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BOX of BOOKS Event – Toowoomba!

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Looking at the books – Cobb+Co Museum, Toowoomba

Looking at the books – Cobb+Co Museum, Toowoomba

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Around 35 photobook enthusiasts gathered at the Cobb+Co Museum on January 27 to view the Photobook Club’s Box of Books and talk about photobooks. The event brought together local photo identities John Elliott, Graham Burstow, David Seeto and Victoria Cooper. Eric Victor, Ian Poole and Qld College of Art Masters student Maureen Trainor came from the Brisbane side of the Range. The meeting took place in the gallery space of the ICON on ICONS photographic exhibition that also concluded on that day.

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Convener of the event Doug Spowart opens the Box of Books

Convener of the event Doug Spowart opens the Box of Books

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The seven books were viewed and discussed at length. Comments about the books included the following:

“Each book is a very personal communiqué”

“The books demand viewing at many different levels – the narrative, the design, the production, the conceptual nature of the work…”

“This is a very Eurocentric view – I wonder what the American view would look like?”

“How do these books compare with the Australian photobook scene?”

A great deal of discussion took place over the comment – “Where are the captions … the works that help me to understand what the photographer is trying to say?” One respondent commented on Roland Barthes’ concept of ‘The death of the author and the birth of the reader’ – meaning that the reader needs to connect with the images and draw on their own life experiences.

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Donald Webber’s Interrogations drew quite a few comments – tension and the power of the portraits made in such a circumstance.

Linda Seeto, Victoria Cooper, Hardy and Alison Ahlhaus looking at Interrogations

Linda Seeto, Victoria Cooper, Hardy and Alison Ahlhaus looking at Webber’s Interrogations

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The crowd favourite was Anne Sophie Merryman’s Mrs. Merryman’s Collection … a superb design, delicate paper, the see-through of texts and the amazingly bizarre collection of post card photographs and comments.

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Merryman

Mrs. Merryman’s Collection

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Paul Graham’s The Present and its gate-fold format presented a viewing challenge as each image or group of images needed to be revealed by folding-out the page – an extended haptic experience, and considering the size of the book, it slowed down the read and brought the busy street scenes to a slowed motion.

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Tony Coonan, Linda and David Seeto look at Paul Graham's book

Tony Coonan, Linda and David Seeto look at Paul Graham’s book

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The Box of Books will be in Brisbane on Monday the 3rd of February and then be off to New Zealand for the next stage in its journey.

Thanks to the Cobb+Co Museum for providing the venue. The Photobook Club and the publishers who donated the books for the opportunity for us to see, touch, and read these books.

Until the next Photobook Club event in our area….

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This Photobook Club BOX OF BOOKS event was coordinated by Doug Spowart and Victoria Cooper of the Centre for Regional Arts Practice.

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Other images from the event…

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Looking at a book…

Ann Alcock and Bev Lacey

Ann Alcock and Bev Lacey

Toula, Ian Poole and Louise

Toula, Ian Poole and Louise

Tony Coonan, Victoria Cooper and Anne Howard

Tony Coonan, Victoria Cooper and Anne Howard

Judi Neuman and Phillipa Hodges

Judi Neuman and Phillipa Hodges

Graham Burstow and Maureen Trainor

Graham Burstow and Maureen Trainor

Looking at some of the ephemera from the Box of Books

Looking at some of the ephemera from the Box of Books

John Elliott and Eric Victor

John Elliott and Eric Victor

Helen Gibbs and Lucy Robertson-Cunninghame (on Right) with Webber's book

Helen Gibbs and Lucy Robertson-Cunninghame

Gerry Saide looking closely at a book

Gerry Saide looking closely at a book

Doug Spowart opens the box

Doug Spowart opens the box

Room view at the Cobb+Co Museum

Room view at the Cobb+Co Museum

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The Cobb+Co Museum panorama

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The Photobook Club's BOX of BOOKS arrives in Toowoomba

The Photobook Club’s BOX of BOOKS in Toowoomba

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THE PHOTOBOOK CLUB: Box of Books Event – Toowoomba!

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The Photobook Club's BOX of BOOKS arrives in Toowoomba

The Photobook Club’s BOX of BOOKS arrives in Toowoomba

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In 2013, and now in 2014, a box of photobooks will be traveling over 30,000 miles, stopping off at each of the Photobook Club branches around the world in order to promote discussion of the physical photobook.

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Now, The Box of Books is in Toowoomba —- Queensland, Australia.

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As part of the LAST DAY of the ICONS on ICONS show at the Cobb+Co Museum in Toowoomba featuring the work of John Elliott, Graham Burstow, David Seeto Victoria Cooper (photobooks) and Doug Spowart – a special viewing of the THE PHOTOBOOK CLUB’s BOX of BOOKS will be made available.  Come and sit with some of the world’s best photobooks and turn the pages – and release the narrative that each book contains.

THE DATE: Between 1 – 3pm, January 27 – The AUSTRALIA DAY Holiday

THE VENUE: The Cobb+Co Museum, 27 Lindsay Street, Toowoomba.

