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
My intention in putting the stories together in an unplanned way was to suggest that all things – stories, incidental sounds from the environment, and by extension, beings – are related, and that this complexity is more evident when it is not oversimplified by an idea of relationship in one person’s mind.” – John Cage
Like a mushroom hunting trip full of unexpected pleasures, Iris Garden combines 22 of John Cage’s stories with 44 of William Gedney’s photographs (including several of the composer himself) with an ingenious design mirroring Cage’s concept of chance.
Publisher: Little Brown Mushroom
Size: 6.75 x 9.5″
63 pages plus insert
Limited Edition: 1000 copies
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
In House of Coates, writer Brad Zellar pieces together the story of legendary recluse Lester B. Morrison. Working from a handful of encounters and contradictory conversations, a sketchy paper trail and often confounding interviews with individuals who may or may not have been “associates” of Morrison (including Morrison’s former collaborator Alec Soth), Zellar attempts to reconstruct one episode from Morrison’s decidedly episodic life. In the winter of 2011, Zellar finally crossed paths with his evasive subject, and was –with Morrison’s permission– granted access to the results of an MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) test that Morrison submitted to in August of 2009, along with the administrating psychiatrist’s copious notes. Finally, in late December of last year, Zellar received in the mail a duct-taped shoebox –marked “PERISHABLE”– containing almost two hundred photographs that Morrison termed “disposable documents of the approximate period in question.”
From these raw materials designer Hans Seeger has assembled a book that Morrison himself has pronounced, “Probably close enough to what might or might not have happened, and that’s as much as I’ve learned to expect from the so-called ‘real world.’”
Publisher: Little Brown Mushroom Books
Size: 6 3/4 x 8 3/4”
118 pages, 68 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
Anyone keeping up with the contemporary Scottish novel will know what a great writer James Robertson is. In his latest novel And the Land Lay Still, two of the leading characters are photographers. Michael Pendreich is curating an exhibition of photographs by his late, celebrated father Angus for the National Gallery of Photography in Edinburgh. The show will cover fifty years of Scottish life but, as he arranges the images and writes his catalogue essay, what story is Michael really trying to tell: his father's, his own or that of Scotland itself? The novel was very favourably reviewed by Irvine Welsh: “he maintains the pace and luminous prose that make his books such a joy to read. And the Land Lay Still is a wonderful novel, brilliant in a very different way from its acclaimed predecessor, The Testament of Gideon Mack. The book represents nothing less than a landmark for the novel in Scotland.”
Publisher: Penguin paperback
Size: 153 x 234 mm