Self Published Books

Review – On Landscape

On Landscape #1

Minna Kantonen, Dafna Talmor and Emma Wieslander, with Minna Pöllänen creating a site-specific piece, have come together to create an exhibition that will challenge the traditional representation of landscape, called On Landscape #1. The show was exhibited from 7th-30th March 2014 at Guest Projects, Andrews Road, London.

Landscape is not a genre but a medium…[it is] a natural scene mediated by culture. It is both a represented and presented space, both a signifier and a signified, both a frame and what a frame contains…” – J.W.T. Mitchell, Landscape and Power. The artists have chosen to open their fundraising website (Crowdfunder) with a quote about what a landscape is, to entice the reader.

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The exhibition was shown at Guest Projects, which was formulated by Shonibare Studio and gives artistic practitioners the chance to use the facility of a free project space for a month. The Arts Council funded this project and also received help from donators ‘pledging’ money.

The curators had the opportunity to do anything they wanted with this large empty white space. Tables and walls were built by themselves with help from local businesses and friends. They kept quite an industrial feel, which contrasted against the natural aura of the work.

An open call for self-published books (short run or hand-made), which related to the framework of the exhibition, formed a central aspect of the show. This provided “a platform for wider debates around landscape whilst presenting an opportunity for a range of practitioners to showcase their work.” Artlicks.com. Renowned names such as Miranda Gavin (editor of Hotshoe) and Bruno Cheschel were among several members of the selection panel.

Wish You Were Here by Emma Wieslander

Wish You Were Here by Emma Wieslander

Wish You Were Here by Emma Wieslander

Wish You Were Here by Emma Wieslander

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emma Wieslander’s “Wish You Were Here” presents images, which are so very deceiving at a first glance. Having been created upon the idea of illusion, they certainly live up to the concept. When looking in great deal, it becomes apparent that Wieslander has set up one light at different heights, and using just natural lighting has achieved the appearance of the glowing sun. These images are made enjoyable by the trickery within them; grabbing your attention and making you look in great detail.

Constructed Landscapes by Dafna Talmor

Constructed Landscapes by Dafna Talmor

Possibly the most creative section of the show is a range of old negatives, which have been sliced and diced, before being layered together to create a ‘Constructed Landscape’. This work is based around manipulation and photography’s relationship to reality. Although the images are all created from something real, they are imaginary because they have been created and do not actually exist. This work can be seen as a metaphor, representing how land and nature can be destructed.

In order to remove any evidence of location, elements, which are man-made, have been removed. The unwanted parts of the negative are removed using a scalpel; this created something, which was irreversible, compared to using digital manipulation where you could undo the action to get back to the original.

“It is this irreversibility and the slight idiosyncrasies caused whereby the two negatives meet and overlap that I am interested in; how the areas around the incisions flare up, leaking light and creating certain stains around the edges going beyond the frame.” says Dafna Talmor, who created this piece.

Urban Vistas by Minna Kantonen

Urban Vistas by Minna Kantonen

Minna Kantonen explores the connection between urban cities and how we design and bring nature to them; how do we compensate the balance of a city and landscape? She describes the trees which are often planted in these kinds of places as “lollipop” trees, because they are often just a stick trunk with a blob of leaves on top, which makes them look like a lollipop. Kantonen believes that cities are all beginning to look the same. Having shot in cities such as Paris, Berlin, Helsinki and London, she says that it is hard to distinguish which city you are in, as they look so similar. She has presented in an even grid form to represent how uniform this is becoming; trees being planted in the same way around these buildings.

Observatory in New York - Minna Pollanen

Observatory in New York – Minna Pollanen

Pöllänen is well known for creating site-specific pieces, particularly her observatories, in cities such as New York, Montreal and Helsinki. She is often asked to create them in collaboration with other artists and companies.

As well as creating the site-specific piece, Minna Pöllänen also included images from her series “Nature Trail”.

As well as to provide a platform for wider debates around landscape, the show also aims to present a space where thought-provoking discussions can happen. With so many open events for the public to attend, this idea works effectively as when looking at the exhibition and discussing, ideas will bounce from one person to another creating a discussion. The website also plays a key role in the exhibition, as it extends the audience beyond just the physical space of the show. This project has been called #1 as it was a ‘pilot’ for future projects.

With so many sections to one show and so many artists coming together to collaborate, it is hard to feel that each section works perfectly with another. They each have completely focused on different elements within the framework of Landscape, using unique methods to produce their work. By bringing in components such as a site-specific piece, the scope of the exhibition was widened beyond just photography. All being female could be a reason for them choosing to look at landscape and nature.

This is a very thought provoking exhibition and completes the aim which the artists were looking to fulfil.

 

Bibliography

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Self Publishing a Photobook

Anyone can create their own photobook, whether they use a company to create it for them or make it from scratch. This variety of websites are either selling already made photobooks, or are helping you to create your own. A photobook can be in many forms rather than a book such as cards and newspaper.

Nobody’s Bookshop sells Stephen Gill’s limited edition photobooks. Nobody’s Bookshop can be accessed through a link on the Stephen Gill website. It is very plain and simple with the only burst of colour coming from the images of the photobooks, some of which are also very plain. The important details of the photobooks are displayed next to the image of it.

Nobody’s Bookshop Homepage

Mishka Henner’s website sells his own photobooks. Along with the picture and title of the book is the price, which could be an advertising point. After clicking on the image you are able to view the details of the book and its publishing. Aswell as viewing his books, you are also able to look at works, editions, press, selected editions, biography and subscribe.

Mischka Henner Homepage

The Newspaper Club website enables you to create your own newspaper, from minis to broadsheets. The website is bright and colourful drawing your attention in. When showing prices it says “from”. This is an advertising point many compaines use to make you think it will cost less to produce than it actually will. They also show a countdown to when they are next printing to give you an idea of how long your newspaper will take to be printed. The Newspaper Club is represented as a professional and reputable company by having a section which shows magazines that they have recently printed and listing medias which they have been mentioned in.

The Newspaper Club homepage

Other selfpublishing photobook websites:

Other print on demand photobook websites:

Week 1 – Source Review

This week we were asked to review an article from the journal ‘Source’, issue 75, Summer 2013. I was asked to look at pages 79-82, Self Published Books – Multiple Book Reviews.

The review was created to tell the reader what the books are about, how they were presented and the reviewer’s opinion on the book. It gave me a very good understanding and thorough outline of the books discussed. I found that it made me want to look at these books to see if I agree with their opinions and descriptions or not. The type is social documentary and landscape and they recall on memories, experiences and stories. The two articles are a mix of the reviewers own opinion and describing the books. I think that it is an almost equal balance between the two, however slightly more swayed towards the detail about the book. The reviewer had themselves looked at the book in great detail, studying detail from the type of paper the images were printed on to the specifics of the stories/ideas behind the book.

Each book was influenced by different things whether it was a life experience, poem/book/author or something else. They all had a different purpose for being created, all completely different. I thought that this made each one seem individual and special, especially to the author. I think that this was quite a straightforward and to the point review, discussing what the main points in enough detail to intrigue you and make you want to look at the book yourself, but not so much that the images seem spoiled.

 

Resources:
  • SOURCE, 2013. Issue 75, Summer