Photobooks of 2018: 10×10 Photobooks
With the launch of the How We See: Photobooks by Women reading room and publication, 10×10 Photobooks has been thinking deeply about inclusion and exclusion in the photobook world. With How We See, we were able to invite twenty selectors (ten for contemporary books and ten for historical books) to shine a light on two hundred photobooks by women artists. As with any selection, there were books that for one reason or another were not included: either they were published after our book went to press or they were simply not selected by one of the twenty selectors. Our “end of the year” list for Photobookstore allows us to highlight a few more books by women artists that we feel could benefit from greater visibility.
Gips by Asako Narahashi
It can be a curse and blessing when a photographer becomes well known for a singular body of work. Asako Narahashi received much acclaim in the early aughts for the color photographs in her book half awake and half asleep in the water. Shot at chest-level in the ocean with a waterproof camera, the resulting images capture both sky and water in equal parts. The success of this series unfortunately overshadowed much of Narahashi’s earlier career that included black-and-white photographs and editorial work for Main magazine. Narahashi’s recent photobook Gips (the Japanese term for a cast) is setting the record straight. Black-and-white images from the 1990s, taken while Narahashi’s left foot was encased in a cast, they show a broader view of this photographer in her earlier experimental phase.
Bike Kill by Julie Glassberg
The cover of Bike Kill is repellent. It is sticky to the touch and initially uninviting. But that is this book’s charm. It makes the viewer work to move beyond its physically off-putting cover and in doing so offers up ample rewards. A collection of photographs shot over three years of an outlaw bicycle club known as The Black Label Bike Club, Glassberg’s images humanize a bizarre anti-establishment sub-culture of bicyclists.
Song of the Cicadas by Melissa Lazuka
A great example of the artistry of photography, words, and the “book as object” meeting as equals – Lazuka melds memories of childhood using present-day images of her children; found images and texts; and ephemera. (Thanks to The PhotoBook Journal for the tip.)
Frozen Waves by Dina Oganova
Another compelling, carefully crafted, “meeting of equals” handmade photobook – this time with Oganova’s addition of a strong political statement about the Georgian tradition of forced marriages of young women and girls.
The Essential Solitude by Tereza Zelenkova
Tereza Zelenkova uses historical interiors of Dennis Severs’ house as the setting for sensual and melancholy tales of a mysterious woman whose distinct feature is her remarkable floor-length hair.
10×10 Photobooks is a non-profit organization with the mission to foster engagement with the global photobook community through an appreciation, dissemination and understanding of photobooks. Founded in 2012, 10×10 offers an ongoing multi-platform series of public photobook events, including reading rooms, salons, publications, online communities and partnerships with arts organizations and institutions. 10×10’s most recent project, How We See: Photobooks by Women is a touring public reading room and associated publication. How We See will be on view at Fototeca Latinoamericana (FoLa) in Buenos Aires, 6-9 December 2018. 10×10 Organization: Olga Yatskevich, Russet Lederman (co-founders) and Michael Lang.
Images: top – Bike Kill by Julie Glassberg, below – Frozen Waves by Dina Oganova