Even by conservative estimates, the situation in the Darfur region of the Sudan is grave. There are 3.5 million people who are hungry, 2.5 million who have been displaced by violence, and 400,000 individuals who have died since the crisis began in 2003. The international community has failed to take steps to protect civilians, or to influence the Sudanese government to intervene. The spread of violence, rape, and hate-fueled killings across the border into Chad is simply the latest atrocity. Call it war. Call it genocide. Call it famine. There is no single word to describe the plight of these people. They face all of these horrors at once.
Photographer and bookseller Melissa Catanese has been editing the vast photography collection of Peter J. Cohen, a celebrated trove of more than 20,000 vernacular and found anonymous photographs from the early to mid-twentieth century. Gathered from flea markets, dealers and Ebay, these prints have been acquired, exhibited and included in a range of major museum publications. In organizing the archive into a series of thematic catalogues, she has pursued an alternate reading of the collection, drifting away from simple typology into something more personal, intuitive and openly poetic. Her magical new artist's book, Dive Dark Dream Slow, is rooted in the mystery and delight of the "found" image and the "snapshot" aesthetic, but pushes beyond the nostalgic surface of these pictures and reimagines them as luminous transmissions of anxious sensuality. Through a series of abandoned visual clues, from the sepia-infused shadow of a little girl running along a beach to silhouettes of a group of distant figures pausing upon a steep and snowy hill, a dreamlike journey is evoked. Like an album of pop songs about a girl (or a civilization) hovering on the verge of transformation, the book cycles through overlapping themes and counter-themes--moon and ocean; violence and tenderness; innocence and experience; masks and nakedness--that sparkle with deep psychic longing and apocalyptic comedy.
From Darkroom to Daylight explores how the dramatic change from film to digital has affected photographers and their work. Harvey Wang interviewed and photographed more than 40 important photographers and prominent figures in the field, including Jerome Liebling, George Tice, Elliott Erwitt, David Goldblatt, Sally Mann, Gregory Crewdson, Susan Meiselas and Eugene Richards, as well as innovators Steven Sasson, who built the first digital camera while at Kodak, and Thomas Knoll, who, along with his brother, created Photoshop. This collection of personal narratives and portraits is both a document of this critical moment and a unique history of photography. Much of Wang's work has been about disappearance-of trades, neighborhoods, ways of life-and to live through this transition in his own craft has enabled him to illuminate the state of the art as both an insider and a documentary photographer.
The Dutch photobook is internationally celebrated for its particularly close collaboration between photographer, printer and designer. The current photobook publishing boom in the Netherlands stems from a tradition of excellence that precedes World War II, but the postwar years inaugurated a period of particularly close collaboration between photographers and designers, producing such unique photography books as Ed van der Elsken's Love on the Left Bank (1956) and Koen Wessing's Chili, September 1973 (1973). Innovations such as the photo novel and the company photobook blossomed in the 1950s and 60s; later, other genres emerged to characterize the publishing landscape in Holland, including conceptual and documentary photobooks, books on youth culture, urbanism photobooks and landscape photobooks and travelogues. Examining each of these genres across six themed chapters, The Dutch Photobook features selections from more than 100 historical, contemporary and self-published photobook projects. It includes landmark publications such as Hollandse taferelen by Hans Aarsman (1989), The Table of Power by Jacqueline Hassink (1996), Why Mister Why by Geert van Kesteren (2006) and Empty Bottles by Wassink Lundgren (2007). Dutch photo historians Frits Gierstberg and Rik Suermondt contribute several essays on the history of the genre, the collaborative efforts between photographers and designers and their inspiration and influences, complementing the high-quality reproductions of photobooks throughout. Award-winning designer Joost Grootens contributes unique charts and diagrams that consolidate all of these elements, in a visually unique map of the Dutch photobook.