Inspired by the short documentary Haru, yksinäisten saari (Haru, the Island of the Solitary) from 1998, Takashi Homma (b. 1962, Japanese) traveled from his hometown of Tokyo, the most populous metropolitan area in the world, to the remote island of Klovharun, located in the Pellinki archipelago, Finland. There he documented the primitive island and its single cabin where Swedish-speaking Finnish novelist Tove Jansson (author of the Moomin book series for children) and her life companion, Finnish illustrator Tuulikki Pietilä, spent nearly a quarter century of summers together. This publication - a board book with rounded edges - pays homage to the late author. All texts are written by Tove Jansson, taken from The Summer Book, first published in 1972.
Size: 190 × 270 mm
This is an Artist’s Book, in a numbered limited edition of 300. 80 pages, 54 duotone illustrations.
The French philosopher and writer Roland Barthes (1915 – 1980) published his ‘A Lover’s Discourse’ in 1977. It consists of 80 ‘Fragments’, or short chapters, as a personal and philosophical exploration of the anatomy of desire and love.
Henry Gough-Cooper has taken these ‘Fragments’ and distilled each of them into haiku.
As a response to these, Robin Gillanders has made a series of still life photographs (which themselves may be termed ‘visual haiku’) as a further representation of Barthes’ text via Gough-Cooper’s verse.
Barthes is of particular importance to photographic artists since he has written at length about the medium and the relationship between the ‘actual’, ‘symbolic meaning’ and ‘subjective interpretation’. In other words, how the photograph transparently records what’s there, while symbolising something intangible and unphotographable, and which in turn requires personal interpretation.
“Photography is a kind of primitive theatre, a kind of Tableau Vivant…”, Roland Barthes
Robin Gillanders is a photographic artist living in Edinburgh. He is former Reader in Photography at Edinburgh Napier University.
Henry Gough-Cooper is a writer and musician who lives and works in South-West Scotland.
Publisher: Dingle Press
80 pages, 54 duotone illustrations
Limited edition of 300
The next volume in the Four Corners Familiars series - where artists create a new edition of a classic novel - is Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness. The book is a new work by Fiona Banner, with photographs by Paolo Pellegrin:
In 2012, Fiona Banner was invited to create an exhibition of works drawn from the Archive of Modern Conflict, a London-based collection of photographs and ephemera relating to war and conflict. After much time delving into the archive, Banner observed a lack of images relating to conflict in the here and now. In a reversal of roles, Banner commissioned Paolo Pellegrin, a Magnum conflict photographer who has worked extensively in the Congo, to observe the City of London – its streets and trading floors, its costume and surrounding strip-clubs – through Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The resulting photographs were first exhibited at Peer, London under the title Mistah Kurtz – He Not Dead.
A selection of these images now form part of the Archive, they can be found filed under ‘Heart of Darkness, 2014’. They also form the illustrations for this new publication of Conrad’s novella, which takes the form of a luxury magazine.
Heart of Darkness (first published in 1899) is a story of trade and corruption, and of our own conflicts and desires. From a boat moored on the banks of the Thames, Marlow narrates his story in which he travels to the heart of the Congo in search of renegade ivory trader Kurtz, who has mesmerised and enslaved his workers.
Like many artists of her generation Banner has lived just outside the boundaries of London’s financial district since the early 90s observed the area’s close proximity to the Square Mile and its apparent separation from it. This publication links with Banner’s first artist book The Nam (1997) that references Apocalypse Now, a film that uses Conrad’s text as its narrative template.
Publisher: Four Corners Books
James Ellroy, the undisputed master of crime writing, has teamed up with the Los Angeles Police Museum to present a stunning text on 1953 LA. While combing the museum’s photo archives, Ellroy discovered that the year featured a wide array of stark and unusual imagery—and he has written 25,000 words that illuminate the crimes and law enforcement of the era. Ellroy offers context and layers on wild and rich atmosphere—this is the cauldron that was police work in the city of the tarnished angels more than six decades ago.
More than 80 duotone photos are spread throughout the book in the manner of hard-edged police evidence.
‘It’s a perfect marriage of words and pictures, but above all it is a love letter to the city of his birth, LA, says Ellroy, ‘is the town that made me and that I must return to, again and again.’ As must we.' - Tatler, July 2015
Size: 216 x 165 mm
224 pages, 85 duotone photographs
Washed up in the shadow of a refinery, Lester B. Morrison, legendary recluse, documents his life in a series of photographs taken with a disposable camera. In a landscape of off ramps, warehouses, and SRO hotels occupied by terminally lonely men, love and faith break in, quietly offering human connection and the possibility of redemption.
