Saturday, August 1, 2015

Paul Graham at PIER 24 San Francisco and a new title from MACK

Paul Graham, New Orleans (Cherries on sidewalk), from the series a shimmer of possibility, 2006

Pier 24 Photography presents The Whiteness of the Whale, a solo exhibition by British photographer Paul Graham (b. 1956) who lives and works in New York City. For the first time, this exhibition brings together three bodies of work made in the United States between 1998 and 2011, American Night (1998–2002), a shimmer of possibility (2004–06), and The Present (2009–11). The Whiteness of the Whale features nearly sixty works, ranging from singular large-scale photographs to sequences of over twenty images. This exhibition marks Pier 24 Photography’s first single-artist presentation and the only time a shimmer of possibility has been presented in its entirety. Graham’s three bodies of work from this period operate as an informal trilogy, linked not only by common subject matter, but also by underlying issues such as racial and social inequality, the texture of everyday life, and the nature of sight, perception, and photography itself.

British publisher MACK have produced a bookwork to support the Pier 24 show, or does the show support the book? They say this:
The Whiteness of the Whale brings together Paul Graham’s three bodies of American photographs: American Night, a shimmer of possibility and The Present, made from 1998 to 2011. These 3 remarkable photographic series reflect upon the social fabric of contemporary America, whilst trying to find something closer to the experience of being and seeing in the world today.
American Night (2003) examines the social fracture of America – the great divide between have and have-not rendered through the dichotomy of light and darkness, presence and absence. The images oscillate between high-key near invisible photographs in bright light, and the antithesis – deeply saturated colour images of freshly minted homes glowing under California’s blue skies.
a shimmer of possibility (2007), is an American epic of the small and incidental. Originally published as twelve photographic visions of everyday life, the stuttering sequences form a kind of 'filmic haiku', revealing the flow of life found in quotidian America, where we share moments with people waiting for a bus, cutting the grass, or smoking a cigarette. a shimmer of possibility was winner of the 2011 Paris Photo Book Prize for the most significant Photobook of the past 15 years.
The Present (2011) taken in the streets of New York, and unfolds two images of the same scene separated only by the briefest fraction of time. Here the present is revealed to be a fleeting and provisional alignment, glimpsed as part of an ever flowing continuum of life: before/after, coming/going, either/or.

The catalogue is printed in wide gamut inks on natural white paper, and coincides with the exhibition at Pier 24, San Francisco. It includes newly commissioned texts by David Chandler and Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa.

Published in collaboration with Pier 24, San Francisco. 240 pages, 24 cm x 30.5 cm, hardback book with tipped in image, housed in a printed mailing box, Publication date: August 2015. €65.00 £50.00 $75.00

You can order  The Whiteness of the Whale from MACK HERE.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


 Since the banking crisis of 2008 the world of international finance has increasingly come under the spotlight. The consequent squeeze on public finances has led to global firms such as Starbucks, Google and Amazon coming under fire for the techniques that they use to avoid paying tax. Underpinning much of this financial manipulation by the global brands is the shadowy world of the tax haven. They may be legal but their morality is deeply unsettling. Driven by a relentless obsession to translate this rather immaterial subject into images, Paolo Woods and Gabriele Galimberti have spent over two years travelling to the offshore centres that embody tax avoidance, secrecy, offshore banking and extreme wealth. Their photographs reveal a world of exploitation and privilege that distorts the financial markets and benefits those that already have the most. The book is presented as if it were an annual report and the accompanying text by author Nicholas Shaxson presents a clear insight into how these tax havens feed into the global economy and how they impact not only on the world of business but also on our everyday lives.

Published by Dewi Lewis, The Heavens is a slip-cased hardback edition, 310mm x 246mm, 218 pages with 84 colour plates & extensive illustrations

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Copeland Book Market - this weekend in London

Although many of the readers if this blog will not be in London right now, because I love London and books, here's a shout-out for the Copeland Book Market which is happening in the London district of Peckham this weekend.
Now in it's 4th year the Copeland Book Market is like a mini OffPrint with around 40 participants, from ABC Artist's Book Cooperative, to Bemojake, Morel Books, Preston is my Paris, Trolley Books and much more.

