domingo, 28 de junio de 2015

VIENNA PHOTOBOOK FESTIVAL 2015: WORK WELL DONE BEARS FRUIT ( I )


Three years after its foundation, the Vienna Photobook Festival 2015 held on June 20 and 21, 2015 at Brotfabrik Wien, Absbergasse 27, has attained a remarkable success, outcome of the strenuous work of the Artistic Directors of the Festival Regina Anzenberger (artist, curator, founder and director of Anzenberger Gallery, Anzenberger Photographic Agency and Anzenberger Gallery Bookshop) and Michael Kollmann (photobook curator at Ostlicht Gallery and a recognized great expert on photographic books and organizer of photobook exhibitions), and Ostlicht Gallery (directed by Peter Coeln), who began the project in 2013, and the subsequent festival´s cooperation with Superar and Photon Gallery has made possible to have 1000 m2 available for this international reference-class event in its scope.


This year has been an unforgettable relish for any enthusiast of photography, photobooks and the history of photography,

The attendance of public of all ages has been massive throughout the two days of the Vienna Photobook 2015 Festival, which is a unique chance to find an exceedingly comprehensive range of photobooks, both modern and classic ones, colour and black and white alike, and with such a variety of prices, subject matters, sizes, design and paper qualities to properly satisfy everybody having a penchant for good photography, well manufatured books and graphic design. Here we can see a lot of attendees searching for photobooks up for grabs in the booths of MACK books (Great Britain), Poursuite (France)REMAprint (Austria), Sylph Editions (Great Britain), Van Zoetendaal Publishers (The Netherlands) Ediciones Anómalas (Spain) and Peperoni Books, 25 Books (Germany).  


Some of the photobooks on sale belonged to the " cult genre ", as this wonderful original very old book titled Photographs of Japanese Customs and Manners, including 50 collotypes of pictures made by the photographer K. Ogawa and published by Kelly & Walsh in 1900 in Yokohama, Hong-Kong, Shanghai and Singapore in very limited quantities because it was handcraftedly manufactured. A real trove featuring embroised silk hardcover with silk knots, gilt edges and image captions in English. The Vienna PhotoBook Festival has also become a full-fledged venue for collectors from all over the world who often attend it pining for coveted items. 

The interaction between the highly experienced professional photobook sellers behind the booths and the abundant public reached such a level that all kind of suggestions and feedback was appreciated.


with the participation of 80 international booksellers


from Great Britain, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Hungary, Spain, Slovenia, Poland, The Netherlands, Lithuania, Czech Republic,Slovakia and Russia, along with a top-notch programme of lectures by:


William Klein (one of the most important and influential photographers ever and a living legend of photography),

From left to right: William Klein, Peter Coeln, Regina Anzenberger, Michael Kollmann and Gerry Badger. The organizers of the Vienna PhotoBook Festival have managed to bring the American star photographer William Klein to the Austrian capital for the first time. His presence on stage in dialogue with the photographic critic and curator Gerry Badger and an utterly overcrowded auditorium has been a historical milestone of this third edition.


Olivia Arthur (Magnum photographer, Diploma in Photojournalism from the London College of Printing in 2003, Inge Morath Award Magnum Photos 2007, Laureate Photographe Fondation Jean-Luc Lagardere Paris 2008, Vic Odden Award Royal Photographic Society 2010).

Michel Auer and Michelle Auer during their stay at the Vienna PhotoBook Festival 2015. Michel Auer is the author of many renowned photobooks like Collection Michel Auer (1972), 802 Photo Books from the M + M Auer Collection (2008, with 840 pages and over 1,000 illustrations of photobooks from 1839 to the present), The Collectors Guide to Antique Cameras (1981), The Illustrated History of the Camera (1975, published by the New York Graphic Society), 150 Years of Cameras (1996) and many others. On her turn, Michèlle Auert is an expert in History of Photography, having published hitherto the photobooks Photographers Encyclopaedia International 1839 to the Present (1985, with Michel Auer), Une Histoire de la Photographie (2003, with Michel Auer), Germaine Martin (2001, with Alain Fleig), Sarah Bernhard (2001) and others.

