Left to right: Sabiha Çimen: HAFIZ, Mohamed Bourouissa: Périphérique, and Devour the Land: War and American Landscape Photography since 1970
Paris Photo and Aperture are pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Paris Photo–Aperture PhotoBook Awards on the tenth anniversary of the awards. From the thirty-five shortlisted titles, a final jury in Paris selected this year’s winners in three major categories: First PhotoBook, PhotoBook of the Year, and Photography Catalogue of the Year. The jury included Sunil Gupta, photographer and author; Anne Lacoste, director of the Institut pour la Photographie, Lille, France; Alain Quemin, professor of sociology of art at Université Paris-8 / Institut d’Etudes Européennes; Holly Roussell, independent curator and art historian; and Pauline Vermare, independent curator, writer, and historian.
All shortlisted and winning titles will be profiled in a printed catalogue, to be released and distributed for free during Paris Photo, along with the Winter 2022 issue of Aperture magazine. As well, an exhibition of the thirty-five books shortlisted for the 2022 PhotoBook Awards is currently on view at Paris Photo and will travel to Printed Matter in New York City this January 2023.
Below, read about this year’s winning titles.
Photography Catalogue of the Year
Devour the Land: War and American Landscape Photography since 1970
Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts
The reconsideration of photographic landscape traditions has been a major area of scholarship in the last few years. In Devour the Land, Harvard Art Museums curator Makeda Best continues this vital effort by bringing together sixty contemporary artists who explore the intersection of environmental degradation, environmental activism, and the military-industrial complex as a cornerstone of their work. In-depth analyses by Best and a host of other essayists introduce each of the six thematic chapters, offering context for the following suites of work, each by a wide-ranging, intergenerational set of artists. The book also includes insightful interviews with key photographers that appear on short-trimmed and multicolor pages, further helping to guide the reader through each section. “Devour the Land is designed like a manual: a spiral-bound paperback that comes off initially as a somewhat provisional form,” observes juror Lesley Martin, “but that feeling is quickly allayed by the depth and criticality of the content—it’s a brilliant, loose form that gives the reader easy access to the complex and compelling layers of information within.”
Red Hook Editions, New York
Sabiha Çimen’s HAFIZ (named for a term of respect for a Muslim who knows the Koran by heart) offers a rare glimpse into the world of Turkish schools for girls that focus on the study of the Koran. This playfully inviting book is beautifully bound in a unique pastel-pink case inscribed with a decorative motif that features tiny, lyrical illustrations of young girls in hijabs. The design, which is meant to echo that of a Koran, is a nod to the content at hand. Thoughtful touches like the exposed-spine binding and marbleized endpapers made by Turkish artists lend this book an almost magical quality and complement the moving array of square-format photographs inside. The images are quiet yet graphically arresting, including keenly observed details of birthday parties, girls at play, and dreamy color-saturated portraits of the students. Miwa Susuda notes that the overall impact of the book, which includes the photographer’s personal narrative of her experiences of attending a Koran school, is to “make this rarely depicted community feel very contemporary.” As she observes, “Çimen documents this world with fresh eyes and challenges our expectations about this community.”
PhotoBook of the Year
Loose Joints, Marseille, France
Périphérique presents the entirety of Mohamed Bourouissa’s long-term series of the same name, in which he staged photographs set in the Parisian suburbs that have increasingly become home to large immigrant communities. The book uses multiple paper stocks to denote different aspects of Bourouissa’s creative process: numerous preparatory images at the beginning and end are printed on lighter stock, while heftier gatefolds cleverly expand the narrative of more complex images in the middle. These design choices expertly steer the reader to look more carefully at the intercepting gazes and carefully considered body language of his subjects. Juror Miwa Susuda notes the effective seriality that results from how the images have been arranged: “As a book, this work becomes one unified chapter—a coherent story from beginning to end. Bourouissa is a great storyteller, using staged photography to question the larger issues around the media representation of immigrants.” Périphérique leaves readers questioning the potential fallacies of a photograph and the complexity of how the image can shape and influence perceptions.
Jurors’ Special Mention
torch press, Tokyo
For many Western readers, this two-volume set will be an overdue introduction to this important Japanese artist’s work. The two books, bound together lightly by a Japanese-style bellyband, are simply but delicately designed, and beautifully reproduced in lush duotone. One of the volumes is encased in a powder-pink cloth and features Ushioda’s black-and-white photographs of her husband, the photographer Shinzo Shimao; their son; and the interior of their densely packed apartment. The second softcover book includes the same subjects, with occasional forays outside, and contains work made with a 35mm camera. The artist’s gaze is both tender and unsparing, coolly inventorying the domestic space. Towels hang over lamps to dry, and stacks of newspapers pile behind an open umbrella; tea kettles and tiny socks fill in as critical details that richly describe this shared space and the lives within. The work is introduced and contextualized by two thoroughly engaging essays, one by historian Yuri Mitsuda, and the other by author and artist Yurie Nagashima. “It’s such an enticing book,” notes Martin, “an invaluable and compelling contribution to a greater understanding of Ushioda’s work.”
An exhibition of the 2022 PhotoBook Awards Shortlist will be on view at Paris Photo through November 13, and then on view at Printed Matter, New York, in January 2023.