 

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A small charge of $5 is being made to cover postage to the Boxes’ next destination in Auckland New Zealand.

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The book viewing and discussions will take place between 1-3pm. The Museum’s coffee shop is open for lunch as well as drinks and snacks throughout the afternoon until 4pm.

Take a road trip into the country – Visitors to the Cobb+Co Museum from outside the Toowoomba Region will gain FREE admittance if they advise that they are attending this special event.

This Photobook Club BOX OF BOOKS event is coordinated by Doug Spowart and Victoria Cooper of the Centre for Regional Arts Practice.

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Cobb+Co Museum - Icons on Icons events

Cobb+Co Museum – Icons on Icons events

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What’s in the Box?

A big thanks to Mack Books (London), Schilt Publishing (Amsterdam) and also to Filipe Casaca who have all contributed books to this project. If you are a publisher or photographer who would like a book to be included in ‘Box of Books #2′ then please get in touch.  The following books were chosen for the discussions of content, narrative and physical properties that I hope they will encourage  – Matt from the Photobook Club

Another Language
Mårten Lange

(Mack, 2012)

The blurb: Combining images of flora, fauna and natural phenomena in an intimate and beautifully crafted book, Lange teases out a subtle narrative – a meteor crashes, a landmass is visible and a distant planet occupies the final page – but the book is more akin to the workings of a scientist collecting specimens. Together the photographs create a cryptic and heterogeneous index of nature, with recurring shapes, patterns and texture, where the clarity and simplicity of the individual photographs contrasts with the enigmatic whole.

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Blue Mud Swamp
Filipe Casaca
(Self published, 2012)

The blurb: (Filipe Casaca) Blue Mud Swamp. The shoreline, hot and humid, is a postcard that attracts and invites Men to settle where the land meets the Yellow Sea. However, the reality is dissonant. Although surrounded by natural beauty, beaches and entertainment facilities, the city and its urban spaces transmits, as a whole, a feeling of artificiality. In some cases the abundance created a certain degradation and abandonment. With a splendor that takes us back to a recent past, a certain melancholy is present, as happens with all that was new, colorful and perfect but perished with time.

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Interrogations
Donald Webber
(Schilt, 2012)

The blurb: Interrogations is the result of [Webber’s] personal quest to uncover the hidden meaning of the bloody 20th Century. In dialogue with writer Larry Frolick – whose own ancestors had been decimated in the final months of WW II – Weber insistently and provocatively addresses his questions both to the living survivors and to the ghosts of the State’s  innumerable victims, resurrecting their final hours by taking their point of view, and  performing a kind of incantatory meditation over their private encounters with Power.

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Lick Creek Line
Ron Jude
(Mack, 2012)

The blurb: Ron Jude’s new book, Lick Creek Line, extends and amplifies his ongoing fascination with the vagaries of photographic empiricism, and the gray area between documentation and fiction. In a sequential narrative punctuated by contrasting moments of violence and beauty, Jude follows the rambling journey of a fur trapper, methodically checking his trap line in a remote area of Idaho in the Western United States. Through converging pictures of landscapes, architecture, an encroaching resort community, and the solitary, secretive process of trapping pine marten for their pelts, Lick Creek Line underscores the murky and culturally arbitrary nature of moral critique.

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Liquid Land
Rena Effendi
(Schilt, 2012)

The blurb: (Rena Effendi) Next to my father’s dead but iridescent butterflies, my photographs show life in some of the world’s most polluted areas, near Baku, where I was born and grew up. In my mind, the contrasting images gravitate towards each other – as I have to my father. Since working on this book I have gotten to know him much better than when he was alive. Salty Waters is the translation from Persian of the ‘Ab-sheuran’ Peninsula; in and around Baku, its main city, the earth is breathing with petroleum fumes, as oil oozes to the surface, turning it liquid. The Caspian Sea hugs the eagle-beak shaped land, salting its gas-pocked soil.

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Mrs. Merryman’s Collection
Anne Sophie Merryman
(Mack, 2012)

The blurb: The book, Mrs. Merryman’s Collection, presents the postcards which together form the story of two intertwined lives – one life lived travelling the world through the postcard images, the other a child and then adult whose life and relationship to her own history and her future were influenced by the collection. While Anne-Marie and Anne Sophie never met, both their lives were inspired by the postcard collection – a relationship that was born, and continues to flourish, in the realms of the imagination.

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The Present
Paul Graham
(Mack, 2012)

The blurb: The Present is Paul Graham’s contribution to this legacy. The images in this book come unbidden from the streets of New York, but are not quite what we might expect, for each moment is brought to us with its double – two images taken from the same location, separated only by the briefest fraction of time. We find ourselves in sibling worlds, where a businessman with an eye patch becomes, an instant later, a man with an exaggerated wink; a woman eating a banana walks towards us, and a small focus shift reveals the blind man right behind her.

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Also in the box are other items that add to the idea and object of the photobook.

 

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A small charge of $5 is being made to cover postage to the Boxes’ next destination in Auckland New Zealand.

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