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Tag "photobooks"

In between entering: a photo/graphic periphery of Paris. On Stephan Keppel’s ‘Entre Entree’ (Fw:Books, 2014)

There is a lot of doubling going on in Stephan Keppel’s 2014 photobook Entre Entree, beginning with its idiosyncratic title. Keppel took it from an entrance sign to a Parisian supermarket that said ‘entree’ (entrance) twice, but the last e of the first ‘entre/’ was erased.

Entre Entree results from a succession of two residencies, six months at Atelier Holsboer, close to the hustle and bustle of stereotypical Paris, and another half year at the former Parisian home of Dutch avant-garde artist Theo van Doesburg (1883-1931), in Meudon Val Fleury in the southern periphery of the French metropolis. A short sequence in the book shows a recording of a performance inspired by Van Doesburg’s concept of the ‘dynamic diagonal’: a long stick falling down from a pedestal towards the residential bungalow.


Keppel meandered through Paris’s spacious, anonymous outskirts, as well as his own studio, aiming his camera at doors, stairways, found objects, neon tubes, printers, façades of a variety of modernist high-rises flats, veins in marble, and scattered exotic planting. Keppel then reworked most of the black-and-white pictures—scanning, printing and reprinting them multiple times, thereby experimenting with contrast, color inversion, toners, inks, (halftone) screens and paper quality. Some of the more graphical images are all about line, texture and form.

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Out Now: Black Box Theory

For the series Spiegelrefleksies (Mirror-reflections), curated by Danielle Lemaire for Extrapool (Nijmegen, NL), I created a publication called ‘Black Box Theory’. It’s an apperceptive visual theory of ten images sometimes in combination with text, partly inspired by the photogrammatic works of Babs Decruyenaere, and completed by a short prose poem.
Astrid Florentinus made a drawing based on the title -> Input: Black Box Theory; Output: a wonderful drawing (that perfectly fits the ‘theory’).
The risograph presses at the stencil workshop of Knust delivered a beautiful and tactile job.

Taco Hidde Bakker – Black Box Theory
Spiegelrefleksies #4, Knust/Extrapool, 2013
10 prints, 183 x 264 mm, in a sewn folder
Limited edition of 70, signed and numbered.
€ 20 (VAT & shipping excluded)
Order at taco[at]tacohiddebakker[dot]com (PayPal available)

 P1010887W P1010902W

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The Fourth Wall. An interview with Max Pinckers

Belgian photographer Max Pinckers successfully published a crowd-funded photobook this year, which was selected Book of the Week in July by Martin Parr for Photo-Eye. Also on Photo-Eye is Colin Pantall‘s review of The Fourth Wall: Max Pinckers’ Masala Mix. Last winter I had a Skype-conversation with Max about his dummy version of The Fourth Wall, for an interview that was published in Foam Magazine’s spring 2013 issue on photobook dummies. The version posted here slightly differs from the printed one.

Could you tell something about the subject of your photobook dummy The Fourth Wall?

As a child I lived for many years in Asia, and for my previous work, called Lotus, from which I also made a photobook, I focused on transsexuals in Thailand. For my graduation work at the KASK (School of Arts) in Ghent (B), I went on to take photographs on the Bollywood film sets in Mumbai.

When I first came to Mumbai I thought I needed to see many Bollywood movies, so I could use scenes as source material for my photographs, but I quickly figured out that I didn’t need to. Ultimately, I left it to the characters to express some of their favorite scenes. On the film sets one could always find some corners left unused. I set up my lights and found people to pose for me. I used these backgrounds to create my own images – the pink cloud in the empty bedroom, for example. I asked the producer if I could let off a smoke bomb, and he gave me permission to do so.

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For a new book by artist and photo collector Rein Jelle Terpstra, I translated two essays written by Arjen Mulder & Hanne Hagenaars plus an interview with the artist, from Dutch into English (many thanks to Annie Goodner for excellent proofreading). Terpstra’s book is based on his project Retracing in which he collaborated with people having progressive eye disease. It will be published by post editions in september 2013 and launched during the Unseen Photo Fair 2013. Retracing is about visual perception and becoming blind, about the tension between remembrance and forgetting, about images and imagination in relation to words and language, about tactility of photographic material versus projections amongst many other intriguing issues … a photobook to look forward to.



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The Photobook Club Amsterdam

PBC AMSMatt Johnston’s wonderful concept of the The Photobook Club has also reached Amsterdam, where last April Shirley Agudo and I organized a first meeting with ten people. The concept of our meetings subscribe to Matt’s statement: “The Photobook Club aims to promote and enable discussion surrounding the photo book format.” In informal meetings we bring together people from different educational and professional backgrounds, but with love and interest for the (photo) book, or the eagerness to learn more about it through round table discussions (though we keep the academic jargon limited to a minimum). Each meeting will feature at least two photobooks. Sometimes favorites picked by attendees, other times themes might be suggested, or choices prompted by actual events.

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Photobook Listmania

As the December-months of 2012 are drawing to a close, the annual obsessive listing of “best photobooks” has arrived. As always it’s accompanied by the rhetorical use of unbalanced comparatives. To put a substantive in plural after the adjective “best” sounds illogical to me. Why “best books” and not “better books”? Otherwise each best book should be the best in its own category with a list of better books (better than average, better than good, or better than bad).

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