“An exquisitely haunting, melancholic treasure of a book about people who drop out and populate tiny towns and rural communities, and the longing and loneliness of the human condition.”—Judy Natal, Photo-Eye
“One of the great American moves is vagrancy, the freedom to drift, the right to look at things from outside the mainstream. The prose in House of Coates hums with this irreducible freedom. The photographs are both perfectly artless and undeniably visionary. Any question of fiction, non-fiction, subterfuge, or narrative trickery is superfluous in a book like this one, so appealingly strange, so delicately balanced, and so incontestably bound to its time and place.”—Teju Cole, author of Open City
“As Brad Zellar so vividly illustrates in his new limited-edition collaboration with photographer Alec Soth, ‘House Of Coates,’ broken men have always been with us, haunting us, providing a mirror. Society may label them bums, homeless, or pariahs, but Zellar’s empathetic writing allows the reader to get inside one broken man, and therefore all.”—Jim Walsh, MinnPost
Publisher: Coffe House Press
Size: 6 3/4 x 8 3/4"
140 Pages, 68 Colour Photographs
In the late 50s after an unsuccessful stint in college, master photographer Larry Fink dropped out and began an odyssey of hitchhiking through America. Starting out in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and moving on to Chicago, Larry travelled eastward through Cincinnati and finally back to his native soil on Long Island where his family waited with dismayed but open arms.
Clearly Long Island was not an optimal place for young Fink to remain. Striking out on his own once again, but this time for nearby Beat mecca, New York City, Fink settled down on Minetta Lane with a chap who fancied himself a poet.
Larry was quick to hit MacDougal Street where he met Turk, Mary, Bobbie, Motha, Ambrose, Randy, and Mike Stanley, not to mention Hugh Romney (a.k.a Wavy Gravy), LeRoi Jones, and so many more. Photographing, singing, and smoking weed scored in small brown paper bags on the avenues of the Village, Fink was living with internal rage, infernal optimism, and oh so many new freedoms. Just a kid, Larry yearned to get out and fight the revolution and to photograph while doing so.
The crew lived all together in the sub-basement of the Sullivan Street Theatre. Being next to the Village Gate, a now legendary jazz club, they dug their way to the rear of the club brick by brick to listen to their princes of expressive freedom: John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, and Art Blakey.
Fink, a Marxist and red diaper baby, didn’t immediately fit in with Turk’s crew, but they needed a young, drug-fueled, jazz-loving (and playing) photographer to document their visionary plight. So, it was decided that Larry sign on—they soon left New York to cross America for Mexico—in search of the soul of the Aztecs, the freedoms of the road, the compulsion of speed, the needy thrust of exaggerated adolescence. They moved fast and hysterically forward…
“It was my fate to be aligned with the Beats because of my propensity for drugs, anger, and poetry. Since they were second generation, without the same sense of immortal obsession such as the like of Kerouac and Ginsberg, they had a distinct need to be documented. Perhaps that is why they tolerated me. We were not a happy marriage and got our divorce in Mexico City. The pictures, made in 1958 and 1959, come from MacDougal Street in New York City all the way down to Mexico, and on the road in America.” —Larry Fink
Size: 9.7 x 12.25"
Another Great Day at Sea chronicles Dyer’s experiences, with humour and everyday tender human stories, on the largest aircraft carrier in the world, the USS George H.W. Bush. Dyer navigates the carrier’s daily routines and protocols: from flight deck choreography through to kitchens serving meals for a crew of five thousand to the deafening complexity of catapult and arresting gear.
Another Great Day at Sea is a dazzling social experiment, complete with arresting, full-colour photography by award-winning Magnum photographer Chris Steele-Perkins, a definitive, boundary collapsing work written by an author whose books otherwise defy definition.
Publisher: Visual Editions
Overseas deliveries Please note that, as this is a heavy item, overseas postage will be charged at twice our standard rates.
Marking the centenary of William S. Burroughs’s birth, this exciting book reproduces the celebrated writer’s many rarely seen photographs.
Renowned and highly regarded for his experiments with literature, painting, film, and music, William S. Burroughs was also a prolific photographer. However, his photographic work, consisting of several thousand images, has so far received little critical attention or sustained public exposure. This book reproduces many previously unseen photographs and offers fascinating insights into his photographic practices. It also provides convincing evidence that his photos should be considered a significant aspect of his entire body of work. It includes portraits and self-portraits, location shots from his travels in Europe, the Americas, and North Africa, images of construction and demolition sites, and his individual and collaborative experiments with photomontage, assemblage, and collage. Essays by internationally acclaimed scholars of photography and of Burroughs’s work offer a variety of critical perspectives on his photographic oeuvre, examining its sources, methodologies, biographical contexts, influences, and purposes. Certain to appeal to his many devoted fans, this publication also coincides with a recent revival of critical and cultural interest in the 1960s art scene and the Beat Generation’s writers and artists.
