When you think about photographs, when you imagine them in context, realized in some physical form, how do you see them? Some see them in print portfolio boxes, some see them on computer screens, others see them matted and framed, hanging on walls. Though for nearly as long as there have been photographs, they have appeared in fixed sequences, pasted, printed directly, or reproduced in ink on pages bound together in some fashion – in other words, as books. Whether pocket-sized or table-sized, photographically-illustrated books have long served as an important showcase for the medium. In the 1960s, Ed Ruscha and other artists utilized inexpensive printing facilities to create photobooks outside of mainstream publishing houses. These independent publications acted as art objects on their own terms and, from typeface to binding to printing quality, reflected the concerns of their makers. These artist books often employed photography in conceptual ways, as an extension of the anonymous, mechanical processes of publishing. In the last decade various technologies have enabled artists to publish not only small editions of a book, but individual volumes when needed. Now, instead of a few books being made in large quantities, many books are being made in small quantities. The Indie Photobook Library (iPL), founded by Larissa Leclair in 2010, is committed to cataloging and preserving examples of the multitude of books that may never find their way into conventional library catalogues because of their modesty, or because they were often created by individual artists whose practice doesn’t include conventional distribution. “Threefold” reflects the idiosyncratic interests of three curators — Shane Lavalette, Larissa Leclair, and George Slade — each adopting a unique focal point in an attempt to represent a remarkable moment in contemporary independent publishing.For those that aren’t in Boston or are curious what they’ll find in the Threefold: Selections from the Indie Photobook Library at the Photographic Resource Center, here’s a little virtual exhibition for you. If you live in the area and haven’t been over to see it yet, my hope is that this will whet your appetite to go spend some time with these fantastic books! Shane Lavalette's selections:
Stephen Gill, A Series of Disappointments (Nobody Books / Archive of Modern Conflict, 2008) John Gossage, HERE (Rochester Art Center, 2010) Takashi Homma, Vedove/Widows (Fantombooks / Boiler Corporation, 2010) Cary Markerink, Memory Traces (Ideas on Paper, 2009) Raymond Meeks and Deborah Luster, Orchard, Volume One / Crime Victims Chronicle (Silas Finch, 2010) Armando Ribeiro, Depressive Landscapes (Armando Ribeiro, 2010) Theo Simpson, What We Buy (Theo Simpson, 2011) Ali Taptik, Transit (Ali Taptik, 2008) WassinkLundgren, Lu Xiaoben (WassinkLundgren / Badger & Press, 2010) Mariken Wessels, Queen Ann. P.S. Belly Cut Off (Alauda Publications, 2010) Andrés Marroquín Winkelmann, Conditions (Meier und Müller, 2010) Ofer Wolberger, Visitor (Horses Think Press, 2011) Amir Zaki, Eleven Minus One (Eighth Veil / LAXART, 2011) [Various], Lay Flat 01: Remain in Light (Lay Flat, 2009) [Various], Paper Placemats (J&L Books, 2007)Larissa Leclair's selections:
Matt Austin, Wake (Matt Austin, 2009) Noah Beil, Gone Quickly (Extant Books, 2011) Anthony Blasko, The Way Things Are (Anthony Blasko, 2009) Briony Campbell, The Dad Project (first edit) (Briony Campbell, 2009) Christopher Colville, Movements and the Iceland Trilogy (Christopher Colville, 2011) Beth Dow, Roam (Beth Dow, 2011) Lauren Henkin, Displaced (Lauren Henkin, 2010) Paula McCartney, Bird Watching (Paula McCartney and Women’s Studio Workshop, 2006) Ryan Spencer Reed, Detroit Forsaken (Ryan Spencer Reed, 2010) John Steck Jr., Fragments Volume One (Make Book Blog, 2010) Ian van Coller, Interior Relations (Doring Press, 2010) Graeme Vaughan, Palermo: a notebook (Graeme Vaughan, 2010) Ian J. Whitmore, Cacophony; Otiose; Prolix; Internecine (Sanguine Press, 2011)George Slade's selections:
Maxwell Anderson, See You Soon (Bemojake, 2010) Lucas Blalock, Towards a Warm Math (Hassla, 2011) Daniel Evans, 3 Months in Another Place (Pogo Books, 2011) Jason Fulford, Crushed (J&L Books, 2003) Sébastien Girard, Desperate Cars (Sébastien Girard, 2010) Ron Jude, Emmett (The Ice Plant, 2010) Adam Murray, Robert Parkinson, and Jamie Hawkesworth, Industria, Virtus, et Fortitudo (Preston is My Paris Publishing, 2011) Andrew Phelps, 720 (Two times around) (Andrew Phelps, 2010) David Schoerner, Photographs (Hassla, 2010) Andrea Stultiens and Arthur C. Kisitu, The Kaddu Wasswa Archive (Post Editions, 2010) Sarah Sudhoff, Repository (Sarah Sudhoff, 2009) Peter Sutherland, editor, Smoke Bath (Seems, 2010) Deanna Templeton, 17 Days (Deanna Templeton, 2008) Jan von Holleben, Ho Ho Ho (The Photographer’s Office, 2010) Kimm Whiskie, Supersilent (Good Morning Light, 2010)Threefold will be on view from September 13 – November 12, 2011 at the PRC in Boston.