Michel Auer ( a great authority on History of Photography, cameras, lenses and accessories, organizer of worldwide exhibitions, President along with his wife Michelle Auer of the Auer Photo Foundation for Photography, one of the most important in the world, including more than 500 cameras, 21,000 books, 50,000 original prints from 1839 to nowadays and a lot of unpublished works),


Andreas H. Bitesnich (a great Austrian photographer, master of black and white and lighting and featuring a unique style, particularly in his nude pictures with a hallmark of dramatic illumination and sculptural approach, Kodak Photography Book Award in 1998 for his book Nudes, published by Edition Stemmle, has published a lot of books with teNeues publishing house, highlighting Woman (2001), Travel (2001), Nudes (2001), On Form (2003), Polanude (2006), More Nudes (2007), More Nudes (2007), Erotic (2010) and India (2011), having also published with Room5Books the book Deeper Shades New York in a limited edition of 960 copies, also being stunning his long term photographic projects on urban landscapes of huge cities depicted through a strong graphic aesthetics), Colin Pantall (Photographic Portrait Prize 2007 of the National Portrait Gallery. An acclaimed British photobook critic and photographer specialized on childhood and mithologies of family identities, writer and lecturer, also writing articles in the British Journal of Photography, the Royal Photographic Society´s RPS Journal and Photo Eye magazine. He´s is likewise a senior lecturer in photography at the University of South Wales in Newport focusing in documentary photography, fashion and advertising courses),


Michael Mack, A pundit publisher featuring a tremendous experience and a current leading force in the photobook market. He was managing director of Steidl, founding the steidlMACK imprint. A man with an encyclopedic knowledge in his sphere and an outstanding ability to beget synergies with both established and emerging photographers, writers, curators, artists and cultural institutions. He has won plenty of photobook prizes: Author Book Award of Rencontres d´Arles 2012 for Redheaded Peckerwood by Christian Patterson, Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013 for Adam Bromberg & Oliver Chanarin´s War Primer 2, Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2014 for Martin Kollar´s Field Trip and others. His field of activity has mostly fostered projects conceived in book form, to such an extent that in 2012 he established the First Book Award in collaboration with the Bradford National Media Museum and the London Wilson Centre for Photography aimed at photographers who have not previously had a book published by a third party publishing house.


Nicolo Degiorgis, author of  Hidden Islam, the most successful photobook of 2014. A professional photographer with abundant background in documentary reportages on minority communities and the raising of social awareness about immigration and inmates in prisons, to such an extent that he has taught photography inside Bolzano prison since 2013. He was awarded a 2008/2009 Fabrica fellowship and was an intern in Magnum Photography Paris for six months. Shortly after, he joined photoagency Contrasto in 2009, having worked in a lot of editorial assignments for relevant international magazines.


Ania Nalecka, one of the best photobook designers. She has won till now a number of international prizes for her photobook projects as the New York Fotofestival 2011, the Photography Book Now 2009 and 2011, the POYi Best Photography Book Award 2012 and 2014, the Photography Month in Bratislava 2012, the Paris Photo/Aperture Foundation Photobook Award 2012 and 2013 and others.
She is an experienced senior art director, graphic designer and designer of books, as well as having cooperated with Sputnik Photos and Tapir Design.


Peter Sramek, has been a Professor of Photography at OCAD University in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) since 1976. He studied photography under Minor White at MIT during early seventies and was one of the pioneers in the teaching of photography through the use of different technologies by means of his International Collaboration Studio Course in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University, gathering students from diffeent countries and is a founding member of the Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography, whose work integrates silver photography, digital imaging, handmade books and video installation.


Walter Bergmoser, Professor of Photography with an impressive background including Lecturer for Creative Photography at Prague FAMU between 1995 and 2003, Head of Department of Photography at the Faculty of Architecture at Bauhaus - Universität Weimar between 2000 and 2007, Lecturer at Helsinki University of Art and Design, Professor of Photography at Seoul Chung-Ang University, Professor for Communication Design at BTK University of Berlin 2012-2013, Head of Study Program of Photography at BTK University of Berlin since 2013 and Acting Rector of it since 2014. He has also curated a number of worldwide exhibitions like Daegu Photobienal (South Korea), Dongang Photofestival (South Korea), Czech Press Photo of the Year, Sparkling Silence at Kunsthalle Erfurt (Germany), Artfestival Tampere (Finland) and others.

The Vienna PhotoBook Festival 2015 was also attended by Manfred Heiting (a collector owning one of the most important assortments of images created by the best photographers in history making up a total of more than 4,000 prints, along with an amazing collection of more than 30,000 photobooks, as well as being a highly experienced curator, editor, publisher and the current Director of the Helmut Newton Foundation), who took part in a talk on photography collecting with Michel Auer and Andreas H. Bitesnich moderated by Gerry Badger.


