The PBC at the Cheltenham Literary Festival and 10×10 American Photobooks

Next weekend, on Saturday 5th October (6pm) I will be in Cheltenham to hold a special Photobook Club meetup as part of the Cheltenham Literary Festival. The event is being organized by Grant Scott of ‘United Nations of Photography‘ who has put an a big weekend of photobook talks and seminars to coincide with the historical festival.

All of the talks and events are free, all I would ask for the PBC event is that you bring along a photobook which you think is particularly interesting for it’s use of text alongside image – perhaps it is just the titles, perhaps the accompanying essay really alters your reading of the images. Whatever it may be, bring it along and we will talk image and text with a few drinks.

Event begins 6.00pm Saturday 5th October, 2013: The University of Gloucestershire Tent, Imperial Square, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

And in other news, the awesome 10×10 American Photobooks publication is soon to be posted out. The book has a great list of contributors plus me talking about a love affair with America through photobooks. I have yet to get my hands on a copy but it looks like the design and production match the content’s high standard so it is no wonder a whole heap have already sold. Head over here to get a copy.

– Matt


Stan Banos: Uncommon Places and New Wave Colour

Those who have followed the Photo Book Club from it’s early days will remember Stan Banos’ valuable contribution to our discussion of Eugene Richard’s ‘Cacaine True, Cocaine Blue’. Now, I thank Stan again for his comment on the effect Shore’s large format images had on the print galleries and collectors market:

Eggleston’s Guide along with Shore’s Uncommon Places were THE two sources most often studied, cited and emulated back in those heady days of “New Wave Color”. They were the bibles; both were a sea change on how we perceive and appreciate the medium to this present day. And while Guide launched color to the forefront of photography, Shore’s work reinforced the move to large format as the legal tender of the fine art photo world- a move which not only had far reaching effects in how we see and relate to photography in terms of composition, and in terms of size, but also in economic terms.

Photo galleries could now display art work that could rival the size of painting, and thus gain more handsome, desirable profits (I often wonder how those ’80s C-prints have survived). It helped “legitimize” photo galleries from the relative cult status of the art world’s poorer siblings, to the Upper East Side venues of the mainstream. Fine art photographers could now wield the more formidable tools of large format loaded with the new art market weaponry of color film. It was a potent combination that drove a stake through the then still beating heart of small format, B&W “art” photography- as well as through the aspirations of those who could not afford the expenses that large format entailed.

– Stan Banos

Haven’t seen ‘Uncommon Places’ yet? Take a look: