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WORLD PHOTOBOOK DAY @ Brisbane’s Maud Creative

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World Photobook Day Exhibition and Forum ........Photo Robert Gray

World Photobook Day at Maud Creative Gallery Photo Robert Gray

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A survey project about those who read photobooks

My Favourite Photobook – Brisbane World Photobook Day

World Photobook Day (WPBD) in Brisbane Australia at Brisbane’s Maud Creative Gallery was celebrated with a survey project highlighting photographers and their photobooks curated by Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart.

The international WPBD team chose this day in recognition of the British Library’s the acquisition of Anna Atkins’ Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype impressions on October 14 in 1843. Atkins’ cyanotype book is arguably considered as the world’s first photobook as both image and text are printed simultaneously printed on the same page. It was some time before the photograph and text could be co-printed, so books that included photographic illustrations, were usually printed with text by letterpress processes and photographs ‘tipped-in’ as original prints. WPBD activities are supported through the PhotoBook Club, a worldwide network of groups interesting in photobooks.

The Cooper+Spowart survey asked photographers to submit a photograph of themselves reading their favourite photobook and comment on why they like their chosen book. Sixty-five photographers responded to the request. Working on tight timelines Cooper and Spowart printed the photographer’s submissions including: their self-portraits while reading, their chosen book and a comment about why they had chosen the book. This work was presented for viewing on the gallery wall.

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Brisbane World Photobook Day, Maud Gallery Photo Doug Spowart

Brisbane World Photobook Day, Maud Gallery Photo Doug Spowart

Looking at books - WPBD, Maud Gallery Photo Doug Spowart

Looking at books – WPBD, Maud Gallery Photo Doug Spowart

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The event was also attended by photographica collector and historian Sandy Barrie who presented a selection of photographically illustrated books from the 19th century. These books include the 1846 Art Union journal that contained an essay by Henry Fox Talbot and an original calotype print.

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Sandy Barrie and the Art Union journal Photo: Doug Spowart

Sandy Barrie and the Art Union journal Photo: Doug Spowart

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Early in the evening a ‘fly-through’ video was made of the installation with some guests present.

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In the evening around 35 photobook enthusiasts attended a forum with panellists including Dr Heather Faulkner documentary transmedia practitioner and lecturer at the Queensland College of Art (Gold Coast), Chris Bowes artist and bookmaker, Julie Ann Sutton documentary photographer and collector, Helen Cole Senior Librarian and Coordinator of the Australian Library of Art at the State Library of Queensland, and Henri van Noordenberg artist and bookmaker. The forum was convened by Doug Spowart who in a Q&A format led discussion and a range of photobook issues including:

  • Collecting books
  • Possession and ownership
  • Borrowing and loaning of books
  • Adding bookplates and marginalia to books
  • Letting children handle books
  • The future of photobooks

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WPBD Forum Photo Daniel Groneberg

WPBD Forum Photo Daniel Groneberg

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The last poignant comment came from Heather Faulkner when speaking of the future printed book. In her statement she referred to the recent changes to privacy laws giving government agencies access and scrutiny over all of our online metadata. Faulkner’s prediction is that the physical book, as it has been in the past, will be the place for personal and provocative commentary on contemporary life and politics.

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Cooper+Spowart wish to acknowledge the following supporters of this project:

  • The creative from Maud Gallery: Irena Prikryl, Teri Ducheck and Peter Pescell – videographer;
  • Matt Johnston – The Photobook Club;
  • Tony Holden and Ilford for the inkjet printing paper;
  • Sandy Barrie;
  • The forum panelists – Heather, Chris, Julie Ann, Helen and Henri;
  • The installation team Maureen Trainor, Rene Thalmann, Mel Brackstone and Daniel Groneberg;
  • And, of course, all the participants.

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To celebrate the Brisbane WPBD event BLURB Australia has offered a discount voucher for participants in the Brisbane event. The code and conditions are: WPBD2015, expires 30 November 2015. Must pay with Australian dollars. Maximum discount per book is AUD$150. Each customer can use the code 1 time.

 

SEE a few of the photographers and their favourite books in this download:

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WPBD-Book Cover

DOWNLOAD A PDF SELECTION: WPBD-Selected_Submissions

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THE PROJECT WILL CONTINUE… Stay tuned.

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Previous WPBD events coordinated by Cooper+Spowart 2013 and 2014.