The modern ZEITGEIST Vienna Hotel at Sonnwendgasse 15 Vienna, partner of the Vienna Photobook Festival 2015, made a praiseworthy labour, offering the international booksellers, lecturers and visitors attending the event very good economical conditions and state-of-the-art facilities who made them feel at home,


with the great advantage of its comfortable location at a distance of five minutes walking from Vienna Hauptbahnhof, very well communicated with the whole city.


Photobook enthusiasts browsing the booths of Dirk K. Bakker Boeken (The Netherlands) and 5Uhr30 (Germany).

Throughout the Vienna PhotoBook 2015 Festival both top quality booksellers offered a vast assortment of jewel photobooks like Nicaragua by Susan Meiselas, The Americans by Robert Frank, Carnival Strippers by Susan Meiselas, Paris by William Klein, Jazz by Ed Van der Elsken and many others.

Twenty one years after its foundation, the Dutch bookseller has become a world class specialist in legendary sold out, rare and artist´s books, in the same way as the German one, whose director Ecki Heuser, clad in a blue T-shirt, can be seen on the right of the image, giving advice to some attendees.


The Chinese Photobook From the 1900s to the Present on sale at the booth of Café Lehmnitz Photobooks (Germany).


The Vienna PhotoBook Festival provides a very interesting platform for contacts and further cooperation among publishers, dealers, photographers, collectors, artists and enthusiasts of the photobook. Here we can see in the foreground the booth of bt:st Verlag (Germany) with Andreas Oetker-Kast and Angelika Oetker-Kast talking to a photobook enthusiast, while in the background there´s a further chat on photobooks around the booth of Album Verlag (Austria) with Simon Weber-Unger, Head of Scientific Research at the Vienna Dorotheum, a world class expert in XIX Century technological devices and a highly knowledgeable lover of photobooks. He owns a gallery of antique photography in the Austrian capital and is a recognized authority on the nature printing method invented in Vienna in 1852.


One of the most alluring sides of the Vienna Photobook Festival is the possibility of buying photobooks signed by their authors and the frequent opportunity to talk to them live.


On the occasion of the Vienna PhotoBook Festival 2015, the " William Klein Lounge " was created inside the Magdas Kantine, a very good restaurant placed within the Brotfabrik Wien complex, and just outside it, on the right, can be seen a superb quality king size enlargement of the color panel appearing in the two first inner pages of the iconic photobook William Klein Retrospective with many famous pictures made by the great American photographer and covers of his most well-known iconic books and films


" William Klein Lounge " inside the Magdas Kantine restaurant, an unforgettable space presided over by a very high quality huge enlargement of the 20 black and white Ilford HP5 ISO 400 Safety Film and Kodak Tri-X ISO 400 film 24 x 36 mm contacts of photographs made by William Klein and appearing in the last two inner pages of the iconic photobook William Klein Retrospective, along with some Sony televisions showing a slew of Klein´s pictures to visitors´ treat. Once more, it was apparent that the level of thouroughness and painstaking work carried out by the organizers of the Vienna PhotoBook Festival 2015 was certainly fantastic, personally supervising a myriad of different details, a great effort that has paid off, turning this event into the international benchmark within its field.


Lithuanian Photography handbook at the booth of the Lithuanian Photographers Association (Lithuania).


Conversations, a photobook gleaning 24 interviews between Rémi Coignet and significant contemporary photographers and photobook experts, at the booth of The Eyes Publishing (France).

This is the first work published by the French bookseller and is interesting because of the notion of photography books set forth by Morten Andersen, Raphaël Dallaporta, Bernrd Faucon, Daido Moriyama, Ivan Vartanian, JH Engström, Paul Graham, Guido Guidi, Lewis Baltz, Irene Attinger, Daniel Blaufuks, Elina Brotherus, Broomberg & Chanarin, Eva Leitolf, Anders Petersen, Horacio Fernández, Ethan Levitas, Michael Mack, Joachim Schid, Michael Mack and Michael Mack.


