Anders Petersen talks about his Soho Projects VIDEO

In July we will be looking at Anders Petersen’s ‘Cafe Lehmitz’ and so as a little teaser here is Anders talking about his work with the Photographers Gallery on ‘Soho Projects’.


Anders Petersen has been working in London’s Soho for several weeks, as part of his Soho Projects residency commissioned by The Photographers’ Gallery. Immersing himself in its bars, cafes, homes and hotels – creating a very personal portrait of one of city’s most vibrant areas.

In this video Petersen talks about his time in London, his working processes, and previous projects including the seminal Cafe Lehmitz.

Anders Petersen (b.1944), one of Sweden’s most noted photographers, is known for his influential, intimate and personal documentary-style black-and-white photography.

Find out more here: photonet.org.uk/​index.php?pid=550

July’s book is: Cafe Lehmitz by Anders Petersen

In July, The Photo Book Club will be looking at Anders Petersen’s ‘Cafe Lehmitz’ in which Peterson photographed the frequenters of the beer hall ‘Cafe Lehmitz’ in Hamburg.

The book is easy to get hold of in it’s latest incarnation from Schirmer as well as other editions available in varying rarity. An Amazon UK link to the book can be found here.
An Amazon US link can be found here.

If you would like to contribute to July’s discussion then drop us an email: mail@photobookclub.org

'Cafe Lehmitz' by Anders Petersen

And, as a sneak peek at a Photo Book Club ‘Special Edition’ coming in September:
We will be looking at Ken Schles’ seminal book ‘Invisible City’ with the photographer himself taking part. So get any questions in to us so we can put them to Ken.

More details soon…

Larry Sultan: Interview with Terri Whitlock on ‘The Valley’

This interview was originally published in the accompanying catalogue to Larry Sultan’s ‘The Valley’ exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

BEGIN
Bay Area photographer Larry Sultan’s The Valley series focuses on the San Fernando Valley, where he grew up, and addresses the use of ordinary homes as sets for pornographic films. In Sultan’s large-scale color photographs, mundane objects-a roll of paper towels, a stack of dirty dishes-take on new weight, and suburban life becomes a symbolically charged backdrop. The project investigates the meaning of home and asks why the ideal of middle-class domesticity lends itself to this most curious form of cultural appropriation.

Tell me about the work you made prior to your current series, The Valley.
Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles provides the foundation for much of my work. I see The Valley as an outgrowth of two bodies of work that preceded it. Pictures from Home was a ten-year project exploring the myths of family life. I used my parent’s family snapshots and stills from their home movies along with photographs that I made of them to create an interweaving set of images and text that explores how photography helps to construct family history and identity. In the second body of work, I collaborated with Harrel Fletcher and John Rubin to create a store in the Stoneridge shopping mall in Pleasanton [California] that functioned as a mock documentary of the surrounding suburbs. Those two projects are both narrative in their underpinnings-they are attempts to tell stories about the complexity of life in the suburbs.

I find a lot of depictions of suburban life to be quite shallow. Either they’re hypercritical, like new topographics where tract homes are seen as generic structures for generic lives, or they’re the kind of one-dimensional dramas or sitcoms that are prevalent in popular culture. Neither of these depictions get to the complex desires or longings underlying this great American dream of suburban home ownership. To me, the suburban home is a kind of projection screen for fantasies, it’s rich for storytelling.

The Valley is an intriguing extension of Pictures from Home. How did this development come about, and how did you gain access to the adult film industry?

I was commissioned to do a magazine story on a day in the life of a porn star. I flew down to L.A. with my wife and drove from Burbank to the Valley, about a block from where I went to high school. I walked into this dentist’s house that, not unusually, had all his family pictures on display. I noticed pictures of his children and his wife, and then I noticed a tangle of bodies in the middle of the room. The friction between the reality of that familial setting and the fantasy that was being played out was so close to what I had grappled with in a lot of my prior work that I knew I had to explore it further. So I talked to the director and brought him pictures that I had taken of all the cast and crew. They were delighted with them, so they let me back on the set. I was allowed in very quietly, without ever going to studio heads directly. I came through the back door, set up relationships, and slowly it led to access. It took a long time, however, to identify what kind of sets I was interested in, what kind of directors and crews I felt comfortable with.

What is the time span of this series? How many film sets did you visit in order to make this work?

I started in the latter part of 1998 and shot until 2003. I went to probably a hundred sets.

