Hannes Wanderer’s Photobook picks for 2014

Hannes Wanderer has shared a selection of 10 books that really caught his attention this year:-

(Avarie 2014)

To say it loud and clear right away: I think this book is great in every respect. Katrien de Blauwer works with found images, but that’s what many do. But she shapes photographs, tear-outs from old magazines and patterned or yellowed paper to enigmatic collages. Her art is the cut, the exclusion, the omission. She crops faces, bodies, objects and landscapes and combines the ›half-pictures‹ to visually and emotionally disturbing metaphors. Each collage a sigh and the sequence a hall of mirrors for human trials and tribulations, obsessions and fears. In addition to the collages we find diary fragments, some full-bleed partly inscribed old papers and excerpts from never utilized film scripts of the Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni in the book, which is not least so good because of the excellent layout and careful workmanship. Giuliana Prucca, publisher of AVARIE, with her second book has created a real treasure – congratulations.


(Edition Patrick Frey 2014)

The battered world of APPLE MAPS. Regula Bochsler and Philipp Sarasin in this extensive series show what happens when the Apple Maps software transforms aerial photos of American cityscapes for navigable 3-D simulations. The single large-format images reveal the current limitations of the vector-based technology. The machine code generates cold, post-apocalyptic images that correspond only peripherally with our perception. Skyscraper facades lose their architectural structure, a herd of elephants seems to have trampled over the cars in a parking lot, trees and shrubs mutate into abstract sculptures and the Statue of Liberty looks like a masked terrorist. This is interesting not only because of the picturesque quality but mainly because computer-generated images now and certainly even more in the future shape our perception of the world. We should remain vigilant, especially when the technical quality of these images will be improved.


(Steidl 2014)

This book got me! I moved to Berlin in 1981, to the western part of the city. Behind the Wall. East Berlin – that was a different city. That’s what I thought. Maria Sewz photographed ›inter esse‹ during the mid 80s in East Berlin. Cityscapes. Things. People. Atmosphere. Day and night. Hard black and white, partially flashed, daring crops. It’s a cold and furious view on a city that could impossibly remain or go on like this – just like West-Berlin. And just like there besides the officials and the citizens there are aim- and sleepless night owls, unhealthy to the utmost in an unhealthy city.


(Peperoni 2014)

When asked for my favourite photobooks I allow myself to include one book tha I published atPeperoni Books. This time it is REPLIES by Andreas Trogisch.

Andreas Trogisch is not only a discoverer, as a photographer he is a discovery! In the past 35 years he has created an extensive body of work, but nobody knew until a few years from now. In 2010 we started to publish his work, 6 consecutive photo folders explored the fabulous world of his imagery presented under names such as ›Magico‹, ›Desiderata‹ or ›Asphalt‹. The folders are now followed by ›Replies‹, the big book with 138 images on 176 pages, compiled to ›Thirteen small conversations‹. And that’s the way to read the book. Trogisch has no subject and no concept. He has just images. In front of his eyes and in his head. And he has his camera to make new images, which then again correspond with all the images that are already there. He feels that way and we as viewers, too.  The pictures were taken at many different places around the world. Indoor and outdoor shots, landscapes, trees, houses, people, stills, close-ups – so simple, just like that. Not abstract and yet so mysterious. Easy to read and yet never fully understandable. As our lives. The head makes Click. 
The shutter makes Clack.
 That’s it.  It is pure magic and Andreas Trogisch – even if he doesn’t like to hear this – is one great photographer.


(Fishbar 2014)

At the age of 19 Philipp Ebeling turned his back on Germany to live in England. Nevertheless, he could not completely leave behind his past. Mellendorf, a village in northern Germany – here he spent his childhood and youth, here he has developed his understanding of the world. He still calls the place his home, and as he says, he doubts that ths will ever change. After he had spent half of his life abroad, he returned to his home village in 2008 – there was unfinished work. He felt like living without a past. And that seemed to have somethng to do with the fact that in the Germany of his childhood days the dark past of the Nazi era was supressed and became a void in the biographies of the parents and grandparents.  In his great book Ebeling reflects on this void and its significance for him personally and for others who like him have to live with the legacy of the German past. He resumed contact with his family and old friends. But the portraits, landscape recordings and stills, which he made during his visit to Mellendorf, alone did not seem to be enough to talk about what you can not photograph – people’s desire to leave a past behind, which yet steadfastly one way or another is inscribed in their own history. He began to study the family albums and combined images from earlier times with his current recordings. Images that are created in the same place but in another time, many during the years of war. From the old and the new images Ebeling creates a comprehensive tableaux of generations, personal recollection and German history. This visit to Mellendorf paid off. For the photographer, for us and for his hometown.


