Photobooks and zines take centre stage in a series of events over the next two weeks
Tonight marks the start of a fortnight of photobook events. Kicking off proceedings is Photobook Orgy at The Photographers’ Gallery in London, organised by Self Publish Be Happy’s Bruno Ceschel. A group of contributors chosen by Ceschel will come together to read extracts from commissioned texts to celebrate and explore our relationship with the photobook. Performance is at the heart of tonight’s event, which also doubles as a celebration of SPBH’s fourth birthday and the launch of Aperture’s Photobook Review, guest edited by Ceschel.
Those taking part include collector and curator Brad Feuerhelm; artist Melinda Gibson; Aron Mörel of Mörel Books; the Guardian’s Sean O’Hagan; photographer Lorenzo Vitturi; and Hannah Watson of Trolley Books. Academic and artist Adrian Rifkin also contributes.
Texts have been written by a wide range of contributors, including journalists Vince Aletti and O’Hagan, publisher Michael Mack, and artists Anouk Kruithof, Adam Broomberg, Lucas Blalock, Paul Kooiker, Paul Graham, Lise Sarfati and JH Engström.
Opening on Friday 06 June at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London is a new, rare art book fair. Taking place over three days, Room&Book brings together art book, zine and magazine collectors under one roof. It has been organised by Claire de Rouen Books and the ICA.
“We’re experiencing a golden age in publishing,” says Lucy Moore, director of Claire de Rouen Books, in a press statement. “From a cultural perspective [publishing] is as vital as ever and sits comfortably within our digital age. I hope Room&Book will celebrate the abundant creation, distribution and collection of all kinds of art publications.”
“We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Claire de Rouen Books to bring the very first rare art book fair to London,” adds Gregor Muir, executive director at the ICA. “By inviting some of the most passionate book dealers to exhibit here at the ICA, and by involving artists, we hope to create an unparalleled three-day event.”
Taking part in Room&Book are established and young specialist bookshops and dealers from up and down the country. Among the 18 dealers are: Ditto Press, Louis Vuitton Maison Librairie, Luminous Books with Anagram Books, Diagonal Press, Koenig Books, The Village Bookstore, Oliver J Wood, and Elegantly Papered, a vintage magazine archive specialising in fashion titles from all over the world, which we featured in BJP in September last year.
Outside of London, Bristol will become a hub for photobook publishing this weekend with the inaugural PhotoBook Bristol. Taking place at the SouthBank Club close to the centre of the city, the three-day event, co‐organised by RRB Photobooks and independent photography organisation IC‐Visual Labs, sees a mix of renowned collectors, publishers and photographers descend on the city to take part in a series of panel discussions and talks. Speakers include the indomitable Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, Bristol-born artist Stephen Gill, and Berlin‐based Joachim Schmid, who will share his favourite photobooks. Photographers Ken Grant, Anouk Kruithof, Jon Tonks, Paul Seawright and Donovan Wylie, among others, will also be taking part.
Also happening outside of the capital, this time in Brighton, is Miniclick’s Photobookshow, an early summer barbecue and photobook-sharing event at One Eyed Jacks gallery. From 1pm on Saturday 07 June, visitors are invited to turn up with their favourite photobook and some food to contribute to the barbecue and enthuse with like-minded photobook fans. A panel discussion kicks off from 3pm, and there is an exhibition of Japanese photobooks from Brighton-based arts organisation Photobookshow. Admission is free.
Last but by no means least is Stray Books, a new free two-day mini festival focusing on photozines and independent photobooks rooted in DIY practice. From 13 to 14 June, the festival, organised by Akinabooks, will take over Red Gallery in Shoreditch, east London. Expect book stalls, talks and a pop-up book-binding and zine-making workshop. The festival will also be showing items from Zines of the Zone, a collection of more than 700 self-published books and zines, on what is the last stop of their European touring exhibition.
“Stray Books is not only a place to buy books,” says publisher Valentina Abenavoli, who has organised the festival. “Most importantly it’s an inclusive, free zone to meet like-minded people, share ideas and know-how, and broaden the horizon of the photobook as we know it.”
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