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The 67 participating photographers and their books were:

Peter Adams: Passage – Irving Penn
Melissa Anderson: Shooting Back – Jim Hubbard
Ying Ang: Sabine – Jacob Aue Sobol
Sandy Barrie: Art Union Journal, 1 June 1846 – Henry Fox Talbot essay
Chris Bowes: Tokyo Compression – Michael Wolf
Isaac Brown: Ray’s a Laugh – Richard Billingham
Harvey Benge: Blumen – Collier Schorr’s book
Camilla Birkeland: Mike and Doug Starn – Andy Grundberg
Daniel Boetker-Smith: In Flagrante – Chris Killip
Mel Brackstone: Melbourne and Me (a work in progress) – Adrian Donoghue
Helen Cole: Booked – Peter Lyssiotis
Victoria Cooper: Domesday Book – Peter Kennard
Michael Coyne: Workers -Sebastião Salgado
Judith Crispin: da Sud a Nord (from South to North) – Sabine Korth
Sean Davey: William Eggleston Paris
Jacqui Dean: Peter Adams – A Few of the Legends
John Elliott: Richard Avedon Portraits
Dawne Fahey: Julia Margaret Cameron – Marta Weiss
Heather Faulkner: The Notion of Family – La Toya Ruby Frazier
Liss Fenwick: Outland – Roger Ballen
Juno Gemes: Nothing Personal – Richard Avedon and text by James Baldwin
Kate Golding: Fig. – Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin
Philip Gostelow: Thank You – Robert Frank
Robert Gray: Max Yavno
Daniel Groneberg: Los Alamos – William Eggleston
Sam Harris: Café Lehmitz – Anders Petersen
Tony Hewitt: 50 Landscapes – Charlie Waite
Douglas Holleley: Man and His Symbols – Carl Jung
Kelly Hussey-Smith: On the Sixth Day – Alessandra Sanguinette
Libby Jeffery: Inferno – James Nachtwey
Matt Johnston: Touch – Peter Dekens
Larissa Leclair: Moisés – Mariela Sancari
Louis Lim: Blind – Sophie Calle
James McArdle: Love on the left bank – Ed van der Elsken
Paul McNamara: The Terrible Boredom of Paradise – Derek Henderson
Henri van Noordenberg: Cinci Lei – Joost Vandebrug
Gael Newton: By the sea – CR White
Glen O’Malley: A Modern Photography Annual 1974
Thomas Oliver: Common Sense – Martin Parr
Maurice Ortega: The Apollo Prophecies – Kahn and Selesnick
Adele Outteridge: Pompeii – Amedeo Maiuri
Polixeni Papapetrou: Diane Arbus
Martin Parr: Bye, Bye Photography – Daido Moriyama
Gael Phillips: Arcadia Britannica, A Modern British Folklore Portrait – Henry Bourne
Louis Porter: Looking Forward to Being Attacked – Lieutenant Jim Bullard
Imogen Prus: The Whale’s Eyelash, A Play in Five Parts – Timothy Prus
Jack Picone: Exiles – Josef Koudelka
Ian Poole: White Play – Takuya Tsukahara
Irena Prikryl: Cyclops – Albert Watson
Susan Purdy: nagi no hira, fragments of calm – Suda Issei
Jan Ramsay: AraName – Bir Ara Güler Kitabi
Jacob Raupach: The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater – Ralph Eugene Meatyard
Felicity Rea: Pandanus – Victoria Cooper
Mark Shoeman: Me We, Love Humanity and Us
Roger Skinner: Third Continent – Self-published
Doug Spowart: The Research Library, National Gallery of Australia
Tim Steele: The Earth From The Air – Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Alison Stieven Taylor: Strange Friends – Bojan Brecelj
Julie Ann Sutton: Katherine Avenue – Larry Sultan
Maureen Trainor: Sequences – Duane Michals
Garry Trinh: Period of Juvenile Prosperity – Mike Brodie
Ann Vardanega: Loretta Lux
George Voulgaropoulos: A shimmer of possibility – Paul Graham
Marshall Weber: Street Our Street – Dana Smith & Marshall Weber
David A Williams: Avedon Fashion
Konrad Winkler: Emmet Gowin the new Aperture book
Simon Woolf: F Lennard Casbolt Retrospective Exhibition Catalogue

 

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All photographs and texts remain the copyright of the submitting photographers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEING [photo]BOOKED @ QLD COLLEGE OF ART

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Heather introduces Doug's lecture...

Heather introduces Doug’s lecture…

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Last week we were guest presenters at the Queensland College of Art on the Gold Coast. We worked with photo media and digital media students and their lecturer Heather Faulkner discussing the topic of the contemporary photobook.

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Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart talking about photobooks....PHOTO: Heather Faulkner

Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart talking about photobooks….PHOTO: Heather Faulkner

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Doug presented a lecture on the history of the photobook and brought students up to date with the contemporary photobook including Ying Ang’s latest book ‘Gold Coast’. Students then were given an opportunity to hold, handle and view a range of contemporary photobooks from Australia and overseas including books by, Alec Soth and Brad Zellar, Martin Parr, Garry Trinh, Daniel Milnor, George Voulgaropoulos, Jacob Raupach, Lloyd Stubber, Emma Phillips, Kelvin Skewes, Joachim Schmid, James Mollison, Paul Graham, Gracia and Louise as well as a selection of zines from the Sticky Institute. We also presented a selection of our own photobooks and artists’ books. Of particular interest to the students was the structure, construction, printing and binding of photobooks.

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Students working on a sequencing task with Heather Faulkner

Students working on a sequencing task with Heather Faulkner

 

An important part of an accompanying tutorial covered ideas around the sequencing of images in photobooks and the ways in which narrative could be expressed. Students were then tasked to work with a series of images using unusual sequencing strategies that we suggested.