Size: 240 x 280 mm
160 pages, 150 b/w illustrations
John Berger's essays on photography are some of the most stimulating and original of the twentieth century. Like Susan Sontag and Roland Barthes, Berger created a distinctive, highly personal way of thinking and writing about the medium – but he also went an important step further. With long-time collaborator Jean Mohr, photographer and writer combined images and text in a series of innovative and ground-breaking books.
Arranged chronologically, this selection contains essays from books by Berger and previously uncollected pieces written for exhibitions and catalogues. Displaying the fierce engagement that marks his writing on painting and the human sympathy of his fiction, Berger probes the work of photographers – including Henri Cartier-Bresson and W. Eugene Smith – and the lives of those photographed. Interrogating the visible, Berger proceeds with the intensity and tenderness urged by D. H. Lawrence: 'gazing on to the face of life, and reading what can be read.'
The selection is made and introduced by Geoff Dyer, author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning book on photography, The Ongoing Moment.
'One of the most influential intellectuals of our time' Observer
'Berger handles thoughts the way an artist handles paint' Jeanette Winterson
Out of South Florida’s lush and decaying suburban landscape blooms the delinquent magic and chaotic adolescence of And Every Day Was Overcast.
Paul Kwiatkowski’s arresting photographs amplify a novel of profound vision and vulnerability. Drugs, teenage cruelty, wonder, and the screen-flickering worlds of Predator and Married…With Children shape and warp the narrator’s developing sense of self as he navigates adventures and misadventures, from an ill-fated LSD trip on an island of castaway rabbits to the devastating specter of HIV and AIDS.
This alchemy of photography and fiction gracefully illuminates the travesties and triumphs of the narrator’s quest to forge emotional connections and fulfill his brutal longings for love.
Advance Praise for And Every Day Was Overcast:
“And Every Day Was Overcast [is] unlike any book I’ve ever read. [It’s] a mix of this clean, spare, unaffected prose about growing up near the swamps of South Florida—plus these incredible photos [Paul has] taken of the area.… A completely original and clearheaded voice.”—Ira Glass, host of This American Life
“I can count on my fingers the number of great books that seamlessly mix photographs and literary text in a compelling way. Paul Kwiatkowski’s And Every Day is Overcast not only achieves this rare feat, he does so with an artistry that makes the achievement nearly invisible. As compelling as the best movies or graphic novels, And Every Day is Overcast is a landmark in visual storytelling.”—Alec Soth
"Paul Kwiatkowski stitches together an ugly-beautiful fabric of volatile America, threaded with gators and bad acid trips, swampy living and early sexual encounters. There's hardly anything more American than this ode to coming of age in South Florida. A tour de force in the form of battered scrapbook memories."—Doug Rickard
For sample pages, see here.
Publisher: Black Balloon Publishing
Overseas deliveries Please note that, as this is a heavy item, overseas postage will be charged at twice our standard rates.
'Ever since the day I saw the blossoming treetops in the Yoshino’s mountains, my heart has left my body behind', wrote the Japanese poet Saigyõ in the twelfth century. And even in those days, the area planted with over 30,000 cherry trees flanking the Yoshino Mountains must have been an awe-inspiring sight and make it an eloquent witness today to man’s harmonious design for luxuriant nature, so characteristic for Japan. For over 1,400 years, the temple, the mountain slopes and the river in Nara prefecture are thus part of the Spring cherry blossom season in the Buddhist pilgrim calendar; in former times, it was the preserve of the aristocracy, today Yoshino is a popular tourist attraction.
With 19 major cross-format photographs, Cuny Janssen has gathered together not only captivating and sensitive nature shots from Yoshino in her unusual book of photographs, but has also included a small anthology of Japanese poetry compiled by Jos Vos, which the Dutch Japan specialist rounds up with a travel essay, »A fox in Yoshino«. In a way rivalled by almost no other contemporary photographer, Cuny Janssen knows how to structure her books to suit the given topic – in Yoshino for example she increases the calm and contemplative mood of her photographs with a selection brittle poetry that celebrates of this site of Japanese longing.
Japanese texts (in English) compiled by Jos Vos
Size: 340 x 455 mm
56 pages, 20 full page coloured illustrations and shortened text pages
Eikoh Hosoe’s platinum prints of strikingly rendered forms and sensuous embraces resonate with potent emotional power. This selection of classic images by Japan’s most revered photographer are united with the words of 19th century French poet Charles Baudelaire, a major influence on Hosoe. Baudelaire’s poems were said to have sent “a new shiver” through the art world, which is exactly what Eikoh Hosoe’s photographs did a century later. Presented in a hand crafted binding, Hosoe’s images and Baudelaire’s poems in a new translation by John Wood offer collectors an array of sensual and intellectual experiences.