I read that 80 percent of all adult films produced in this country are made in the San Fernando Valley. Having grown up there, were you surprised to discover that this unassuming suburb of Los Angeles is the capital of the U.S. adult film industry?
No I wasn’t surprised. First, the proximity to Hollywood gives the porn industry a huge pool of talent. People who work for mainstream films — grips, directors, lighting guys, makeup and hair stylists — also work in the adult film industry. It’s kind of a parallel universe. Also it is the place where actors can go to make money when they cannot make it in mainstream films. That’s the economic and practical side.

But psychologically the Valley is also very connected to L.A. — the promise of L.A. and how the city is so embedded with the idea of stardom and happiness. Historically people have come to LA in hopes of changing and improving their lives. The Valley, too, has always been about fantasy. That’s why you have Tudor homes next to Mediterranean ones, palm trees next to pines. It’s about creating your own identity. The porn industry recognizes the lure of this fantasy-of-possibilities, it’s part of the fantasy adult film consumers are looking for as well. I find it interesting that the majority of porn consumers probably live in the suburbs, and they probably feel more comfortable with a drama that is set in the suburbs. That’s the key-your fantasy life can be found in your neighbor’s house-this makes what is desired seem attainable.

How do your pictures differ from the images adult filmmakers are seeking? You are both using the same raw material, so to speak-their sets are your settings and their actors are your models.
Well, we’re driven by completely contrary purposes. The directors want to make good films, but basically they’re being paid to do one thing — excite the viewer. That’s the opposite of what I want to do. I certainly don’t want to sexually arouse anybody. But I do want to arouse the viewer’s curiosity and sense of mystery. I’m interested not in the construction of pornography, but rather in dismantling it, in exploring domesticity, the construction of desire; all as a way of dealing with my own projections, my own nostalgia of growing up in those houses.

The key has been to collaborate with the people on the sets so that they allow themselves to be seen without the masquerade of their sexual personae. I want to show them as people. I don’t want them to be glamour girls or glamour boys — that’s a very tired set of images. I don’t think there’s any mystery left to explore there. But the artificiality of the sets is mysterious and there is something there that transforms the house into something unsettling and uncanny.

Because men make up the majority of adult film consumers, is it more difficult for a male artist to use this industry as subject matter in a way that transcends itself? Did you have any hesitations going into this project?
In her book Hardcore, Linda Williams wrote that in recent years pornography has become a cohesive study for a lot of theorists, many of whom are post-feminists or queer theorists. But she said the area seems to still be off limits to white heterosexual men, because we make up the bulk of the consumers, and to a great extent the creators, of this material. It’s a complicated subject. I don’t want to situate myself as a voyeur or as consumer. In making this work, I was aware of the questions that could be raised concerning why I am speaking about this topic or what right I have to speak about it. Until recently, I found that I was editing out all the pictures that showed sexual acts, but then I realized that there is a level of genuine pleasure on the set — there is conviviality and fun and humor. I went back and found some really wonderful pictures that I was afraid to include previously. It is a complex subject, and I think it will continue to be a complex subject, because pornography has so many undercurrents of oppression.

Your pictures show the reality, or rather the banality, of working in the pornography industry. The actors are most often portrayed detached from their film personas; we see them on a cigarette break, talking on their cell phone, or sitting around in curlers. Could you talk about the how the actors are portrayed in your pictures?
I don’t think there is complete consistency. Sometimes they’re seen very clearly as actors in a drama they’re not in control of — they seem wary of or victimized by it. Sometimes they seem absolutely in control of the camera’s gaze-and getting pleasure from their power of seduction.

In my photographs, I’m essentially casting an alternate film. My drama is not centered around sexuality, but rather around domestic relations, family relations. Who are these people? What is their relationship to each other? Sometimes they have relationships very directly connected to my own childhood memories. There’s a sense of pleasure in the suburbs. This is a place where, in the middle of the day, everyone stops work and has a great time together. The other side is very dark and isolating and lonely and lost. Both of those ways of experiencing the suburbs are operating simultaneously in my pictures. The actors often reveal their relationship to the industry in a way that parallels my relationship to the suburbs — one that embodies both pleasure and boredom.

To me the documentary side of this work — or the illusion of documentary — is very important. I want to refer to life rather than to the films. My photographs reference the artifice of pornography, but they also capture real people in their own genuine moments. For example, a man is shown standing in the kitchen, looking out the window. He happens not to have any clothes on, but for me, that picture recalls a really poignant moment where, in the middle of the day you have a cold glass of water and you look out the window and wonder, what am I doing here?

