A book one hardly needs to lose words about, Ed Ruscha’s Every Building on the Sunset Strip is an early example for the invention of the US-American Artists’ Book of the 1960th dominating Conceptual Art. Beside Sol Levitt and John Baldessari, it was especially Ed Ruscha, who has worked with small edited self-published books as a independent medium using photography. The 1966 first published book uses the form of a leporello to line up seamless mounted photographs of both sides of the famous Hollywood’s Sunset Strip (about 2.5 km from the main part). Unfold it can reconstruct a car ride as a typical development of this street. This book is represented in almost every collection of publications about photo books as an icon of this art form, and so it makes sense to be shown here again to clarify the question of the definition of the photo book in general.
The artist’s book “El Caso” was published in 1988 with an exhibition at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. The book cites the form of the classic photo album with parchment paper between every double page. All photographs in this book are reproductions from the Spanish weekly magazine “El Caso” which is targeted with sensationalist portrayal of criminal cases on a rather simple readership. All the black and white photographs that Boltanski has taken from the magazine, show places of crime scenes. With this publication Boltanski uses one time more the media book similar to his installations, to be a reflection on the disappearance and forget about memory and death.
Gestern fanden wir uns zu unserem ersten Interview in diesem Jahr in Köln beim Buchhändler Walther König ein. Nach einem kurzen unerwarteten Vorspiel, beantwortete er gerne unsere Fragen und dies mehr als umfassend. Seine Vorlieben zur konzeptionellen Kunst, dem attitüdenfreien Künstlerbuch, zu einigen Künstlern und dem Buch als Medium wurden ausführlich thematisiert. Mehr und ausführlich dazu in Kürze…
The book “amplification” of the Australian photographer Jeff Busby was published in 2002 at “3 Deep Publishing” in Australia. The little-known book will be noted initially on the use of mirror-like high gloss paint on the entire printed paper surface. In addition to the printed image surfaces he adds black printed pages as supplementary formal idea, in order to increase the effect of the lacquer. Jeff Busby photographed details of highly injured cars in large format technology and uses the effect of this technic together with the high-gloss finish as an aesthetic conflict with the completely ruined vehicles. The viewer complements these images in his head to the fate of the humans, who might have driven these vehicles. Again, a typical photographers book without text, page to double-page, picture on picture, Busby compresses nevertheless his series within the medium book to a higher order of consistent aesthetic experienceability.
The relative inconspicuous small-format book of the Swiss photographer Ruth Erdt appeared in 2001 and was published by Lars Müller Publishers. The book is to be understood as a sequence of authentic snapshots of situations and portraits. Probably almost all the photographs were taken in the immediate environment of the photographer itself and thus take the lane of the American photography tradition of Robert Frank, Larry Clark and Nan Goldin. In extremely direct and immediate frames the book succeeds a personal reading of reality and compresses the images into a dense unit. The images are sequenced to archive suddenness and straightness into a subtile told reality of life. In this directness one would see the like but more often.