has published several books compiling writing on photography by artists such as Joan Fontcuberta, Allan Sekula and Victor Burgin.

MACK was originally set up as steidlMACK in 2004 and was part of the Steidl publishing house, but its founder, Michael Mack, left the German company to go it alone in 2010. Now MACK’s work to date under both imprints is being showcased at the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Australia, in an exhibition presented by Perimeter Books which features over 200 books and special editions, including MACK’s pioneering experiments in digital publishing via MAPP Editions. In most cases, visitors are able to hold, handle and read these rare and sometimes out-of-print photobooks.

The first edition of Paul Graham’s a shimmer of possibility (steidlMACK, 2007)

The first edition of Paul Graham’s a shimmer of possibility (steidlMACK, 2007)

Tracing the complete history of the publishing imprint, the exhibition includes books such as a first edition of Paul Graham’s a shimmer of possibility (steidlMACK, 2007), which is made up of 12 separate books, each offering a short narrative of daily life in contemporary America. It also includes Alec Soth’s Gathered Leaves (MACK, 2015), a clamshell box containing 29 large format postcards with mini facsimile versions of four of Soth’s most famous books.

The show also includes Collier Schorr’s Jens F. (steidlMACK, 2005), John Warwicker’s The Floating World (steidlMACK, 2009), Adam Broomberg + Oliver Chanarin’s Holy Bible (MACK, 2013), and the Benrido Portfolio [MACK, 2016], a collaboration with the Benrido atelier in Kyoto which features photographic prints by Thomas Demand, Roe Ethridge, Guido Guidi, Takashi Homma, Mayumi Hosokura, Ron Jude, Joanna Piotrowska, Grégoire Pujade-Lauraine, Alec Soth and Carly Steinbrunn.

The exhibition is an unusual honour for a publisher but it’s not the first – MACK has previously exhibited its work at Arcana, Los Angeles; Wer-Haus, Barcelona; Colette, Paris; and Concept, Tokyo. After this show, a new version of the exhibition will move to Madrid for September 2018.

The Art of Publishing – An Exhibition of MACK Books is presented by Perimeter Books at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Fitzroy, Australia until 20 January http://www.ccp.org.au/ http://mackbooks.co.uk/ http://perimeterbooks.com/

Alec Soth’s Gathered Leaves (MACK, 2015)

Alec Soth’s Gathered Leaves (MACK, 2015)

Holy Bible by Adam Broomberg + Oliver Chanarin (MACK, 2013)

Holy Bible by Adam Broomberg + Oliver Chanarin (MACK, 2013)

Collier Schorr’s Jens F. (steidlMACK, 2005)

Collier Schorr’s Jens F. (steidlMACK, 2005)

Installation shot of The Art of Publishing, an exhibition of MACK books presented by Perimeter Books at the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Fitzroy, Australia