Archive for the 'books' Category

03
Jul
12

Takuma Nakahira : “For a Language to Come” (Photography 2)

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‘For a Language to Come’
Takuma Nakahira
Photograph
1970
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‘For a Language to Come’
Takuma Nakahira
Photograph
1970
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‘For a Language to Come’
Takuma Nakahira
Photograph
1970
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‘For a Language to Come’
Takuma Nakahira
Photograph
1970
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‘For a Language to Come’
Takuma Nakahira
Photograph
1970
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‘For a Language to Come’
Takuma Nakahira
Photograph
1970
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‘For a Language to Come’
Takuma Nakahira
Photograph
1970
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Published in 1970, “For a Language to Come” is recorded in the history of photography as the first photobook by Takuma Nakahira, the photographer who brought about a turning point in contemporary Japanese photography from the late 1960s to the early 1970s by radically breaking away from the existing image aesthetics at that time. This book consists of one hundred black and white photographs including his work from the legendary photography magazine “Provoke.” However, forty years after the publication of the original book, we have not as yet had the opportunity to examine (and enjoy) his works enough with the exception of a few photographs that has been repeatedly introduced on various occasions (this is particularly true in Europe and the U.S. where the history of contemporary Japanese photography remains less appreciated). Through radical self-critique, Nakahira would repudiate much of this early body of work in his 1973 essay, “Why an Illustrated Botanical Dictionary?” and considered it as something that must be overcome. Yet, for us to reconsider the meaning of the author’s rejection of his inaugural work, it is extremely valuable to know what the works themselves show. Has our history of photography finally caught up with Nakahira? The 2010 republication of “For a Language to Come,” is an attempt to engage Nakahira’s photographic point of departure again in the present, to discover this work as one that is more vibrantly resonant today. [Extract : Osiris Publishing]

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Takuma Nakahira : Shugo Arts

Takuma Nakahira : American Suburb X

Takuma Nakahira : “For a Language to Come” part 1

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02
Jul
12

Takuma Nakahira : ‘For a Language to Come’ (Photography)

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‘For a Language to Come’
Takuma Nakahira
Photographs
1970
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‘For a Language to Come’
Takuma Nakahira
Photographs
1970
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‘For a Language to Come’
Takuma Nakahira
Photographs
1970
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‘For a Language to Come’
Takuma Nakahira
Photographs
1970
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‘For a Language to Come’
Takuma Nakahira
Photographs
1970
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‘For a Language to Come’
Takuma Nakahira
Photographs
1970
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‘For a Language to Come’
Takuma Nakahira
Photographs
1970
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Blurred, grainy and out-of-focus was the modus operandi of the Japanese Provoke photographers of the early 1970s, and Takuma Nakahira was the intellectual granddaddy of them all. This reprint of his classic ‘For a Language to Come’ is shot with harsh black and white images printed full bleed across every page and is essential viewing for anybody with an interest in the history of photography. It’s a book of landscapes, urban landscapes where life clings to the shadows and corners of the pictures, where light burns like fire and the only solace is to be found in the underpasses and tunnels of the city that Nakahira portrays. And what a city! It’s an unwelcoming place, a Tokyo where post-war modernisation and political protest have combined to create a world lacking in any warmth or humanity.

Nakahira’s Tokyo is a pre-apocalyptic dead zone. Or perhaps it’s a post-apocalyptic deadzone. It doesn’t really matter because the effect is the same; a place where people lie injured in waiting rooms, where phone lines and power cables suggest an entity that has taken on its own hostile life, where the only means of escape are suggested by the trackways in the road and in the repeated pictures of a cold and turbulent ocean. And that’s the fun part. For a Language to Come also serves as a thesis for Nakahira’s complex forays in the semiotics of visual language and his existentialist idea that photography “consists only in clarifying the fact that material things are things.” A few years after For a Language to Come was published, Takahira wrote that “Extremely grainy images and intentionally unfocussed photographs in particular, have already become mere decoration.” I can think of many examples where that might be true, but Nakahira’s case, it most definitely is not. — Text : Colin Pantall

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Takuma Nakahira : Shugo Arts

Takuma Nakahira : American Suburb X

‘For a Language to Come’ – View Book : Vimeo

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14
May
12

Alvin Lustig : Illustrations (The Ghost in the Underblows)

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“Ghost in the Underblows” (1940) for Ward Ritchie Press, echoed Constructivist typecase
experiments from the early twenties yet revealed a distinctly native American aesthetic.

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‘The Ghost in the Underblows’
Typographical illustrations
Alvin Lustig
1940
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‘The Ghost in the Underblows’
Typographical illustrations
Alvin Lustig
1940
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‘The Ghost in the Underblows’
Typographical illustrations
Alvin Lustig
1940
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‘The Ghost in the Underblows’
Typographical illustrations
Alvin Lustig
1940
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‘The Ghost in the Underblows’
Typographical illustrations
Alvin Lustig
1940
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Alvin Lustig introduced principles of modern art to graphic design that have had a long-term influence on contemporary practice. He was in the vanguard of a relatively small group who fervently, indeed religiously, believed in the curative power of good design when applied to all aspects of American life. He was a generalist, and yet in the specific media in which he excelled he established standards that are viable today. If one were to reconstruct, based on photographs, Lustig’s 1949 exhibition at The Composing Room Gallery, in New York, the exhibits on view and the installation would be remarkably fresh, particularly in terms of the current trends in art-based imagery. Lustig created monuments of ingenuity and objects of aesthetic pleasure. Whereas graphic design history is replete with artifacts that define certain disciplines and are also works of art, for a design to be so considered it must overcome the vicissitudes of fashion and be accepted as an integral part of the visual language. Though Lustig would consider it a small part of his overall output, no single project is more significant in this sense than his 1949 paperback cover for Lorca: 3 Tragedies. It is a masterpiece of symbolic acuity, compositional strength and typographic craft that appears to be, consciously or not, the basis for a great many contemporary book jackets and paperback covers. [Extract : Born Modern by Steven Heller]

