A. Gonzalez, Some(W)here; M. Lange, Another Language; J. Lutz, Hesitating Beauty; Romka, Issue 7; A.Soth, Looking for Love 1996; R.Knoth & A. de Jong, Poppy, Trails of Afghan Heroin; T. Rødland, Vanilla Partner

 
 

Andres Gonzalez
SOME(W)HERE

 
 
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Andres Gonzalez
SOME(W)HERE
Self-published, 2012
Hardcover, 84 pp., 69 color illustrations

Some(w)here is a meditative book by Andres Gonzalez. The title provides us with the first indication of a path of discoveries, and indicates the research that the photographer has accomplished during the last couple of years, traveling around the world. Gonzalez pushes his modus operandi creating a recognizable photographic language, quiet and abstract, but at the same time with very familiar objects of interest. The design of the book is another creation of Sybren Kuiper (-SyB-), a very talented Dutch designer, who once again has done a great job. The book pages are made of an opaque paper with different sizes, that enable an interesting dialogue between the various photographs, creating engaging couples and associations. We are less positive by the materiality of the cover, but the overall design is convincing.

 
 

 

Mårten Lange
Another Language

 
 
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Mårten Lange
Another Language
MACK, 2012
Hardcover, 96 pp., 59 b/w illustrations

Marten Lange’s book Another Language makes the best use of the photographic potential in creating a catalogue or a list of objects and symbols. Lange’s work is not a direct taxonomic operation, but a collection of natural, almost prehistoric-like objects and scenes. The title serves as a key for interpreting the book. Another language or just a language, different, primordial, the basics of codification are what Lange offers us to see. At first sight the photographs seem abstract and untouchable, but with a closer look we discover more and more natural details that reveal textures, substances, actual materiality and deepness. The illusory abstraction is caused by the way in which Lange photographs: isolated and centered objects, cut off from their ordinary collocation. Shapes and surfaces appear in the book, but they suggest us a story that might be the beginning of a new world, or the history of an ancient one.

 
 

 

Joshua Lutz
Hesitating Beauty

 
 
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Joshua Lutz
Hesitating Beauty
Shilt Publishing, 2012
Hardcover, 96 pp., color and b/w illustrations

Joshua Lutz constructs a complex discourse about the perception of memory and personal history. Analyzing himself through his family archive and his mother’s story and psychophysical decline, he has accomplished to use the photographic medium as both a therapeutic and an artistic tool. Trough his family’s archive materials he investigates and examines himself in the present. The book shows us different types of photographic images: archive material, abstract apparition-like photographs, and more "documentary style" pictures. These different forms are all necessary to better understand the relation between the past, the present and the future, that the photographer is here highly questioning. He seems to ask himself: How much is our time circular instead of linear? What is the role of our family’s past in our present lives?

 
 

 

Romka Magazine
Issue #7

 
 
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Romka Magazine
Issue #7
November, 2012
Softbound, 112 pp., A lot of illustrations

Romka Magazine is an independent publication, based in Leipzig. Founded and edited by Joshua Bruckert, the magazine shares "our favorite photographs and the stories behind them", with a fresh approach that combines images and texts. The magazine is designed in collaboration with Benedikt Bock, who joined Mr. Bruckert in 2011. For the seventh issue, Romka asked once again contributors from various countries to choose and submit their favorite photograph and tell the story that lies behind the selected image. In the final compilation, both amateur and professional photographers are published together with their little treasures and stories. Romka is a smart publication that touches intelligently upon the theme of personal photography, showing that not always the most beautiful pictures are the ones that we love the most.

 
 

 

Alec Soth
Looking for Love, 1996

 
 
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Alec Soth
Looking for Love, 1996
Kominek, 2012
Hardcover, 56 pp., 43 b/w illustrations

Looking for Love, 1996 is a recent publication by Kominek Books, an independent publishing house related to Kominek Gallery, a photobook gallery based in Berlin. Alec Soth, together with the publisher Misha Kominek, has put together a selection of early photographs made in the 90's. In the introduction of the book, Soth describes, in a quite poetic tone, how he approached and fell in love with the photographic medium for the first time. Soth was very much interested in observing and feeling empathy with strangers, and his process allowed him to fantasize about his life beyond the obscurity of the darkroom at the commercial photo lab were he was working at that time and the darkness of the nights spent in bars after work. His vision and fantasy, that would have led to works like Sleeping by the Mississippi and Niagara, is here not as well defined as today, but already present and fascinating.

 
 

 

Robert Knoth & Antoinette de Jong
Poppy, Trails of Afghan Heroin

 
 
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Robert Knoth & Antoinette de Jong
Poppy, Trails of Afghan Heroin
Hatje Cantz, 2012
Hardcover, 492 pp., color and b/w illustrations

Poppy, Trails of Afghan Heroin is a dense book in terms of contents and pages. We have really appreciated how in this book the role of photojournalism and written journalism has been challenged. The photographer purposely chose to put himself into the background to let the events speak for themselves. The book follows a timeline that is not regular and linear and gathers images made in different styles. These differences probably reflect the actual feeling of being in the midst of all these events and situations, exploring the worst facets of our globalized world.

 
 

 

Tørbjørn Rødland
Vanilla Partner

 
 
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Tørbjørn Rødland
Vanilla Partner
MACK, 2012
Hardcover, 185 pp., 67 color and b/w illustrations

When we talk about a “vanilla partner,” we intend one element of a couple that is not keen on extreme sexual practices, but rather prefers traditional sex. Tørbjørn Rødland loves to play with the limits of the photographic medium. Ironically he chose Vanilla Partner for title of his book, with the aim of provoking his audience and experimenting with what is “traditionally” photographable and what it is not. Some of the pictures in the book are made to represent beauty in its traditional meaning. Others challenge our capacity to see odd, funny, and even a few revolting pictures. Are we the “vanilla partner” seeing this book and asking for more comforting images, or are we fascinated by the eccentricity and extreme photographic practice of Rødland?

 

 

 

Text by Anya Jasbar

Edited by Anya Jasbar and Daniel Augschöll