Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog

REVIEW PANELS at the Vienna Photo Book Festival

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Vienna Photo Book Festival logo



(From the website)


Publishers, gallery owners, curators, critics and collectors representing small, mid-sized, and major venues from all over Europe, will gather in Vienna to review unpublished photo books. 30 photographers will be selected to show their photobook dummies to15 national and international reviewers.

Our goal is to offer talented photographers from around the world a forum to discuss their books with a wide range of photography experts, thereby producing a lively dialogue between the aspiring artists and the experts from various prestigious institutions.

Photographers will have one-on-one meetings with the reviewers. Each review session will last 20 minutes and we will limit the number of participants to assure that everyone receives six reviews each. It is a great way to network. Numerous photographers have walked away with opportunities to publish, exhibit and sell their work after attending such reviews.


Vicky and I submitted our ‘You are here’ book to be considered for the Vienna Photo Book Festival Reviews. ‘You are here’, that considers our place on planet Earth within the solar system and has also been a finalist in a couple of artists book awards in Australia over the last 9 months. Additionally the State Libraries of Queensland and Victoria have collected this artists’ book.

You are here…


At the end of April we were advised that our submission for the review session had been successful. At this time we were asked to suggest six possible reviewers from their list to look at our book. We selected the following:


Regina Maria Anzenberger opens the Reviews


On Friday 9th we excitedly waited outside the Anzenberger Gallery with 30 other finalists who came from all over Europe. The reviewers were assembled and Regina Anzenberger opened the event and advised participants of the process – 20 minutes each, then a bell is rung, and the next review gets underway. Sufficient time is given for reviewers and photographers to take breaks and have lunch.

Isa Maria rings the bell

The bell rang and we sat down with photobook aficionado Gerry Badger. He asked to look at the book first, so we silently sat as he turned the pages of our concertina book as a codex. Badger said he loved it and couldn’t improve on it as an object and visual narrative. We then spoke about other things including his latest project documenting graffiti in Italy. He then pulled out his prints to share with us… an interesting project he has been working on over many years. The bell soon rang and we moved on to the next reviewer.



Over the next few hours we met with the other reviewers. The responses we received acknowledged the beauty of the object and the work’s ‘challenge’ to accepted photobook practice. Most of the attendees were looking for publishers for the ‘dummy’ book that they were presenting. As ours was a resolved work and more of an object/artwork rather than a publishable codex-based photo-project, there was not much room for suggestions. However many points emerged from the discussions that will inform future directions for new work from the project.


The review tables


It was a warm Vienna day and review participants gathered outside the gallery when their work was not being reviewed. We actively connected with these photobook makers – a fascinating experience as we were meeting members of with representatives of a united nations of photobooks – Russians, French, Austrians, Polish and Czech, German, Hungarian and Slovakian. Most spoke English and from these new ‘friends’ we had instant contacts to see their works for sale in the Book and Print Sale Festival event.

After the seeing the books, the reviewers discuss the projects/books and the winner of the Vienna Photo Book Award was determined. The 1st prize winner receives a book publishing contract from Anzenberger Edition which covers production costs of Euro 5,000.

On Saturday evening the winner of the 4th Vienna Photo Book Award was announced. The winners were Nadine Schlieper and Robert Pufleb with their photobook ‘Alternative Moons’.


The winner



Here are photos of some of our fellow review participants


Lore Horre


Thomaz Laczny

Paul Grandsard

Denis Esakov

Natalia Baluta













Written by Cooper+Spowart

June 18, 2017 at 6:03 pm

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