(Nazraeli Press 2014)

After the highly acclaimed debut A Natural Order, Lucas Foglia sets forth with his second book Frontcountry. And again it is about people who live a life outside the big cities. Between 2006 and 2013 Foglia traveled sparsely populated areas in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming. Agriculture and livestock dominate the economy, but recently a gold mining boom has changed the region. Agriculture and mining are equally dependent on what nature provides, work and nature here and there shape the life style of the people. Only that the farmers are sedentary and stay, but gold miners move when the mines close.  Wide landscapes form the backdrop to Lucas Foglia’s narrative. But the portraits make this book so exciting in the first place. Everybody who lives in this harsh climate must be or become an indidualist. Men and women, young and old. Lucas Foglia photographed them at work and in the rare leisure time and let them participate in the development of the motives. His images shed light on freedoms such as the hardships of a life outside the mainstream and show how every single one tinkers with his own personality and the environment.


(Sturm & Drang 2014)

The classic from 1954 in a beautiful new edition. René Groebli photographed the images for ›The Eye of Love‹ during his belated honeymoon with his wife Rita in France. Sparsely furnished hotel rooms, mirrors, beds, window views, wine and cigarettes – and his wife. But those are only the facts.  No photo essay can be more intense, sparkling, seductive, intimate than ›The Eye of Love‹. The whole force of the mystery we call love – the longing, the desire, the physicality, the fulfillment, the pain – is summarized in a terrific sequence, that can be moment, day or eternity.  The initial criticism is long forgotten, the work stood the test of time. For all lovers and desperados, for those who are yearning and seeking. This edition from the young Swiss publishing house Sturm & Drang with a handfolded glassine dust-jacket and printed deep black on glossy paper is very close to the 1954 original and meets a late heart’s desire of René Groebli. Mine too.

1973, Berka

(Hatje Cantz 2014)

In 1972 Ute Mahler began to photograph people. In Berka, Berlin, Hennigsdorf, Dresden, Mecklenburg, at many places in the GDR. In 1988 she finishd the work on the series. In this respect ›Zusamenleben‹ of course is also a book about everyday life in the GDR. But not only. Ute Mahler tried to photograph love, as she says. That is not possible of course, but her images of people of all ages who, devoted to one another or in the clinch, at work or at play, at home or on the road, spend time together, tell a lot about the value and fragility of happiness, relationships and human nature in general. Especially because so much time has passed and we are painfully aware that the portrayed are now old or dead. After I had looked through the book carefully, I was sitting in a small Italian restaurant the same evening. Next to me was a group of young people from Poland, men and women, 25-30 years old. They talked very lively. They joked, laughed, teased, fought. A young woman was sitting there. She looked very beautiful but also a little sad and she hardly said a word. Probably due to her bad teeth. The people noticed that I followed their conversation, even if I didn’t understand a word. They asked me to join in, joked and laughed also with me and now I have an invitation to a wedding in Krakow. And I think I owe this to Ute Mahler and her book.

Stigma Project

(Self 2014)

If I could choose only one single photobook about Roma, than it would be this one. Because it really made me think. The Stigma Project tells the story of the 60-member family of Romanian Roma, living in an encampment on the outskirts of the city of Wroclaw in Poland. Adam Lach has photographed only there in the Roma Slum called Dog Field. So we don’t see people as misfits among others but we also don’t find ourselves as visitors in a crazy, colorful gypsy wonderland. Only people, young and old in and around their homes surrounded by family, who because of their origin and life’s journey struggle with tradition and the demands of modern life and the more with being unwelcome by neighbours and authorities. In Poland and elsewhere. You can see it in the pictures and you can read it in the reports and interviews. And most of us, I guess, will find out that they have to admit to be part of the problem.



(Roma 2013)

May be from 2013 but I saw it first in 2014 and want to include it here. Marnix Goossens finds his motifs in ordinary apartments. Wallpaper, carpets, corners of rooms, curtains, bedspreads, plants – beyond good taste by themselves already. But the photographer discovered combinations that allow only one question: how could this happen? There are also top performances of tilers, who with imagination, skill and chutzpah circumvent architectural intricacies, a typology of popular parlor door glass-texture and samples of compelling and clever use of wood foil decoration. Domestic scandals! Spotted and photographed with a genuine eye and presented in a wonderfully designed book.

Hannes Wanderer has dealt with printed matter since his childhood days as his parents owned a printing company. He worked as photographer, designer and preprint specialist until he founded his own publishing house Peperoni Books in the year 2004. Since 2009 he also runs the Berlin based photobook store and webshop 25books.