The Vienna PhotoBook Festival 2015 has also been a meeting point for many photographers, artists and experts in photography history. Here can be seen from left to right: the Austrian photographer Walter Joebstl (a professor of photography at the Schoolf of Graphic Arts and Multimedia in Vienna, having subsequently also worked for the Austrian National Monument Trust doing ethnology photowork), Professor Anna Auer (one of the greatest experts on History of Photography in the world and a pioneer in the creation of photo galleries with the foundation in 1970 of her Die Brücke Galerie in Vienna, visited by Ernst Haas every time he went to Austria, and that was strongly inspired by the legendary Camera magazine and the keynotes set forth by Helmut Gernsheim. Already in 1972 and 1973, she showed in Austria exhibitions of American photographers like Edward Weston, Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Ralph Gibson, Duane Michals, Dick Arentz, Andrew Davidhazy, Minor White, Les Krims, Susan Barron, E.S.Curtis and Judy Dater, together with other significant exhibitions like Übersee, displayed in the Vienna Kunsthalle in 1998, fruit of a previous research on the Austrian photography in the emigration, and Die Materie die wir nicht sehen Franco Fontana´s solo exhibition in 1972. A living encyclopedia of photography with tremendous knowledge and experience, she was also co-editor of Photoresearcher, the top-notch quality journal of the European Society for the History of Photography. She is currently a member of the International Advisory Board of the ESHPh, of which she was President between 2004-2008 and is among many other subjects a great authority on Ansel Adams) and Okky Offerhaus (Dutch photographer. She was assistant photographer of Elliott Erwitt during sixties, accompanying him in travels through Europe, the Iron Curtain countries and United States).



The History of European Photography Volumes I (1900-1938) and II (1939-1969) at the booth of European Month of Photography (EMop).


The booth of AnzenbergerGallery Bookshop (Austria) in full activity during the Vienna PhotoBook Festival 2015. In a brief period of four years since its foundation in 2011, this Austrian bookseller has turned into one of the leading photobook firms in Europe, focusing on rare, selfpublished, signed and limited edition photography books, being an alternative resource for every photobook lover, with a comprehensive catalogue including such great photobooks as Portraits by Bruce Davidson, New York September 11 (signed by 11 Magnum photographers), The Iconic Photographs Limited Edition (book + print) by Steve McCurry, Bad Weather (signed) by Martin Parr, Hokkaido by Daido Moriyama, Himalayan Pilgrimage by Ernst Haas, Roma by Josef Koudelka, The World from my Front Porch by Larry Towell, and even a very interesting choice of handmade books like Rules of the Road by Vitaly Fomenko, Oasis Hotel by Nicolo Degiorgis and others.



Booth of Borus Peterlin (Slovenia). This professional photographer, a true genius artist featuring a genuine artisan working way, is a world class expert in the making of wet plate collodion photography using Vageeswari 10 x 12 ", Plaubel 5 x 7 " with Linhof back and Shen-Hao 4 x 5 " large format cameras on sturdy tripods, an alchemist of XXI Century striving after getting the full potential of the very special LF lenses drawing and depth of field and above all a full tonal scale from LF collodion negatives, attaining maximum possible detail in both blacks and highlights, often overexposing the plates, subsequently underdeveloping and then making a second developing until obtaining very dense negatives from which he makes impressively beautiful albumen prints, carbon prints and cyanotypes, directly copied from its original wet plate collodion plates and with which he has held a lot of worldwide exhibitions hitherto.

Suffice it to say that the beloved Indian Vageeswari 10 x 12 " LF camera, though simple in construction with its 6 x 6.25 lens board, was highly accurately manufactured to photograph onto glass plates and delivers 24 x 30 cm glass negatives with a potential of information of up to around 950 MB/2000 dpi at 16 bit each one and from which direct prints are made as contacts, while on using it with the 5" x 7" adapter, 13 x 18 cm glass plates of up to 600 MB/2000 dpi at 16 bit are obtained and the corresponding prints with identical measures are attained as contacts.

In addition, he´s a gifted photographer creating remarkable colour images with a wise selection of the shutter speeds both shooting with available light and fill-in flash, rendering the results he wishes, as proved by his amazing photobook 5 AM, a photographic project made throughout eight years, between 2000 and 2008 in Slovenia, Italy, Finland, Croatia, France, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, United Kingdom, China and Ukraine which features pictures taken in train stations, bakeries, newstands, parks, beaches, McDonalds main doors, cemeteries, churches, hospitals, sky from inside a plane and many other places, all of them made at 5:00 AM.


Text and Photos: José Manuel Serrano Esparza

Vienna PhotoBook Festival 2015 ( I I )