An extensive reshooting of 100-year-old images wins the photographer the prestigious photobook prize
Chrystel Lebas has won the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation Photography Book Award, beating off the two other shortlisted photographers – Stephen Gill and Dayanita Singh.
Lebas won the prize for Field Studies: Walking through Landscapes and Archives, which she published with Dutch outfit FW: Books. Field Studies is framed by the work of 20th century botanist Sir Edward James Salisbury, particularly his glass plate negatives from the 1920s, retracing his steps and making new images in the same Scottish landscapes. Gill was shortlisted for Night Procession, which he self-published through his imprint Nobody Books; Singh was shortlisted for her multi-book project Museum Bhavan, which was published by Steidl.
The specialist photography jury was made up of Karen Knorr, professor of photography at the University for the Creative Arts; Christiane Monarchi, founding editor of the online magazine Photomonitor; and Jonathan Watkins, director of Ikon Gallery since 1999.
The other seven long-listed photobooks were: Photography in Argentina: Contradiction and Continuity by Idurre Alonso and Judith Keller, eds. (Getty Publications/Yale University Press); Survivor: A Portrait of the Survivors of the Holocaust by Harry Borden (Cassell); Cry Sadness into the Coming Rain by Margaret Courtney Clarke (Steidl); Welcome to Camp America: Inside Guantánamo Bay by Debi Cornwall, Moazzam Begg and Fred Ritchin (Radius Books); Istanbul New Stories by Paola De Pietri (Steidl); The Japanese Photobook 1912-1990 by editor Manfred Heiting; text by Ryuichi Kaneko, Duncan Forbes, Matthew S Witkovsky (Steidl); and Songs of the Walés by Patrick Willocq (Kehrer Verlag).
The Mack First Book Award 2018 was given to Hayahisa Tomiyasu for his book dummy TTP, which shows a series of images of the same public ping pong table, shot from his eighth floor student apartment in Leipzig. His book has now been published by Mack; for more details on this prize, read this story on bjp-online: http://www.bjp-online.com/2018/05/tomiyasu-first-book-award/
Magnum photographer Josef Koudelka was awarded the 2018 Kraszna-Krausz Fellowship in Photography for his work over the last seven decades. He shot to fame in 1968 when his images of the invasion of Czechoslovakia were smuggled to the West; he’s also shot acclaimed series such as Gypsies, Exiles and Wall: Israeli and Palestinian Landscapes.
“I first met Josef in 1970,” wrote fellow Magnum photographer David Hurn about meeting Koudelka. “My initial impression was of a huge grin on which was superimposed a pair of wire-rimmed spectacles… In the early years I had the privilege of spending many a long night looking through hundreds of his contact sheets, always being asked to make suggestions as to what ‘worked’…
“It is logical to divide his work into six sections: early work, the theatre, Gypsies, Prague invasion, exiles and panoramas. From his photographic beginning he seemed to produce a mystical illumination of the world… On that first meeting, little did I know that this man would truly enrich my life and become, in feel, the brother I had never had.”
The Kraszna-Krausz Foundation Best Moving Image Book went to Susan Courtney for her project Split Screen Nation: Moving Images of the American West and South, published by Oxford University Press. “Susan Courtney’s ‘Split Screen Nation’ is a smart, highly original and very well-researched work, which offers a panoramic view of how various media forms including film have shaped the cultural imagination of America and its splitting into West and South,” said Catherine Wheatley, senior lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London and one of the judges of the Moving Image Book Award.
The other Moving Image Book award judges were: Mark Cosgrove, curator at Watershed, Bristol; and Keith Lodwick, curator of Theatre and Screen Arts at the V&A’s Department of Theatre & Performance. Both Chrystel Lebas and Susan Courtney win £5000.
Andor Kraszna-Krausz, who was known as K-K to his friends, was born in Hungary in 1904. After studying photography and cinematography at Munich University he began his publishing career in Germany in 1925 as the editor of Filmtechnik magazine. In 1937 he fled Nazi Germany for Britain, and a year later founded Focal Press – an influential specialist publishing house for books on photography which is still going today. K-K set up the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation and the Book Awards in 1985, and died in 1989.