Editor’s Note

Editors’ Note Photobook Review Fall 2015
Arthur Herrman and Jeroen Kummer


One Plus One Is Three: A Conversation on Collaboration

Taco Hidde Bakker Many good photobooks result from sustained, long-term collaboration—the kind that goes much further than just calling in a designer to make the finishing touches. An initial concept can be carried beyond the horizon of what an artist or photographer might have fancied on their own, with surprising results that could transcend individual authorship. Editors, typographers, graphic designers, or other photographers may act as collaborators and valuable sparring partners, for everything from determining sequence to designing layouts—delivering valuable input during the process and, in a sense, becoming authors in their own right. However, there are compromises to be…


Rahaab Allana on Laura El-Tantawy In the Shadow of the Pyramids

A photobook is most immersive when it arouses an awakening in the reader—and In the Shadow of the Pyramids, Laura El-Tantawy’s instinctive, four-year journey through the crowd at Cairo’s Tahrir Square, is a riveting, intimate, and spatially engaging testimony. A compact yet densely designed book that alternates between full-bleed images and smaller photos centered on the page, it features family snapshots from El-Tantawy’s past alongside her own photographs—constantly suggesting departure, rupture, and the return to her hometown, Cairo. Skillfully unmasking the fragments of the city, the book’s Japanese-bound pages conceal the photos’ dates inside their folds; the images see El-Tantawy…


Arnold van Bruggen on Carlos Spottorno Wealth Management

“There is no truer mark of financial success than making money work for you, instead of having to work for money,” reads one of the smooth opening lines of Carlos Spottorno’s book Wealth Management. This introduction sets the tone for a series of sumptuous, monochrome images that depict a world of tailored shoes and solutions, mega yachts and corporate jungles, antique shops and fur coats. After his provocative, PhotoBook Award–shortlisted 2013 book The Pigs—a clever parody of the Economist magazine, illustrating the media stereotypes used to describe the economic woes of Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain—Spottorno now turns a mocking…


Editor’s Note

Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa My bookshelves are a repository that’s both retrospective and forward-looking. They represent numerous journeys I’ve already taken and hope to repeat, as well as others as yet unfamiliar, which I plan to make at some undetermined point in the future. My bookshelves are emblematic of my optimism about the future, in that they imagine one in which I might have more time on my hands. But they are also inherently social, in that the objects they collect are intended to be shared, pored over, passed around, debated, and discussed in the presence of countless others. Wright Morris wrote…


The PhotoBook Review is a publication dedicated to the consideration of the photobook—focusing on the best photography books being published, from the coffee-table book to the handmade artist’s edition, and on creating a better understanding of the ecosystem of the photobook as a whole.

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