Your work has a witty edge to it; I recognize this not just in The Valley but also in your previous bodies of work. To what effect do you use humor in these pictures?
I find the situations quite hilarious at times-strange in the smallest ways. Sometimes it’s just the settings — those home interiors are so wild. Sometimes it’s the visual puns that occur between the materials of the couch and the fireplaces and then the bodies-naked bodies can be quite humorous in a situation where you don’t expect to see them. Sometimes it’s funny because there’s mischief being played out. I’m interested in the kind of mischief that upturns the house, takes the order and control out of what we think of as domestic life, and really creates a kind of excess where things spill out like in a carnival, where the whole house is vibrating like a washing machine on its spin cycle. It’s loony, and it’s sexual, and it’s out of control. I love that quality of things being out of control, especially in the suburbs, because suburbia is the height of imposed control. Life in the suburbs is monitored by parents, neighbors, police. For about an hour on the set, none of the rules or codes apply — that craziness can be funny.

While some of your pictures make use of the industry’s cinematic lighting for dramatic effect, you have also included some seemingly ordinary domestic scenes in the series: a kitchen counter with dirty dishes piled in the sink and over-decorated interiors or backyards. These everyday views, which are familiar to all of us, take on a darker suggestiveness in the context of the other photographs. Why did you choose to include these pictures?
I think these pictures do a very important job. They take the narrative momentum, and the context in which you expect a certain kind of sexual drama, and they condense it, they quiet it down, they bring it back to the ordinary, back to the mundane. Many of them also have an elegiac quality of loss and vulnerability. While these pictures establish the homey-ness of the setting, the other pictures undo that sense of home. They speak to the fragility of our sense of order. Together, the pictures simultaneously construct and dismantle domestic life. I think this is kind of a swan song for our post-war American family dreams.

The majority of your pictures do not reveal whatever activity is being played out for the film cameras. In some cases you photograph the scene in such a way that furniture or the film crew actually obscure the line of vision. You also make use of strategic cropping to add ambiguity to what we are looking at. This approach not only places the burden back on the viewer to decode the picture, but it also underscores the act of looking. In contrast to easily consumable adult film plots, your pictures require more interpretation by the viewer. What was your strategy in photographing the more deliberately enigmatic pictures such as Havenhurst?
For one it’s very important that a viewer situate themselves in my pictures. Discovering the picture’s meaning is an open field of wandering — the open-endedness of the pictures is really important. This is particularly true of the images where the situation is not quite clear. In some cases, I compose the picture so that the subject matter does not overwhelm the photograph. In some pictures where I’ve actually obscured the sexual act, I’ve done it in a way that forces the viewer to look at areas on the periphery. Your eye wanders around the picture, allowing you to notice other details.

In Canopy, Woodland Hills, for instance, the ceiling is much more important than the actor in the scene, because that kind of cottage cheese-like ceiling is the ceiling of my childhood. It carries with it so much that identifies the psychology of this place. I play a certain cat-and-mouse game. If I show too much, I’ve killed the picture — it’s no longer interesting to me. If I show too little, it appears I’m being coy.

A photograph constructs reality through what the frame excludes as much as what it contains. You address this concept in a very sophisticated way by making photographs that critique the medium of photography itself. The perception of a photograph as a document of truth seems antiquated, yet it can be easy for viewers to forget that photographs are not pure representations of reality, to forget that photography is a medium that creates fiction as much as any other. What are the comparisons you are drawing between the fiction of photography and those of middle-class identity or the adult film industry? You’ve found a very unique intersection of those three things.
There are a number of things I’m interested in here. I’m very conscious that I grew up in a family where the home was a theatrical setting. As a child, my parents hired a decorator, and she painted a grape tree in the living room and put rubber grapes on its tendrils. She also put gold leaf on a Picasso print so that it looked like Picasso had painted in gold. We had shag carpets, and our living room was one that no one went into. We lived in that kind of situation where our family house was a theater. Family life is already a stage — home is situated as a symbol of the good life and as an extension of our desired identities.
There is a kind of ethnographic quality to observing these sets. I feel like a forensic photographer at times, looking for the trace that has been left on the manicured home by the event staged within it. I wonder how the house recovers from the event of a porn film? How does a family occupy a house after they’ve given it up for a day?

