Photobooks of 2016: Anouk Kruithof
Carmen Winant: My Life as a Man
My Life as a Man depicts a single collage deconstructing and rearranging its composition. Resolution is sought but never “found.” This book is a puzzle of chopped up pieces of people, it makes me think of what happens to humans scattered by the overwhelming all over the place distractions of this time, while hanging in a time machine. A real plus is a folded newsprint poster featuring eighty finished crossword puzzles from the NY Times by the artist’s mother.
Melanie Bonajo: A Non Human Persons
Melanie bonajo happens to be a human in an animal mind and therefor for 10 years she has collected thousands of animal pictures online as her mirrors in the digital image based time. Can we send funny animal pictures to space for aliens to discover the Earth’s ecosystem? Our enormous access to animal pictures on the internet tramples our awareness that only humans possess self awareness, language, culture, land and customs. But when does a lion stop being a lion? How are typical nature photography categories designed by the hands of science replaced by the images of amateurs who document the disappearing surroundings of wildlife by ever expanding urbanisation? As a result, do we need complete revised scientific categories for these images? For 10 years, Melanie Bonajo has collected thousands of animal pictures online, and this book is her exploration of these questions.
Petra Cortright: Niki, Lucy, Lola, Viola
“Niki, Lucy, Lola, Viola.” Are women’s names allude to strippers whose real identities are unknown; their bodies and moves have been motion-captured for Virtuagirl, a PC program Cortright has been toying with since 2009. The service provides users with ambient pornographic entertainment-cum-companionship, in the immaterial form of a customizable array of women who can be programmed to strut the desktop and grind to the base of the monitor as perpetual screensavers.
Glenn Ligon: A People on the Cover
Glenn Ligon traces the representation of black people in the United States on book covers, highlighting the deliberate use of typography, photography and graphics. Spanning the twentieth century and grouped thematically, the covers reveal correspondences between the past and the present, as well as links between the social and visual constructs of race, beauty and the body. To introduce the book, an essay by Ligon identifies one of the foundation stones of his life and work: the act of reading.
Moises Saman: Discordia
Discordia, a new book by Moises Saman, represents a personal memory of the nearly four years he spent living and working as a photojournalist in the Middle East during the Arab Spring from 2011 to 2014. In Discordia, Saman presents the unfolding of long and complex photographic sequences, absent of captions, an unexpected and less straightforward journalistic representation of the Arab Spring. The book includes a series of photo collages, created by the Dutch-Iranian artist Daria Birang from Saman’s photographs, grainy cut-outs exploring the repetition of human gestures and theatrics that Saman saw time after time during the events. ‘The editing process for an assignment is very different than that when I’m editing a longer narrative. A book in particular needs rhythm, and, as such, I felt that Discordia had to incorporate the quieter pictures that offer more context, the photographs that sometimes are overlooked in the editorial process because they capture moments just before or after the main event. With the collages, the aim was to literally cut out the subject from the context of the photograph and focus on the theatrical body language and expression of the protesters during clashes, rather than opt for the best single image that captured the action.’
David Fathi: Wolfgang
Wolfgang Ernst Pauli, one of the founders of quantum physics, was nicknamed the “Conscience of Physics”. But he was also known among his peers for something a bit less scientific. Legend says that when Pauli entered a room, experiments would fail and machinery would break down. His colleagues jokingly called this phenomenon “The Pauli Effect”. Even though this was a private joke among highly scientific minds, some of them were nonetheless superstitious enough to ban Wolfgang Pauli from even entering their lab. CERN recently released their photo archive spanning thirty years of cutting edge research. Wolfgang Pauli died shortly before this archive started but his presence still lingers; on a bust, a blackboard, a portrait, a book etc. Thus starts this “scientific ghost story” where maybe even accidents and strange events are also a reminder of Pauli’s existence. Some images are manipulated by the artist, while others are left untouched. Art, photography, history and science collide, blurring the line between science fact and science fiction. The mystery and humor arise from the playful games the reader must take part in, to separate myth from reality.
Untitled: Ryan Foerster
Visual experimentation climax. Every page is a surprise and every copy unique. Ryan Foerster offers fleeting yet intimate glances at his life, work, and travels with his artistbooks comprised of atmospheric photographs printed on various papers including transparent sheets. This installment consists of work made between 2007 and 2009 and includes a series of reversed aluminum printing plates, snowy landscapes photographed in Quebec.
