John Gossage —do-it-all photographer, book designer, production manager, and publisher—led a two-day workshop that delved deep into the photobook industry and its history. Gossage began the workshop by presenting an overview of the photobook-making process, and sharing insights from his personal projects.
Each participant presented his or her proposed book project while Gossage engaged the group in discussion and gave personalized advice. Gossage’s adept eye for sequencing, as well as his wealth of experience in all aspects of the publishing process, were valuable resources to students as they worked on developing a photographic project into book form. Participants learned how to navigate various decisions, ranging from creative and aesthetic choices to budgetary and production options.
Gossage was joined by Aperture’s senior editor, Denise Wolff, and Justin James Reed, cofounder of Horses Think Press, for a conversation about how publishers and editors develop projects into photobooks. Various special guests stopped by throughout the weekend: photographers Terri Weifenbach and Sara J. Winston, photographer-editor duo Mitch Epstein and Susan Bell, and independent photobook publishers Horses Think Press and TIS Books. Each special guest shared his or her unique insights on photobook-making, and fielded questions from the participants.
The participants all left the workshop closer to realizing their photobooks, with constructive guidance from experienced practitioners.
“It would be hard to imagine a better qualified instructor for the subject of the photobook. The workshop was enhanced greatly by Gossage’s guest colleagues (photographers, editors, and publishers.) It was truly a rich, informative, learning experience. ”
“John has been in the business of photobooks for a long time and is a wealth of knowledge.”
John Gossage (born in New York, 1946) is based in Washington, D.C. His photographs have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions over the past forty-five years. His many one-person exhibitions have included The Better Neighborhoods of Greater Washington, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1976; Gardens, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, 1978; Photographs of Berlin, Cleveland Museum of Art, 1989; LAMF, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany, 1990; One Work in 39 Parts, Saint Louis Art Museum, 1994; There and Gone, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, 1998; The Romance Industry, Comune di Venezia, Venice, 2003; Berlin in the Time of the Wall, Galerie Zulauf, Freinsheim, Germany, 2005; and The Pond, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., 2011. An exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago is currently in preparation.
Gossage is regarded as one of the finest American photobook-makers of the last forty years. In 2010, Aperture reissued his monograph The Pond (1985) in a twenty-fifth-anniversary edition. Gossage’s other notable works include Stadt Des Schwarz (1987); LAMF (1987); There and Gone (1997); The Things That Animals Care About (1998); Hey Fuckface (2000); Snake Eyes (2002); Berlin in the Time of the Wall (2004); Putting Back the Wall (2007); The Secrets of Real Estate (2008); The Thirty-Two Inch Ruler/Map of Babylon (2010); and pomodori a grappolo (2015).
In 2002, Gossage started his own publishing company, Loosestrife Editions. He is represented by the Stephen Daiter Gallery in Chicago, and his work is included in major public and private collections.