These photographs function in several ways; they raise questions about domesticity, artifice, spectatorship, and the nature of representation. Although the setting and players are of the porn industry, your subject is really much broader and more complex. How would you describe this work to someone who has not seen it?
It’s really important for me to convey that I’m coming back home to where I grew up. I’m returning to this neighborhood where people are out watering lawns in the last light of the day or bringing in the trash. All that familiarity is paired with this weird scene where women with really high heels and men with tattoos all over the place are lined up on the street like a fire drill and you think, “What are they doing in the suburbs? They don’t belong here.” This ordinary landscape has gotten strange.

In this fiction things are happening that shouldn’t: people aren’t going to work, a delivery boy comes to the door and he’s asked in, a couple walking up the street with suitcases is asked in for lunch, and then there’s this neighbor who’s looking for a cup of sugar, and all of a sudden she is invited into a place in which everything is suspended for an afternoon of pleasure.

That level of fantasy can be compared to the fantasy I grew up with, in terms of an idyllic life where the father was always dressed up in a tie and he’d call his son Junior and his daughter Babs and he’s always home. Well none of our dads were ever home because they were traveling salesmen. I’m interested in portraying a world that compensates for what we’re missing — the plentitude that we would like to see that isn’t there. My work is really about trying to show suburban life as complex as I think it is, through metaphors and stories, about trying to tell these stories clearly and poignantly without them becoming clichés, about recovering some of the longing and loss of this familiar American-dream landscape.

Larry Sultan is a professor in the photography department at California College of Art. He has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and five National Endowment for the Arts Photography Fellowships. His work has been featured in many exhibitions and public art projects, including Larry Sultan: Pictures from Home, which opened at the San Jose Museum of Art in 1992 and traveled to six additional venues.

Terri Whitlock is a curatorial associate in the Department of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She assisted Sandra S. Phillips, senior curator of photography, in organizing Larry Sultan: The Valley for the Museum.
Larry Sultan: The Valley is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Larry Sultan – ‘Katherine Avenue’

‘The Valley’ is not that easily accessible, hence our low-fi cover to cover video of the book. But another option for those looking for an introduction to Sultan’s work could consider the recent Steidl publication ‘Katherine Avenue’. The post below come from Wayne Ford’s fantastic Posterous blog.

Above Mom in Doorway, 1992, from Pictures from Home. (Courtesy of Steidl).

‘The San Fernando Valley is both the place where Larry Sultan (1946-2009) spent his childhood and the notional central point of reference of his artistic work,’ says Martin German in his introduction to Katherine Avenue, ‘In the three groups of works he produced between 1984 and 2009, namely Pictures from Home, The Valley and Homeland, he interweaves visible and invisible aspects of life there with the landscapes of his personal memories.’

Sultan, one of the most influential American photographers of his generation, studied political sciences before enrolling in a photography course at the San Francisco Art Institute under Robert Heinecken (1932-2006) in the late 1960s, reflecting upon this period German says, ‘This was the time when photography formed a bond with conceptual art, to whose marriage Sultan would soon render significant contributions.’

In 1972, Sultan met Mike Mandel with whom he would collaborate on a series of billboard collages that would continue well into the 1990s, through which the pair explored the ‘documentary value of images.’ In 1975, and over the next two years, Sultan and Mandel began working on Evidence (1977), a now seminal artists book that bought together 59 photographs selected from various governmental, research and scientific archives that were then arranged in a non-narrative sequence, removed from the original context and with no captions, Evidence is a complex and demanding work, ‘Thus Evidence not only alludes to the bureaucratic and scientific rituals that legitimated the daily business of the federal authorities in the period shortly after the Vietnam War, but more importantly also refers to the assumptions we make regarding truth and imagery,’ says German.

Above Sharon Wild, 2001, from The Valley. (Courtesy of Steidl).

The questions raised by Evidence would inform and influence much of Sultan’s subsequent work, in 1984 he began Pictures from Home (1992), here alongside the photographs of his parents and their daily middle-class routines and rituals, Sultan presents recordings, notes on conversations and stills from family movies along with other memorabilia to investigate the consequences of neo-liberal economic policies.

Reflecting upon his series, Sultan said, ‘I realize that beyond the rolls of film and the few good pictures, the demands of my project and my confusion about its meaning, is the wish to take photography literally. To stop time. I want my parents to live forever.’

In 1999, Sultan was commissioned to document a day in the life of a porn director, whilst known as the home of the American movie industry, the San Fernando valley is also home to the porn industry, were production companies hire private homes for their film shoots, which typically take a few days. This commission turned into The Valley, a series that Sultan worked on until 2003, looking out into the valley, with its upper-middle class tracht homes, Sultan focuses on the periphery of the films sets, presenting the sets and actors as ‘meta-theatre’ says German.

