Photobooks & presents and interrogates key themes of the contemporary photobook — from the medium’s post-digital and post-photographic situation, to the purposes of publishing, issues of accessibility and the act of reading. Informed by extensive research, interviews with key individuals* from the photobook ecology and his experience with The Photobook Club project, Johnstonexamines current trends and practices, emphasising connections (made and missed) between makers and readers. Ultimately, this book proposes a critical framework for considering our uses and encounters with the photobook, calling for a recalibration of a maker-centric discourse to address the communicative potential of the medium: aligning making, with making public.
*Including: Alejandro Acin, Eman Ali, Mathieu Asselin, Sarah Bodman, Bruno Ceschel, Natasha Christia, Tiffany Jones, Michael Mack, Amak Mahmoodian, Lesley Martin, Tate Shaw, Doug Spowart, Anshika Varma and Amani Willett.
Photobooks & approaches the photobook from the perspective of those who wish to see them in dialog with greater critical and cultural currents than just authorship. Matt Johnston’s completely novel approach is truly reader-oriented, with all of the connective, accessibility, aesthetic, and interpretive satisfactions and challenges that implies. This work addresses the questions people who think deeply about photobooks are interested in discussing.
- Tate Shaw