LA By Car by Patrick Gookin 

“When Patrick Gookin moved to Los Angeles in 2010 to work as a photo editor, he faced an hour-long commute from Koreatown where he lived, to the beach neighborhood where he worked. In an effort to avoid freeway traffic and deepen his experience of LA, he began driving through city streets. As he explored this uncharted landscape he took quick iPhone photos of strangers along the way, drawn to the secrecy that shooting from his car provided, and how that seemed to clash with their presence in open, public spaces. After making and sharing these images repeatedly on Instagram for a year, Gookin started to stage the photos, working with actors and a point and shoot 35mm camera, evolving the photographs into his series LA By Car. “ - Humble Arts Foundation 

Discussed in Episode 2.25


Gregory Halpern. From the series California. About Halpern’s work:

Gregory’s work is led by aesthetics, even when his subject matter is challenging. A study of working conditions for janitorial staff at Harvard, created while he was a student there, resulted in a successful bid for the minimum wage. His images of life in post-industrial towns of the American Rust Belt were published to critical acclaim in A (2011), and again show resilience in the face of harsh social and economic realities. But the common thread in his work is the discovery of something visually arresting, extraordinary – and he draws our attention to these tensions by placing them within a frame.

I discuss Halpern’s documentary style in an earlier post.


Life in Everwood - Ryan McGinley

This groundbreaking book contains the signature colourful portraits of pretty twenty-somethings with some forest animals thrown in for good measure. McGinley’s incessant romanticism of nudity and the empty landscape is yet again further expanded on to the point where we begin to wonder if this is a test of endurance. “How much of the same thing can we tolerate?” becomes a question that is suddenly retro-actively applied to previous projects as he unfolds this new interpretation of his career work.
144 pages, hardcover.

The Obelisk - Gregory Crewdson

This goliath of a book measures in a 32x45 inches and details Crewdson’s journey to photograph a series of self-constructed underwater cityscapes. By far his most ambitious project to date, the Amazon-funded work is as vast as it was expensive, though the structuring of the contract behind the series allowed Amazon to recoup most of its investment before the launch date thanks to the record-high sales (€750k per print) through their in-house art-auction department, DRUID.
Notably, these ethereal images were rumoured to inspire Baz Luhrmann’s dramatic retelling of The Little Mermaid which is due out next summer.
196 pages, woven seaweed hardcover, comes packaged with fossilised seahorse suspended in rosewater.
€250.00 (Amazon Only)

Retrospective - William Eggleston

Much was made of the court case regarding Apple’s right to do whatever they wanted with their recently purchased Eggleston Collection, however, this much sought-after limited edition app puts new life into the grumpy genius’ work and coming in at 10,997 images, you certainly get your money’s worth.
€12.99 (Download from App Store only)

The Venus Diaries - James Franco

Franco’s decision to document his year living as woman was too much for VICE to pass up and the pairing of publisher and content seemed like a perfect match from the outset. While hit-and-miss in terms of reviews, this book has at least gotten everyone’s attention, which is exactly what you’d expect from a VICE book.
220 pages, softcover.

Misfigurement - Joan Fontcuberta

Fontcuberta’s falsified archive of wounded Vietnam veterans undergoing radical limb regeneration experiments maintains the visual acuity that previously earned him the Hasselblad Award. While this book initially requires the viewer to consent that this was a JFK-authorised experiment and that the subsequent assassination of the president came as a result of this, it’s hard to flaw the substantial amount of work that went into this book.
377 pages, hardcover with metal plating and dog tags.

Collected American Selfies 1999-2007 - Taschen (Edited by Martin Parr)

This glimpse into the early days of web-based self-portraiture provides a snapshot of the American zeitgeist in a predominantly post-9/11 and irony obsessed world. The massively mediated and manipulated task of the taking a self-portrait is highlighted through Martin Parr’s selection of appropriated portraits collected through the GoogleGrab program. The book’s main focus seems to be on the secondary representation of self through the barrier and distortion of mirrors. It’s a clever element to include and really ties the narcissism of the medium together in a way a lot of self-portrait projects fail to reference.
310 pages, hardcover.

Brandon Stanton vs. The World - Michael Pemulis

This book traces the journey of Brandon Stanton from his days working under the name ‘Humans of New York’ to an attempt at realising his impossible dream, beginning with the cataloging of the North American population. We see a sleepless Stanton hard at work preparing the prototype full-body photobooths that he had planned to install on street-corners across the US, Canada and Mexico before the much publicised budget blow-out the project suffered as a result of the photobooth recall just days before the project went live. Pemulis’ images grant the viewer unprecedented access to the man behind the lens and we’re treated to a depiction of the exhausted Stanton as an almost Howard Hughes-esque figure.
196 pages, hardcover.

Porn.0 - Noah Kalina

Blurring lines between hardcore pornography and high-art, Kalina delivers a book that is remarkably self-aware of its subject matter. Given that it’s one of the most grossly misrepresented areas of interest, even in the “documentary” genre, this refreshing take on the dirty secret of America is generated mostly due to the hiring of well-known adult industry film stars to perform for the camera. This is certainly a book that initial reviewers misunderstood as an excuse for male gaze but it’s hard to justify such narrow viewpoints with the understated yet rich narratives that are contained here. Kalina’s willingness to let the viewer observe the presence of the camera, whether it’s through reflections, flashes or equipment left in the shot, Porn.0 maintains a feeling that this book is neither documentary, nor fiction, but something else entirely.
175 pages, softcover.