‘While the film crew and “talent” are hard at work in the living room I wander through the rest of the house peering into the lives of the people who suddenly left home. I feel like a forensic photographer searching out evidence in a crime scene. But what is the crime?’

Above Mulholland Drive #2, 2000, from The Valley. (Courtesy of Steidl).

With his final series Homeland, Sultan departs from the domestic exteriors and interiors of the San Fernando Valley, and uses the landscape around San Francisco, where he had lived since the 1970s. In these images Sultan employs day laborers — gardeners, builders and domestic workers — from Central America as actors, photographing them in what he calls ‘marginal spaces and transitional zones invisible to most of us.’ In these images Sultan, directs the ‘men’s actions and gestures while drawing from multiple sources,’ and  amalgam of his ‘own childhood wanderings in this landscape as well as interpretations of their experiences as exiles.’

Above Batting Cage, 2007, from Homeland. (Courtesy of Steidl).

Katherine Avenue is published by Steidl.

Follow me on Twitter for frequent updates on the photographic books and exhibitions I am looking at.

– Wayne Ford

Chris Timothy on ‘The Valley’

Chris Timothy is a photographer and teacher from England, he runs the 21 Rue De La Hachette blog which is well worth a follow. He got in touch to add thoughts on Larry Sultan’s ‘The Valley’ with reference to key images. If you do not have access to the book make sure you check out our video from cover to cover.

Chris Timothy on Larry Sultan’s ‘The Valley’

Larry Sultans work entitled “The Valley” documents the filming of pornographic movies in his hometown of San Fernando Valley in Southern California. The Valley is an average middle class area, where homes cater for the needs of dentists, lawyers and strangely enough porn stars. These wonderful homes are rented out to the porn industry for live scenes to be captured in an aspirational setting. The strategy that ensures the body of works identity is different to that in which it is documenting is its main angle of concentration on location rather than the actors or actresses being sexualised or objectified. Sultan’s images explore the issues surrounding the questions; why would the owners of these middle class homes rent them to the industry, why does the industry want them? And maybe most importantly what are the consequences?

Why would the owners of these middle class homes rent them to the industry? Is it a sense of self-indulgence on the owner’s part or is it simply a method of further financial gain, which helps with the continuity of the middle class lifestyle? I believe it is the later. To rent out your home to the porn industry is a big moral decision and to do so is a clear indication of where you stand on the issue. However Sultan’s work discretely highlights maybe this moral decision is simply ignored and the homes are being rented out without too much thought to what the consequences may actually be. Sultan’s images show family portraits and personal photographs of the homeowners, their friends and their families, left on shelves and cabinet tops. These photographs are being captured in the background of sexual scenes and taken into the industry. While the viewers are consuming sexual media texts the home owners family and friends are on full view. Is this conscious choice of Sultan to show this demonstrating the loss of morality and care for others when a high amount of money is involved.

Child's Bedroom, Calabassas, 2001 ©LARRY SULTAN

So why does the industry want these homes? The choice of location has been made by the production companies to satisfy the needs of the consumers of the films. Remember, the sole aim of these films are to excite the viewer, so the combination of sexual gratification and aspirational images and locations will help the audiences purpose of consumption be met. To set scenes in houses, which most are not able to afford adds to the fantasy aspect for consumers and maybe most importantly adds to the escapism. Sultan’s choice of mis en scene within some of his images demonstrates this.

west valley studio #13, 2003 ©LARRY SULTAN

There is a definite juxtaposition between the property owners and the porn stars. One of Sultan’s images will focus on the pleasure and excitement of being a porn star and the next, the banality of sitting, sleeping and generally waiting around on set. This drastic change of emotion could be compared to that stereotypical view of a superficial consumer lifestyle held by the middle class. One minute you are filled with excited with a purchase that most would not be able to afford, the next this excitement has worn off.  You find yourself sitting in your museum of expensive purchases with the realisation that boredom has set in due to a lack of motivation and purpose of a lifestyle where there is no need to work towards anything, success has already been achieved.

Tasha's Third Film, 1998

Although Sultan states this work is not focused on the stars of the porn industry, after the audience views the images, most cant help but question why the actors and actresses take part in the industry. Do they perform due to a sense of aspiration and a desire to gain financial clout from a profession that is relatively high paid? Are the actors motivated by and aspire to be the very people who are renting their homes to the industry in which they work? So what are the consequences of the middle class renting out their home to the porn industry? Well, that is a matter of opinion dictated to you by your own moral standing. But what “The Valley” does clearly demonstrate is the porn industry and the films it creates are becoming more and more integrated in every day life and society in the western world.

