Saturday, July 4, 2009

Paris on just 2 books a day

It has been a busy week although not for 5B4 postings as you all figured out (I wanted the Playas book to sink in a bit so I let that rest at the top of the page for a while). I have been in Paris since Tuesday and will be going to Arles on Monday for the start of the photo festival where I hope to do a few posts onsite but from what I hear there is little time to sleep let alone write.

Paris has always been fruitful bookwise and this trip has had me hitting my usual book haunts except I am showing great restraint unlike my complete breakdown of will in Germany last month. There will be no shipping of books home at exorbitant rates nor heavy boxes being carried as hand luggage. Only the necessities will make it home this time around and I have further decided that they cannot weigh in total more than 10 pounds. Possible?

Ok, so you see eight books in the composite photo from only five days and you ask if that is a sign of showing restraint. I say yes because they are all very small, light in weight and were very cheap.

The first, a new edition of Daido Moriyama's Light and Shadow came to me by way of Sebastian Hau who was running the book table at Diane Dufour's party for her new museum project Le Bal which is slated to open next year. About the size of a pocket paperback this is a reconfiguring of his book from the 1980s. (Weighs in at around 5 ounces)

Sophie Ristelhueber's book Operations was found at the Jeu de Paume museum in the Tuileries. This is her book of 'invisible wars disguised as poems.' Words only, no images, but a fantastic artist book. (Weighs in at around 6 ounces)

The next two books are a part of the series La Carnets de la Creation from Editions de l'Oeil. I hadn't noticed these before even though the series has been going for some time now. They are 24 page long booklets, softcover and about 5 x 7 in trim size. The first that caught my eye was on Mikhael Subotsky and his images from the Beaufort West prison and the other features Malick Sidibe's portraits of people with their back turned to him. They aren't great by any stretch but well worth the 5 euros they retail for. The printing is decent and all the texts are in French. (Both weigh in at around 4 ounces)

The next is the biggest of the lot at approximately 10.5 x 11.5 inches is the Match and Company Takashi Homma book Trails. Not to be confused with the new Hassla edition of similar material, this is a really beautiful book published in Japan in an edition of 700. I am not a huge fan of Homma but this is a really good one. I will spend a bit more time with this and the Hassla book First Jay Comes when I return homma. (Weighs in at around 8 ounces)

The next two are publications in the Linea di Confine della Provincia di Reggio Emilia series. These are the results of workshops given by various photographers invited to work in Italy. The first catalog in the series is from 1989 and on Guido Guidi who explored the province of Ruberia. The third in the series is Michael Schmidt's work in the outskirts of Correggio in 1991. At 32 pages they are short but the content is well printed and nicely presented. (Both weigh in at around 12 ounces)

The last book has a geek factor of 11 but I couldn't resist since it was the only copy I saw. It is a bibliography of all the publications that reproduced photos by Eugene Atget during his lifetime. It is from the publisher Stanislas Fourquier in 2007 and features many black and white reproductions of the magazines and books. I figured it was well worth the 15 euros since oddly, it is numbered and only one of 250 copies. Who puts out a limited AND numbered edition of a small softcover bibliography of Atget? Alain and Stanslas Fourquier that's who. (A mere 5 ounces)

So my book weight total so far is around 2.5 - 3 pounds but just wait till I get into Schaden's Supermarket of Printed Matter in Arles. 1000 square meters of book heaven. I'll be the one in the corner weighing books on the scale.


Anonymous said...


Sounds like you're making a big mistake with your purchases. I am sure they might look interesting while in Europe but just wait until you get home. You start scratching your head and say "why the hell did I spend 500 euros on all this crap!" I have made the same mistake many of times but no longer do. Instead of shooting your wad at Schaden, buy one nice book at Galerie 213 and go home a happy man. If not there, somewhere else. Food for thought.

Jeff Ladd said...


Thanks for the opinion but I actually have been looking for 3 of those books already (Rist, Schmidt, Guidi) and the two that I took a chance on (Subotsky and Sidibe) cost me all of 5 euros each. All in all everything cost about 125 euros not 500.

I don't plan on shooting a wad at Schaden nor could I afford anything at 213. Maybe these few tidbits are simply not your cup of tea...but I hear what you're saying. I don't impulse buy nearly like I used to. I guess if anything shows up on the exchange then you were right.

Corey said...

is there anywhere online to order the Mikhael Subotsky and Malick Sidibe booklets?

Wayne said...

Jeff, as usual thanks for sharing tips on photo books to look for..Wondering, for those of us that will be in Paris in the near future, what are your top 3 destinations to shop for books?

And of course, I'm enjoying my copy of Errata's Photographe de Paris!

Jeff Ladd said...


I am already working on a post about stores in Paris to check out with photos. Will post during some down time in Arles.

And I just today worked a deal for a great Errata book to do. Big hint...the person lives in Paris. Will publicly announce soon.


I got those from the Musee Europeean de Photography (the MEP) near St Paul metro stop. I only saw them in their bookshop which is tiny and no where else. Worth checking out but the shop does not have an online store. Maybe search for the publisher or series online. I did a search on and came up with nothing. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hello Jeff,
I have a similar question: I live in Paris, and don't know where to find Homma Trails book ?
P-S: my own personal list for Paris stores: 213, comptoir de l'image, Colette, Jeu de Paume, Maison rouge, Pompidou, Mazarine bookstore, OFR, etc etc.

Diran Sirinian said...

I've found very interesting and reasonably priced photobooks at Serge Plantureux's in Galerie Vivienne. If one has time, it's also fun to check out the gallery- apartment upstairs.

susanna said...

paris... jeu de pomme mep 213 mai sourtout palais de tokyo