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Alvin Lustig : Website

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23
Apr
12

Azurebumble : ‘AI : Series’ (Photography Book)

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Recently, I’ve curated a number of image series by photographers from ‘Flickr’ on my blog ‘Aesthetic Investigations’. Subsequently, I thought it would be interesting to document these works in a book. Therefore, i’ve arranged a collection of ’39’ abstract and minimal photographic series by these ’32’ artists. A selection of pages from the book can be viewed below, a full book preview can be seen: HERE

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Thank you to everyone who contributed their images to this project.

All graphic content and curations by : Alan Wilson ( azurebumble )

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Book Cover
Front & Back Pages
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Introductory Pages
Copyright & Contents
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Introductory Pages
Tags, Artists & Series Thumbnails
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Photography Series
Gianni Galassi
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Photography Series
Teresa (Colourful Life) & roB_meL
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Photography Series
Camilo Todemann & Olli Kekäläinen
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Photography Series
Brancolina & Barbara Stumm
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Photography Series
Françoise Lucas & Leonie Polah
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Photography Series
Julian Gomez & Tom Mclaughlan
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Artists

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Alec Cheer……………………Annemie Hiele……………………..Azurebumble……………………Barbara Stumm

Brancolina………………….Camilo Todemann…………………..Daniel Molina…………………….Fernandoprats

Françoise Lucas…………….Gianni Galassi…………………….James Withey……………….John Kosmopoulos

Julian Gomez……………Krystina Stimakovits…………………Leonie Polah………………………….Lillykeeper

Lord Jezzer…………………..Lucie Bourassa…………………..Mark Valentine…………………..Olli Kekäläinen

Peter Moons…………………..Phédia Mazuc……………………..Rita Vita Finzi…………………………….roB_meL

Shari Baker……………………Steffen Tuck………………..Teresa (Colourful life)…………..Tom McLaughlan

Visualisarium…………………..Wilma Eras……………………Wouter Hogendorp……………………….Zel Nunes

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VIEW FULL BOOK PREVIEW AND PURCHASE HERE

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30
Mar
12

Kikuji Kawada : ‘Chizu – The Map’ Series (Photography Book)

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‘Scraps’
Chizu (The Map) series
gelatin silver print
1959-1965
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‘The Japanese National Flag’
Chizu (The Map) series
gelatin silver print
1960
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‘Scraps’
Chizu (The Map) series
gelatin silver print
1959-1965
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‘Scraps’
Chizu (The Map) series
gelatin silver print
1959-1965
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‘Atomic Dome, Ceiling, Stain of Blood’
Chizu (The Map) series
gelatin silver print
1960-1961
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‘Atomic Dome, Scriblings by Tourists’
Chizu (The Map) series
gelatin silver print
1960-1961
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‘Atomic Dome, Ceiling, Stain of Blood’
Chizu (The Map) series
gelatin silver print
1960-1961
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“No photobook has been more successful in combining graphic design with complex photographic narrative… [as its] various layers inside [are] peeled away like archaeological strata, the whole process of viewing the book becomes one of uncovering and contemplating the ramifications of recent Japanese history — especially the country’s tangled relationship with the United States… His photographs are a masterly amalgam of abstraction and realism, of the specific and the ineffable, woven into a tapestry that makes the act of reading them a process of re-creation in itself. In the central metaphor of the map, in the idea of the map as a series of interlocking trace marks, Kawada has conjured a brilliant simile for the photograph itself: scientific record, memory trace, cultural repository, puzzle and guide…”

[Extract : The Photobook: A History, Volume 1, by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger]

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Kikuji Kawada : SFMOMA

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06
Jan
12

William Eckersley : “Dark City” Series (Night Photography)

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Initially inspired by the stillness of London at night, photographer William Eckersley began experimenting in late 2007 and after four years of stunning large format photography, he’s published a book of these works called ‘Dark City’ which promise a compelling view of unseen London. –  view here

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‘Factory, Tree And Moon Behind Silhouette, RM9′
(c-type print / 2010)
“Dark City” Series
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‘Spotlit Steps From Fire Exit, SE1′
(c-type print / 2008)
“Dark City” Series
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‘Trolleys In Car Park, CR0′
(c-type print / 2010)
“Dark City” Series
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‘Bridge Over Canal, E15′
(c-type print / 2009)
“Dark City” Series
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‘Bend In Pedestrian Tunnel, SE1′
(c-type print / 2008)
“Dark City” Series
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‘Shopping Arcade, SE1′
(c-type print / 2008)
“Dark City” Series
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‘Lake And Four Housing Blocks, SE2′
(c-type print / 2010)
“Dark City” Series
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At night, a once flat world illuminated by dull, grey daylight is transformed under the cloak of darkness. Garish spotlighting casts deep shadows and silhouettes, with hues of pink, cyan and orange. The stage is devoid of its human players and seems to showcase the scenery’s forgotten beauty, revealing a stark and otherworldly aesthetic in a city drained of its occupants. The built environment, deliberately contrived to service the needs and desires of humanity, makes sense in the context of teeming human life – without this however, its inherent functionality no longer visible, our urban spaces appeared to stand forlorn, waiting to be judged on their genius or folly, beauty or ugliness… [Extract : Stucco Press]

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William Eckersley : Stucco Press

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Ai : Series : Photography Book

aesthetic investig...
By Azurebumble

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