Marie Ilse Bourlanges & Elena Khurtova: Looking For The Ursa Major
Since April 2014, Elena Khurtova and Marie Ilse Bourlanges have researched and intervened with the found archive of Jacques Bourlanges, author of an intriguing theory of a correlation between star constellations and French geography. His investigation connects esoteric symbols with long forgotten history of villages and mountain names by mirroring geometric figures of stars onto the French landscape. With his passing away in 1991, Bourlanges left an archive of twenty-four boxes, which waited in oblivion until Khurtova and Bourlanges rediscovered them in 2013. The archive contains an overwhelming abundance of notes carefully organised in self-made folders, geometric drawings and a profusion of maps inscribed with mysterious lines.
Akkara Naktamna: SIGNS
Nightmarish, primeval and strong images captured with beauty and precision. For fans of horror sci-fi, the apocalypse and other mysteries of the Intelligent Universe, Akkara Naktamna’s simple but eye-opening series ‘Signs’ is likely to confirm their growing sense of an organic doomsday conspiracy. My experience in street photography made me sensitive to phenomena and changes around us. I often encounter weird, even eerie, environmental elements, such as various plants that, gorged on the city’s pollution, burst into gigantic mutant creepers, steadily devouring everything around them. They seem to be biding their time to wreak vengeance upon nature-destroying man. Many things we meet in daily life appear inert and lifeless and so are overlooked. Closer scrutiny reveals that they’re furtively signaling each other, emitting unfathomable messages, as in some scene from a horror sci-fi doomsday movie, the kind that always end in tragedy.
Vojtěch Veškrna: My Air Force
Vojtech Veskrna spent most of his childhood in block of flats. Claustrophobic and unpleasant room between the walls kept him dreaming about the space. He was fascinated about flying and his grandfather always gave him magazines about it. He worked as an airplane mechanic when he was younger, but Vojtech Veskrna has never asked him more about it. Also, his father gave him some basics about flying, when they spent hours and hours in flying simulators together. “When I was searching for the topic, I can pursue in my master studies I chose my passion for the airplanes. It was closest subject to my heart and there was lots to discover. I started asking my grandpa about his experience on the base and I even made the first pictures on the same airbase he worked. The project soon developed from the early stages of reportage to something more calm and timeless. At least for me. I couldn’t perfectly show the life on the base, but I could show my passion.”
Robin Dahlberg: Billable Hours. In 6-minute increments
Many corporate businesses portray themselves as families – elite professionals bound together by common interests, shared goals and mutual admiration and respect. In reality, however, the corporate “family” is just like every other family – rife with stress, anxiety, drama, trauma and interpersonal conflict, all of which is generally hidden behind a veneer of good manners, great wall art and nice looking suits. This project explores the interpersonal dynamics and idiosyncrasies of the corporate “family”.
Alessandro Perini: Operation Olympiad
Operation Olympiad seeks to represent the ways in which Tokyo and Japan came to prepare for the international Olympic Games in 1940 and the international conflict simultaneously. At the end of the Games never took a place. Alessandro Perini aims to remind us of the importance of Japan’s rich Olympic history in light of Tokyo again being awarded the right to host the Olympic Games in 2020.
Recruit: Hiroshi Okamoto
Recruit “I want to die”. During February 2013, this e-mail was sent by my best friend in my university, who was doing his job-hunting then. In Japan, more than half a million students participate in job-hunting simultaneously every year. Students go into this frantic game with their desire and anxiety for their future careers. “Recruit” is a personal story of Yo Toshino, my best friend from my university, and his job-hunting experience. This is also just one of the stories amongst more than half a million job-hunters in Japan.
Pacifico Silano: Tear sheets
Silano creates composite images that appropriate gay iconography from 1970s and 80s porn magazines such as Blueboy, Torso and Honcho in order to negotiate his own identity and formative experiences as impacted by the AIDS crisis.
Anouk Kruithof is a colorful European artist based in Mexico City. Kruithof is a frenetic artist-book-maker, experimental cook and diver. She is the director, co-creator and jury-member of The Anamorphosis Prize, which will award $10,000, no strings attached, to the creator of the best self-published photo-book from the previous year. stresspress.biz is a result of her addiction to publishing.