In lieu of the excess of photo books that appear now, I will limit my list for 2013 to items that animate my interests, rather than a hierarchy of quality. My interests for 2013 include: nineteenth century “hidden mothers”, war photography, industrial photography, documentation, snapshots. All are items related to constructions of memories and histories; and the photo book can expand the possibilities of collections as an animation of ideas, or as an archaeology of our world(s). What is the “now” of a photograph? Where does it exist in time?
The “hidden mother” has been an interest of mine for years, after seeing a few examples in Heinz and Brigid Henisch’s The Photographic Experience 1839-1914. I’ve collected a few and I’ve used them in my papers and talks. In Barthesian terms they function as an uber-punctum. Once you see the hidden mother, it overwhelms the image with a new sense of purpose. I’ve had the uncanny experience of looking back at materials I’ve accumulated to realize I had some without noticing.
That sense of discovery in materials from the past opens up the uncanny time travel of photography, its floating between unknown and known worlds. It also makes me think we do not know enough: that looking and looking again is necessary, and that our explorations now will be among images rather than the “real thing.” The photo book, zines, collections all expand the parlance of the everyday with which we map ourselves. -Bernard Yenelouis
Nikolay Bakharev: Amateurs & Lovers, Dashwood Books.
William E. Jones: Imitation of Christ, Mack
David Campany: Gasoline, Mack
Thomas Sauvin, Silvermine, AMCBooks
Linda Fregni Nagler, The Hidden Mother, Mack
Alec Soth & Brad Zellar, LBM Dispatches #4 Three Valley & #5 Colorado, Little Brown Mushroom
Max Sher, A Remote Barely Audible Evening Walz, Treemedia
Santu Mofokeng, The Black Photo Album – Look at Me 1890-1950, Steidl
Jeff Rosenheim, Photography and the American Civil War, Metropolitan
Simona Rota, Ostalgia
The Summer of Yes, Fryd Frydendahl