Poems by Charles Baudelaire
Translated by John Wood
Afterword by Eikoh Hosoe
Publisher: 21st editions
Size: 18" x 15"
Edition of 65 numbered, 5 lettered, and 2 hors commerce copies
10 bound, plus 1 fully signed and free-standing, platinum prints
Handcrafted in the United States
Publisher's Price: $15000
This book represents a unique realization of a conception for an artist’s book by photographer and poet Brigitte Carnochan, who couples her sensual approach to the subject of the nude with her selection of work by Japanese women poets both ancient and contemporary, to present an essential portrait of femininity. While her delicately tinted images derive from a very personal vision, Carnochan renders the universal in these photographs.
As John Wood notes in his introduction, “Carnochan’s is a life-affirming imagery reminiscent of Baudelaire’s 19th-Century Parisian floating world…."
See Brigitte Carnochan's website for sample images.
Publisher: Hudson Hills
Size: 250 x 280 mm
144 pages, 44 colour plates
Now available in paperback, this intimate “family album” is a revealing photographic look at the Beat Generation as chronicled by the movement’s great poet, Allen Ginsberg.
Allen Ginsberg began photographing in 1953 when he purchased a small, secondhand Kodak camera. For the next 10 years he took photos of himself, friends, and lovers, including writers Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and Gregory Corso as well as Beat personality Neal Cassady. He abandoned photography in 1963 and took it up again in the 1980s, when he was encouraged by Berenice Abbott and Robert Frank to reprint his earlier work and make new portraits; these included more images of longtime friends as well as acquaintances such as Larry Rivers, Francesco Clemente, and Bob Dylan. Ginsberg's photos form a compelling portrait of the Beat and counterculture generation from the 1950s to the 1990s. His photographs and the extensive inscriptions he added to them years later preserve what he referred to as “the sacredness of the moment,” the often joyous communion of friends and the poignancy of looking back to intensely felt times. More than 70 prints are brilliantly reproduced in this book, accompanied by an essay exploring Ginsberg's photography in relation to his poetry and other photographers of the time, a chronology of his photographic activity, and selections from an interview with Ginsberg in 1991.
Size: 230 x 300 mm
Forrest Gander’s Core Samples from the World is a magnificent compendium of poetry, photography, and essay (a form of Japanese haibun). Collaborating with three acclaimed photographers, Gander explores tensions between the familiar and foreign. His eloquent new work voices an ethical concern for others, exploring empathic relations in which the world itself is fundamental. Taking us around the globe to China, Mexico, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Chile, Core Samples shows how Gander’s “sharp sense of place has made him the most earthly of our avant-garde, the best geographer of fleshly sites since Olson” (Donald Revell, The Colorado Review). 20 black-and-white photographs.
“The reader is constantly surprised by what comes next — such as a side trip to Utopia, VA — and begins to crave the interruptions, which add freshness and energy to the work.”
— Elizabeth Lund, The Washington Post
“He brings the world’s frightening and beautiful strangeness far beyond the edge of the page.”
— Critical Mass
“As a poet, reader, and translator, Gander dreams of the incipient vision opening to us from the other side of the consciousness, the muscular curtain drawn back from the beginning of dream.”
— Chicago Review
Publisher: New Directions Publishing
Size: 156 x 225 mm
95 pages, 20 photographs
These photographs by Rosemarie Zens, a crossover-artist who works in both photography and literature, are testimonies to the legendary Route 66 and our collective memories of the 1960s way of life commonly associated with it. Over 40 years ago, Zens followed the siren call of freedom »on the road.« She then retraced her journey in 2010, witnessing how the highway had in the meantime been transformed into a kind of museum. Out of a mixture of private memories and allusions to social ideologies and media myths, the photographer has developed a unique pictorial language with which to express this experience. What interests her most is how the myths of the road can be related to one another – from image to reflection to image – to create a slightly absurdist, surreal and yet contemplative perspective.
»From the very beginning this question: is it possible to subvert a myth without ironically breaking it, to modify it with one’s own insertions? This myth – long an element of our collective memory – holds in our subconscious the images from John Steinbeck’s socially-critical novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) woven together into the all-American going on the road – there’s always something to find that is better, there is something new down the road, around the bend.«
See the photographer's website for spreads from the book.
Publisher: Kehrer Verlag
Size: 300 x 230 mm
43 colour illustrations