ABC Artists' Books Cooperative, Afterall, AOTCS Press, Aorist, Arcadia Missa, Assembly Point, Baron Magazine, BemojakeCabinetCafe Royal BooksCamberwell PressClinicDobedoEROS PressFaber & FaberFitzcarraldo EditionsFour Corners BooksGrantaHere PressJane & JeremyKesselskramer PublishingLoose JointsMACKMelville HouseMiniclickThe ModernistMorel Booksn+1the PlantationPreston Is My Paris South London GallerySPBH EditionsStinging FlyTheo SimpsonTrolley BooksUgly Duckling PresseUmbrella GroupVillageThe White Review.

Copeland Book Market 2015 happens this year from the 31st July - 02 August 2015 at their usual location, Bold Tendencies in Peckham.

And while you're in Peckham there is the chance to check out the vibrant local art scene in a district that is one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the UK.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Wolfgang Tillmans - his consuming eye

Wolfgang Tillmans has always been high on my list of photographers whose work I like and admire. Why? Put simply, Tillmans has an uncanny ability to make something out of nothing. Yes, he photographs the banal and the ordinary, but never in a self-conscious way. There is never any artiface in the pictures, no clever (read stupid) juxtapositions. The photographs just are.  Tillmans' makes photography look easy, which of course it isn't. Further, he's been known to say, take something and make something of it. This he does with ease in his bookworks and exhibitions.
It is no surprise that Tillmans won this years Hasselblad award. They say this: Through a consistently challenging and engaging approach to the photographic image in all its forms, its presentation for exhibition and for publications, Tillmans has transformed the relationship between photography and the spaces and languages of contemporary art. He is among the most influential artists for recent and current generations of students, defining the potential and power of the photographic image in the twenty-first century.
To read the full award text you can go to the Hasselblad Foundation site HERE.

And on American Suburb X this week there is the text of a lecture Tillmans gave at the Royal Academy of Arts London in February 2011. Last Autumn I did a talk in New York at the ICP [International Center of Photography] and I thought how am I going to do this one, and I realized that a lot of the audience were just about born when I started working [laughs]. Suddenly, this sense that I have of the overlook of the development of my work was probably lost to a lot of people in the audience. So, I’m going to do something similar and I’m going to show you a lot of pictures. This is going to be feature film length, but I promise not longer than 90 minutes. You can read the full piece on ASX HERE.

You can go to Wolfgang Tillmans' website HERE.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Andrew Phelps - new bookwork, cubic feet / sec.

Andrew Phelps' latest bookwork arrived in my mail box a little while ago (thank you Andrew). The book documents three decades of Andrew traveling through the Grand Canyon by boat with his father. But the book is more than just a family adventure story. Cubic feet is a moving and seductive book, it speaks of trust, connection, humanity and the grandeur of America. It's a welcome and persuasive antidote to what for many has become a failed society, full of of violence, racism, corruption and greed. Little wonder Andrew has been living in Europe since the 90's. I recommend this book for its quiet authenticity.

Below are images from the book, you can see more on Andrew Phelps' website HERE where you can also buy the book. The book is 108 pages, 18x23 cm, soft-bound, with gate fold covers.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Benge on books at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki OUTPOST blog

Eve de Castro-Robinson shoots Ron and Harvey ACG

Recently, Auckland Art Gallery curator Ron Brownson and I had an action packed Sunday session, in the Galleries auditorium, talking before what seemed to be a lively audience, about my photobook production. The Gallery has produced a podcast of the discussion which you can listen to HERE.

The event linked to the Galleries acquisition of my photobook output to date, some sixty plus books. You can see the Auckland Art Galleries alphabetical list of the books HERE and a chronological list HERE.  You can also go to the Galleries OUTPOST blog post HERE.

Ron cautions listeners to the podcast that it contains language that may offend. That's a surprise as I don't think I said fuck once and Ron was his usual circumspect self.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

JH ENGSTRÖM - Random, an excerise in book production from MÖREL


First presented at OffPrint London in May, Random is an exercise in producing a book solely on the "will of the medium".
Engstrom randomly selected 60 images. Forty of these images were randomly selected by Mörel and randomly sequenced. The printer was asked to print the book on any uncoated paper they randomly had to spare. Finally, a friend of Mörel's was asked to photograph random parts of the book's content which was then printed on a fiber based wallpaper material for the covers.

I was delighted get a copy of Random at OffPrint London, and to me it was one of the standout books I found at the fair. The book is in an edition of only 100 and at the time of writing only 30 copies are left. The bookwork is 30 x 25 cm and has 40 pages. £25 + Shipping.

You can find out more and order from the MÖREL Books site HERE.