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.