pictures by Maya Rochat's Ma tete a couper
I'm currently writing a feature for the BJP on small publishers. If you hadn't noticed, small publishers are sprouting up all over the place like mushrooms in the rainy season.
So I've been talking to all these people involved in publishing, printing, design and bookselling and what a delight it has been.
Most notably I was pointed in the direction of Delphine Bedel by Bruno Ceschel of Self Publish Be Happy.
Delphine Bedel runs Hard-Copy, a Master's Course in Geneva where students are teamed up with designers to produce their own books. More on this in a later post. You can see Delphine and others talking about publishing at last year's Amsterdam Art/Book Fair here.
Delphine led Ben Freeman at Ditto Press in London - they do all kind of fancy printing work, including risoprinting Maya Rochat's book for Hard-Copy. My phone then headed up to speak to Alec Soth about Little Brown Mushroom and a Head with wings by Anouk Kruithof.
One thing all these small publishers have in common is a willingness to take a shot in the dark, to experiment and try new things. Unfortunately these things can go a little bit wrong as Alec Soth found out when he was confronted with 500 books that had to be filled with tipped in photographers - Alec can do lots of things but he can't tip photographs to save his life.
That similar Oh-My-God-What-Have-I-Done moment was also experienced by Elijah Gowin of Tinroof Press when his 3 pallet-loads of Of Falling and Floating arrived on his doorstep. See his video on Offprint Paris below - Offprint is a small publishers fair with all sorts of good things floating around.
Offprint Paris 2011 from Elijah Gowin on Vimeo.
The big fish, comparatively speaking, at Offprint was Markus Schaden who co-published Ricardo Cases pigeon book, Paloma Al Aire. Markus talked of the excitement of the new photobook era but also the danger it posed to him as a publisher, and how everybody has to be everything (photographer, publisher, curator, exhibitor and distributor) these days - something echoed all around by almost everybody.
Markus led directly to Helge Schlaghecke of White Press. Helge published Doug Rickard's A New American Picture which was a google street view book which connected to one of Mr Parr's favourite books which is the CCTV based Looters by Tiane Doan na Champassak
And if anyone is thinking of Christmas present ideas, don't hesitate to get me a Pogo Books Boxed set,
some French elegance at JSBJ or something from Alec Soth's favourite restrained American design of Hassla Books.
See Anouk Kruithof's Happy Birthday To You here.And documentation of the making of it here.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU was published as a result of a conceptual social project by Anouk Kruithof, which she developed during her stay at "HET VIJFDE SEIZOEN" from January to March 2011. This is an artist-in-residence in the area of the psychiatric institution Altrecht in Den Dolder, the Netherlands. Kruithof has interviewed 10 patients about their wishes for their birthday and in accordance with those wishes, she organized and celebrated these birthdays for and with them.
Anouk Kruithof on Christoph Hansli's Mortadella. See the book here. It might be a tad expensive mind.
Now all I have to do is make sense of this chaos. I will try to do so, brought on by an overwhelming wave of optimism, creativity and openness from all the lovely people I spoke to.
And your favourite new publishers? I'd love to hear your ideas.