Original image by Justin Sullivan was taken from here.


The Adventures of Guille and Belinda. And the Enigmatic Meaning of Their Dreams. Photographs by Alessandra Sanguinetti

“This is the story or, more accurately, part of the story, of two young cousins named Guille and Belinda. In 1999, when they were 10 and 9 years old and living in a rural province of Buenos Aires, their paths crossed with photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti. Drawn to the girls, whose evident affection for each other is somehow magnified by their mismatched physiques, Sanguinetti took pictures to ‘crystallize their rich yet fragile and unattended world’. As with her previous, much-acclaimed monograph 'On the Sixth Day’ (Nazraeli Press, 2006) this work is far more than straight documentary. To witness the evolving relationship between Guille and Belinda is to be privy to a touching, entertaining and utterly captivating interaction. At the same time there is the subtle awareness of a second relationship, that of this delightful pair and their photographer. 'The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and the Enigmatic Meaning of their Dreams’ follows the cousins for five years, from pre-teen to adolescent, as they play, dream and unwind their way through the secret enchantment that is childhood." [photoeye]

Discussed in Episode 2.8

Many books are just too superficial in my opinion. They do not feel “necessary” other than seemingly to fill a void in some person’s ego or desire to be noticed. A lot of photographers – and this is not limited by any means to the younger ones — seem to have a few interesting photos under their belt and then think they’ll make a book, so they just repeat themselves 47 more times and there you have it.

My new zine Number Six is off to the printers today for proofs. The zine explores the tension between public and private space in the context of contemporary youth culture. London graffiti writers, skateboarders, car park basements and Soho roofs in 24 black and white pages. Pre-orders will start next week and a release date later in November. #Graffiti #Skateboarders #Youth #Photobooks #Zines #London #Space #SelfPublishing #MarcVallee


Night Walk - Ken Schles

Twenty-five years after the printing of his seminal 1988 book, Invisible City, Ken Schles revisits his archive and fashions a narrative of lost youth: a delirious, peripatetic walk in the evening air of an irretrievable downtown New York as he saw and experienced it. Night Walk is a substantive and intimate chronicle of New York’s last pre-Internet bohemian outpost, a stream of consciousness portrayal that peels back layers of petulance and squalor to find the frisson and striving of a life lived amongst the rubble. Here, Schles embodies the flâneur as Sontag defines it, as a “connoisseur of empathy…cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes.” We see in Night Walk a new and revelatory Ulysses for the 21st century: a searching tale of wonder and desire, life and love in the dying hulk of a ruined American city. [Amazon]

Discussed in Episode 2.6


22–25 January 2015 @ DOOMED GALLERY

Thursday 18:00–21:00 (with a party after) Friday 16:00–20:00
Saturday – Sunday 12:00–20:00

22–25 January 2015

DOOMED GALLERY is pleased to present an exhibition by emerging Japanese photographers curated by SPACE CADET and STAY ALONE, two notable independent organisations in the contemporary photography scene in Japan.

Since the 60s, Japanese photography in the west is often associated with the Provoke movement and other post-war photographers such as Nobuyoshi Araki and Daido Moriyama. Whilst these photographers have had a great influence on many, they can overshadow contemporary photographers and artists in Japan today. The aim of this show is to renew the impression of Japanese photography, hopefully proving that the Japanese photography scene is just as vibrant with ideas now than it was in the past.

“New Japanese Photography” brings together works by various fresh and upcoming photographers from Japan with a showcase of photobooks and installations by selected artists. In addition, a slideshow will present work from nearly 100 different Japanese photographers throughout the show.

There will be a book signing by Naohiro Utagawa and Yukihito Kono on the opening night on the 22nd January, 7:00 pm at the gallery. Also limited edition print sets and books will be available at the gallery during the show.

SPACE CADET is an online gallery curated by Masayoshi Suzuki. The site was launched in 2011 with the purpose of introducing new Japanese photography to the rest of the world. Showcasing a variety of contemporary photography from their gallery.

STAY ALONE was launched in 2013 by Japanese photographers Suguru RYUZAKI and Yukihito Kono as a platform and publishing house for independent artists. The concept behind each issue is one of self containment, with each issue being autonomous and purely edited by the artists featured within it. Working on a rolling basis, each artist then selects who will be in the subsequent issue. Creating something truly original and organic free from external constraints. 



A Kind of Rapture by Robert Bergman

“Occasionally there arises an event or a moment that one knows immediately will forever mark a place in the history of artistic endeavor. Robert Bergman’s portraits represent such a moment. In all its burnished majesty his gallery refuses us unearned solace ad one by one by one each photograph unveils us, asserting a beauty, a kind of rapture, that is as close as can be to a master template of the singularity, the community, the unextinguishable sacredness of the human race."—Toni Morrison, in her introduction to A Kind of Rapture [Amazon]

Discussed in Episode 2.7 with James Chororos

I have seen a lot of articles lately by folks who complain about the number of photobooks in the market. 

I hope that nobody is discouraged to make something because of this. You should make a zine. Do it. Make a photo zine of the project that you have worked on for years or make a limited edition of 5 about some silly inside joke that you have with your friends. Make it about anything. Don’t let some publisher whining about a market flooded with books stop you. Make a photo zine and then if you would like you can trade one to me.