Ten photobooks from 2013

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There are other great photobooks. Of course there are many others, and my colleagues have selected some of them and therefore I felt that I didn’t have to. Then again there is also a little duplication. So here we are and these are the ten photobooks I have selected for 2013 and I thought I would share. Maybe you will like them too. It is all rather random. I hope it reflects a broad taste. A little bit of everything, as variety is the spice of life. . .


William E. Jones is going to kill me for not selecting his marvelous book (I really should have) and Michael Mack makes so many good books that I should probably just include all the MACK books because they are all awesome. Kodoji and ROMA also continue to make excellent and inspirational books. I should also mention my friends and neighbours Conveyor Arts but I feel that their best books are yet to come. Some people out there cast doubt on the whole idea of creating a list. Ten photobooks. Why ten anyways? It is after all rather silly to list photobooks in this fashion, but then again when I read other peoples lists it often makes me more aware of what exists out there and in some way it helps me to navigate all the materials. There are just too many wonderful photobooks and photobook makers.


In no particular order – ten books that have intrigued me and pleased me in some way this year. . .


_08:08 Operating Theatre – Pino Musi

Offrenda – Sebastian Szyd

Ostalgia – Simona Rota

Terribly Awesome Photobooks – P Kooiker & Erik Kessels

Rasen Kaigan – Lieko Shiga

Silvermine –Thomas Sauvin

Be Happy – Igor Samulet

Coexistence – Stephen Gill

M. River – Yoshihiko Ueda

Of Liquid Cities and Celestial Abbatoirs – Frank Rodick



Pino Musi – _08:08 Operating Theatre

Edition of 400

Sewn with surgical thread, large format b&w photographic imagery which is haunting and excellent texts including quotes from Antonin Artaud.

TR179.5.M869 .O74 2013



Pino_Musi_OT5 cover

Sebastian Szyd – Offrenda

Text by Nandita Raman (in English, Spanish and Hindi)

Leporello book printed on both sides which exudes quality in photographic imagery, subject matter, writing and printing. Edition of 300.


  1-003 Rota_Simona_Ostalgia001

Simona Rota – Ostalgia

I love this book. The cover is that of my favourite notebooks. The paper is soft. The Soviet-era vernacular images are striking and Rota’s architectural images are sublime. Houses of Culture of the Trade Unions, Houses of Culture of the Socialist Pioneers, Congress Centers of the Workers, Lenin Palaces, Circuses and Sports Palaces, Museums, Memorials and Mausoleum, etc.

English – Castelan – Galego


Paul Kooiker and Erik Kessels – Terribly Awesome Photobooks

Edition of 1000

A photobook of photobooks that is honestly awesome and really not that terrible at all. Created on newsprint which just underlines its excellence.


Lieko Shiga – Rasen Kaigan (Spiral Coast)

AKAAKA books

Lieko Shiga makes great books – Lily and Canary (2007) are two of my favourite from recent years and Rasen Kaigan is another triumph. Lieko won the ICP infinity award for best young photographer in 2009 and she continues to show her worthiness and push boundaries in her work.


Thomas Sauvin – Silvermine

Five albums, Limited edition of 200.

Archive of Modern Conflict

When I thought that the use of vernacular images had finally been exhausted and was perhaps over – along comes this masterpiece. Thomas Sauvin is a lunatic who has spent the past eight years rescuing over half a million negatives from a Beijing dump. These five volumes are nothing short of mesmerizing brilliance.



Igor Samulet – Be Happy


Thread Stitched Book in Slipcase


Peperoni Books


A book from Russia with dysfunctional love. These kids are really not alright. . .Berlin based peperoni books have an underground hit here. This is a great first book from Igor Samulet.




Stephen Gill – Coexistence

Nobody Press

Six different marble covers available (250 each)

Edition of 1500

Stephen Gil and nobody press have been making great books for a long while now and this is the best to date. The marbling and the form of the book fuse with the content. This book might be contagious.



Yoshihiko Ueda – M.River


AKAAKA Books Tokyo


Akaaka make great books – there are two on this list of ten – and Ueda is an amazing photographer who I admire greatly. Ueda has this ability to submerge you in nature. Who doesn’t like blurry nature?


Ueda_MRiver003 cover

Frank Roddick – Of Liquid Cities and Celestial Abbatoirs

Akina Books

TR179.5.R628.L59 2013

Frank Rodicks photo zine is filled hallucinatory images from Tokyo, Paris, London and New York. Grainy and black and white images that contain a raw power that screams off the page. This is no.7 in a series produced by London based Akina books who have set themselves a very high standard.



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