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We enjoyed the opportunity to engage with these students and discuss one of our favourite topics and share amazing books from our photobook library. Thank you Heather Faulkner for arranging this event…

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HEATHER FAULKNER’s ‘A Matter of Time’ Exhibition

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Heather Faulkner's exhibtion 'A Matter of Time'

In Heather Faulkner’s exhibition A Matter of Time

A Matter of Time – Heather Faulkner, Brisbane Powerhouse 26 March–28 April 2013.

Today everyone possesses a camera so by association everyone is a photographer and everyone takes photographs. Evidence of this activity is in all kinds of spaces we inhabit, but of course it is most prevalent in the pervasive and immediate space of online social media. Andy Warhol once exhorted that: ‘In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes’, and perhaps the proliferation of photography in Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram has indeed made everyone famous, as some purport, ‘for 15 people’1. The extension of this euphemism could be that ‘everyone may be famous for 15 online photographs.’

But what has all this to do with an exhibition of documentary photographs in suburban Brisbane? Well … for me ‘photography’ in the hands of casual shooters, responding spontaneously to their lives, represents only a segment of the world’s daily dose of photography. Documentary photographers for example, use photography as visual research to inform and create understanding for others. These photographers are usually directed by passion for a particular issue, and driven by the need to tell stories of others and maybe even–of themselves. In this context the act and product of photography transcends the milieu of images and provides us with a deeper connection through the communication of the narrative. This exhibition is from one such photographer.

Heather Faulkner’s exhibition A Matter of Time, at the Brisbane Powerhouse, is a charged and evocative statement about the circumstances, situations and legacies of lesbian women living in the state of Queensland. Faulkner documented the lives of eight women and their significant lived experience of the political and social regimes that existed and, as claimed in the exhibition statements, still exists today.

Faulkner’s images take on two separate forms: large format black and white full frame portraits, and colour images of a more documentary nature. In the large portraits the subject’s stare is direct to camera capturing the viewer’s attention in what Faulkner describes as the ‘oppositional gaze’2. They are assertive and declare ‘this is me’. Placed alongside these portraits is the biography and backstory of each woman. For the viewer/reader in this juxtaposition the text and the image creates a silent dialogue. As in the examples of Faulkner’s presentation of Carol Lloyd’s story shown here.

Carol Lloyd - Heather Faulkner's exhibtion 'A Matter of Time'

Carol Lloyd – the large portrait. Heather Faulkner’s exhibition A Matter of Time

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The colour images are extremely intimate and distinctly banal, perhaps exhibiting the photographer’s light touch to aesthetically intervene in the narrative. The subject is imaged engaging in life’s everyday activities: cuddling a family pet, on the couch watching TV, talking with others, arranging things on a bed. The photographic treatment of these photographs is not the sensationalised grainy monochrome, extreme perspective depth and overtly dramatic composition that so often pervades the modern photojournalistic genre. There is a sense of the view being derived from ‘hanging out with friends’, and of the camera as an invisible witness. For me this approach results in authentic and genuine documents.

Carol Lloyd - Heather Faulkner's exhibtion 'A Matter of Time'

Carol Lloyd in a reflective moment – Heather Faulkner’s exhibition A Matter of Time

Carol Lloyd - Heather Faulkner's exhibtion 'A Matter of Time'

Carol Lloyd as performer – Heather Faulkner’s exhibition A Matter of Time

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The exhibition also includes historical family snapshots that are presented alongside the recent images. A young child smiles back at the viewer, faded and colour-casted prints and wedding group photographs all add to the story of each subject. To protect the anonymity of people in these images black bands have been placed across faces to prevent recognition. The integration of these photographs extends the exhibition beyond just being about photographs and into the realm of a more complete and provocative social documentary statement.

Carol Lloyd - Heather Faulkner's exhibtion 'A Matter of Time'

Carol Lloyd’s personal image history in Heather Faulkner’s exhibition A Matter of Time

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Ultimately everyone will draw their own conclusions about the women portrayed and the lives that they have lived, or should I say, endured. Faulkner states in exhibition materials that a research report suggests that: ‘Queensland is the most homophobic state in Australia’3. Facilitated through Faulkner’s photographs, exhibition strategies and other products resulting from this work, the stories told here engage with the human face of the weary struggle, of these women’s resilience, and the strength gained by the rewards of living an authentic life.

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Dr Doug Spowart with a contribution from Victoria Cooper

More on Heather Faulkner: http://heatherfaulkner.com.au/

1 Bell Hooks (1992) The Oppositional Gaze in Black Looks: Race and Representation, Boston: South End Press.

2 http://web.archive.org/web/20061214124420/http://www.hyperorg.com/blogger/mtarchive/004264.html

3 Faulkner’s Artist’s Statement cites Roy Morgan Research (2008-2010)

Heather Faulkner

Heather Faulkner @ the opening

Heather Faulkner's exhibtion 'A Matter of Time'

Heather Faulkner’s exhibition A Matter of Time

All exhibition photographs © Heather Faulkner 2013.

Images of the exhibition installation and text by Doug Spowart .

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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