It’s the end of another year, one that - at least for me - by far surpassed the previous one in terms of photobook making. This year, I found it much easier to pick my favourite photobooks. In fact I picked so many that it’s anything but a “top ten”. In alphabetical order, here they are.
Books I reviewed already (for these books I’m including images of their covers, plus links to the reviews): The Afronauts by Cristina De Middel, American Dreaming by Jerry Spagnoli, Deutschland by Gerry Johansson, Elementary Calculus by J Carrier1, Handbook to the Stars by Peter Puklus, Metsästä by Anne Golaz, Nocturnes by AM Projects, One and a Half Meter by Peter Puklus, Repaires by Yann Mingard, Retina Shift by Mikhael Subotzky, Sight-_Seeing 2, Still by Patrick Hogan, Welcome to Springfield by Michael Abrams, The River Winter by Jem Southam, 9645 Kilometer Erinnerung by Helena Schätzle
Still to be reviewed: Ararchy Photobook Mania by Nobuyoshi Araki, Dies Mercurii XI Julius MMXII by Jonathan Saunders, MARGRET: Chronik einer Affäre, Speaking of Scars by Teresa Eng, Über Grenzen/On Borders by Ostkreuz photographers.
Unless you’re collector with an eye on money there’s something frustrating about photobooks being out of print. I enjoyed these following reissues of older books: Karyudo (A Hunter) by Daido Moriyama and American Prospects by Joel Sternfeld.
Lastly, my various teaching gigs have now led to students of mine making books, either as part of the photobook-making class I taught at MassArt (Boston) or RISD (Providence) or as part of the requirements for the MFA program I’m part of (Hartford Art School, Hartford). Seeing work get transformed into a book can be a tedious, occasionally frustrating, yet ultimately always incredibly satisfying process; and I’m grateful to own copies of artist books made by my former students Acacia Johnson, Andrew Bruah, and Doug Lowell.
1 Full disclosure: J is a former student of mine, and I was involved in part of the process that led to the book