Working at the ICP Library is a gift that keeps on giving. Not only am I surrounded by the canon of photography from past and present, but I’m also exposed to new work every day. I have been blessed to come into contact with the following books this year, the first part of my Favorite Books of 2018 list, and have had the pleasure of cataloging all of them. Not all of them were published this year, but all were added to our catalog in 2018. Caleb’s Guide To ICP Library New Acquisitions begins here and continues in part 2~
LUIS SERGIO – PU MAPUCHE
Pu Mapuche is Luis Sergio’s sleek, nuanced, and comprehensive documentary look at the Mapuche people of the Araucania region of Chile. Sergio approaches non-fiction from a variety of angles, and the book is structed as three mini-ethnographies in multiple styles of breathtaking photography. The first section is an impressionistic look at rituals and traditional social customs, the second tackles land and forestry disputes, and is the only section in color, and the third looks at the intersection of Mapuche culture and urban landscapes/contemporary Chile. Includes a detailed index, endnotes, and expository text in three languages. Gronefot Ediciones 2018.
XITEK – NEW TALENT AWARD 2015 & 2016
Xitek’s yearly “New Talent Award” showcases young Chinese photographers working in a broad array of styles. 2015 and 2016, the two most recent anthologies of the competition, are published portfolio style with each artist producing their own miniature publication, which are then housed together in cardboard slipcases. Much of the work in “New Talent Award” focuses on specific, nonfiction content, and I’m always struck by how attentive the photographers included are to the visual idiosyncrasies of their subject matter, setting the bar high for new documentary work. Equally as affecting is the work of the more personal, diary style projects, which often veer into the realm of the conceptual while retaining emotional depth. I’ve included images of two works from each year: 2015’s “Human Brain Project” by Yang Mu and “Wonderful Human” by Sickgirl; 2016’s “Lingering Garden” by Guo Guozhu and “Harmony Southern Xinjiang” by Sun Junbin. Xitek, 2016 & 2016.
AUDITORY DEPRIVATION – JOHN CATES
Off-kilter photographs of noise performances in and around American music’s fertile crescent: Detroit, Michigan. “Auditory Deprivation”, Cate’s debut photo book, offers views of a genre known for its impenetrability that are graceful but remain accurate. His detailed index gives the project a formal, documentary feel, even when the photographs are more perplexing than informative. On one page we see a metalhead seated next to a table covered in blood-stained electronics and a woman’s leg about to kick it over, on the next page we see a woman playing a saxophone side by side with a motion-blur abstraction. Cates captures strange meetings and head-scratching performances as charming tableaus, by “depriving us of audio” he makes the often sonically unpalatable enjoyable. Self Published in 2018, Edition of 50
HELENA GONI – BEHIND BLUE EYES
Last month we were visited by Bilbao based photographer Helena Goni, who was in the States on a Guggenheim fellowship and stopped by to donate a copy of her 2016 book “Behind blue eyes” to the library. Goni uses portrait and interior photography to create a striking narrative about the hopelessness and vitality of youth and counterculture. Her images of young people and their accouterments function as something of an index of contemporary Bilbao. Measured portraits sit montage style within a pastiche of abstractions; the people we meet in this book exist in an impossibly fast chaos. Bookended by pages of instant photographs which function as something of an artist statement or fore/afterword of the main body of work. Self Published in 2016
NAKASHIMA YUKA – FUGU
Nakashima Yuka’s “FUGU” is a project about pufferfish that when eaten produce a mild high and when improperly prepared can be lethal to the consumer. Nakashima’s subjects are found in murky fishtanks, the glass between the camera and the creature is often dirty and scratched, and the photographs dwell in an uncanny zone between playful documentary and psychedelic abstraction. Depth of field is thrown out the window, and washes of color from neon signs and restaurant ornamentation give a glamorous yet mysterious aura to these dangerous fishes. The edges of the tanks are never included within the frames, so there is no sense of scale. The fish could be any size, floating in a bubbly, eternal abyss ~ a purgatory before they are thrown onto the cutting boards of late night eateries. Each page is a photo print, with the photo on one side and the paper watermark (FUJICOLOR Ever-Beauty Paper for LASER) shown on the back with writing and signature in sharpie by Nakashima. Self Published in 2015. (previously written about in this post)
LUCAS REIF – DISRUPTOR ISSUE 5
Disruptor is Lucas Reif’s dexterous and impeccable ongoing zine series documenting underground punk and hardcore in the United States. Issues contain risograph printed, black and white photographs of bands-in-action, audiences dancing, and the occasional mise-en-scene, alongside interviews with musicians and organizers. Reif is the photographer, editor, interviewer, printer, designer, and publisher, under the name Shelf Shelf. Issue 5 is the cleanest risograph publication I have ever seen, and focuses on Chicago, Illinois. In addition to photographs, 5 features illustrations by Kyle Butler, a lofty and enlightening interview with Behavior, another with the provocative Chicago Musical Development Collective’s Suzy Vogenthaler, and a third with sound engineer Mike Kriebel. Printed in black and red on classic “off manila” paper stock in an edition of 150. Shelf Shelf 2018.
Thank u for reading, stay tuned for part 2 !!!!!