One of the photo festivals I wish I had attended was the third Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg one. How do I know I really missed something? They published a book (Images Recalled), which is not simply just a catalog of the photography on display, but which also contains abundant text. In essence, it’s the next best thing after going to the festival in person.
For each of the different parts of the festivals, the curators wrote text explaining their concept, and in addition, s/he explains how each artist fits into the chosen theme. Now this is how you do this, this is how you give viewers a chance to see not only what the curators were thinking, but also - and this is where things become crucial - to see why images were placed into the context they are in. As a viewer, you can still wonder why or how certain artists were included, but you actually get something to work with, something to agree or disagree with.
This is what makes Images Recalled something you can actually look at and read even if you have not been to the festival. With its focus on what images can do today - how refreshing! - Images Recalled offers many examples of contemporary image making or finding, many of them not just photographically at the forefront: There is a chapter on images and their use in war, for example.
With its very reasonable price, Images Recalled is a must-buy for anyone interested in contemporary image making/finding.
Images Recalled, editors: Esther Ruelfs and Tobias Berger, German/English, 220 pages, paperback, Kehrer Verlag, ISBN 978-3868280753