Monday, October 8, 2012

Aperture First Book Award Nominees, Part III

The final installment in our three part look at the 20 books nominated for the Aperture / Paris Photo First Book Prize. Part II, and a link to Part I, are here.

15) Singular Beauty by Cara Phillips

Not yet released. Preorder here. (UPDATE: Now available for order here). For a closer sense of the book, see the video from her successful Kickstarter campaign.

16) Dive Dark, Dream Slow by Melissa Catanese

Just released at the beginning of October. The publisher describes the book as follows:
Photographer and bookseller Melissa Catanese has recently been editing the vernacular photography collection of Peter J. Cohen, helping to organize this massive curated archive (a trove of 20,000+ prints) into a series of single-theme catalogues. Along the way, 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 book, Dive Dark Dream Slow, is rooted in the mystery and delight of the 'found' image and the 'snapshot' aesthetic, but pushes beneath the nostalgic surface of these pictures, re-reading them as luminous transmissions of anticipation, fear, and desire. 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/ocean; violence/tenderness; innocence/experience; masks/nakedness—that sparkle with psychic longing and apocalyptic comedy.
A few of the images along with a 30 minute interview between Melissa Catanese and Ed Panar is here. More about Peter Cohen's collection of vernacular images.

17) A Natural Order by Lucas Foglia

Lucas Foglia's depiction of life off the grid in the southeastern US.

Lucas Foglia - A Natural Order from on Vimeo.

And a poetic interpretation of the images which make up the book.

A Natural Order from Forrest Gander on Vimeo.

18) Interrogations by Donald Weber

The Canadian entry (yeah!) on the list. Special collector's edition, with sliding price scale related to size of the original print that is included, available direct from Weber. Interestingly, the prints are images not in the book, but from earlier, related projects. A meditation on state power.

Interrogations from Donald Weber on Vimeo.

19) 7 Rooms by Rafal Milach has already been reviewed on this blog.

20) Ama by Nina Poppe

The book centres on a particular community of women abalone divers on the island of Ise-shima in Japan. Ama takes its title from the Japanese word given to these female divers.

"If I had to choose a single word to describe Nina Poppe’s book Ama it would be ‘modest.’ It is not a ‘clever’ book, nor a powerful one. It is quiet and does little to promote itself (the book’s open spine design which does not allow for text guarantees that it will be all but forgotten on a bookshelf). This modesty runs throughout every aspect of the book, from the subject matter to Poppe’s photographic approach to her subject, and even to the book’s size and design. In many ways it is a very ordinary photobook: a simple, straightforward documentation of the life of a small community. These unassuming, unfussy qualities could make it easy to overlook, and yet I think they are what make Ama one of the better recent photobooks of its kind."
Mrs. Deane provides a nice description of the book's production values. Photos of the book are here, the remainder of the EyeCurious review quoted above is here.

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