Calin Kruse has picked some of his favourite books of the year:
1. Jon Cazenave: Ama Lur
According to the website, „the artist has compiled a visual repertoire of the Basque people’s idiosyncrasy and aesthetics, in an attempt to unravel his homeland’s political intricacy from an anthropological perspective.“
I didn’t knew anything about all that when I first saw the book – I just fall in love with it immediately. I like the design and the printing, I like how it feels and smells and of course, the images are amazing. It reminds me a bit of Marten Lange’s „Another Language“
2. Tell mum everything is ok #6
A photobook is good because (among many reasons) it tell a good story or it creates a certain mood with single images. This is actually a magazine, a collective work made of single images, whose perfect symbiosis becomes a whole. And I love the mood in this book.
3. Miron Zownir: NYC RIP
Miron Zownir shows in-you-face photographs of New York’s underground life of the 80s. A raw, blunt journey that haunted me for a while.
4. Mark Duffy: Vote No. 1
The book is funny and easy to understand. It shows what we’ve probably very often seen during electoral campaigns, but never thought of making a book out of it – hideously mutilated smiling politicians.
5. André Gelpke: Sex-Theater
André Gelpke’s series Sex-Theater was produced in the 1970s and shows performers from different sex theatres in Hamburg’s St. Pauli (red light) district. Sex-Theater was first published as a book in 1981 and quickly sold out. B ut while the focus of the first edition was depicting, this new edition, including new texts and an expanded selection of images, is more documenting the club life.
6. Christian Retschlag: Ich mag die Momente, die nie da waren
Christian’s series is a confusion as the title already tells („I like the moments that never existed“). The picture of an Indian, the one of a soldier with (probably) his parents, a classical wedding portrait – on all of these pictures the same young man is to be seen. The prints for the exhibition accompanying the series are exhibited as silver gelatine prints. After all this time-honored technique is the medium of pure truth. Or not? What is original, what is cited, and what no own material at all? You assume but do not know anything. The pictures seam so credible because we know that there exist quite similar photos, and our brain labels in a certain way while looking at them. Christian is good at this game. And in the end you think: “What have I just seen?”. And you begin from the start, to decode a little more.
Calin Kruse is a book designer, publisher, editor and photographer. He is the editor and publisher of the photography magazine dienacht, runs dienacht Publishing and heads the design studio FLUUT. Calin also co-curates the Magazine Salon, a travelling photo magazine exhibition.