– Chris Timothy

Erik Saeter Jorgenson – The Valley is my favourite photobook

The Valley is my favourite photobook. It’s the one I wish I had made. As a European, San Fernando Valley is pretty much my idea of the American dream. Equal opportunities in jizzneyland. I think the first image I ever saw from the book was the one with the lady in the killer heels, and the dogs following here. I was hooked. Then I read the essay and was blown away. It was so vivid, I could feel the Cali sun (and the dried cum too). The pictures themselves are so subtle and quiet, businesslike even. At the same time, they’re more cinematic than any porno I’ve ever seen. Porn is all about putting the viewer in the film, but Sultan manages to both be really present, and seemingly invisible at the same time. I still don’t understand how he made some of his shots. Sultan was there, and from first page to last. No book has thinner pages. There have been many books about porn and the performers, but The Valley will always be my American dream.

Synopsis: Larry Sultan – The Valley

Title
The Valley

Author
Larry Sultan

Publisher
Scalo Publishers, 2005

Larry Sultan - The Valley

From the publisher:

Since 1988, Larry Sultan has returned time and again to photograph on porn sets in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley–the Silicon(e) Valley of the porn industry. But The Valley is by no means a documentary on porn filmmaking. Rather, it is a dense series of pictures of middle-class homes invaded by the porn industry. Sultan’s lens focuses on pedestrian details–a piece of half-eaten pie, dirty linens in a heap, “actors” taking a break–that offer clues to a bizarre other-world. The lush and intricate images adroitly play with artifice and reality, adding up to rich, elliptical narratives that circle around the concepts of “home” and “desire.”

These images of homes and gardens, porn actors and film crews, studio and location shootings are an ambiguous meditation on suburbia and its trappings, family and transgression, loss and desire, the utopias and dystopias of middle-class lifestyle. The Valley and its many-layered photographs outline the complexity of domestic life at the beginning of the 21st century, opening up new perspectives for photography through its innovative combination of staged and documentary photographs. In 1998, an English magazine asked me to go on a porn set. After the first five minutes of the strangeness of it all, I started to look around, going to the bedrooms, wandering through the house. It felt like a permission to go into a house in L.A. and to imagine how someone would live their life in this house. I made the pictures for the magazine. I left and thought, “This is it, this is what I have to do.” –Larry Sultan

Resources:

Unfortunately it is not easy to find a collection of the images from ‘The Valley’ in one place. Quite a few however can be found at Sultan’s agent Bill Charles’ website HERE, HERE and HERE

The text by Sultan, from ‘The Valley’, along with some images from the series can be found on American Suburb X here.

Text, Artist statement and interview from the SFMoMA exhibition can be found here

#fromthelibrary 2 – East of a New Eden

This week we will be discussing Kakulya and Mingard – ‘East of a New Eden’ documenting New Europe’s external borders. If you have would like to comment on the book, get involved in the comment section here, or by using the hashtag #fromthelibrary on twitter.

In last week’s session students brought all brought books from the library as well as looking closely at the ‘Border Film Project’

East of a New Eden

Alban Kakulya and Yann Mingard
Lars Muller Publishers 2010
Amazon UK Link

East of a New Eden, Image - Pete Lord

Dipping in and out of this book will be rewarding for those looking for a beautifully presented selection of euro-style images. But the real reward of this books requires investment in it’s documentation and factual pages that accompany the photographers images
– Matt

“Europe’s new eastern borders stretch from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea: 1,600 heavily guarded kilometres between former ‘fraternal countries’. The photographers Yann Mingard and Alban Kakulya spent a long time on the road; one of them travelled down from the North and the other up from the South in an effort to document the places and landscapes that mark the end of the Western world. On their journey they photographed the landscape as well as the border posts with their soldiers and their refugees seized at the frontier, and documented a reality defined in faraway Strasbourg, Brussels, and elsewhere. Explanatory maps and satellite images are juxtaposed in this book with the striking photographs. Articles by political scientists, security experts, sociologists, human rights specialists, and philosophers, as well as literary texts round out this photographic survey of the EU’s Eastern European external borders.”

June’s book is: ‘The Valley’ by Larry Sultan

Throughout June, the Photo Book Club will be looking at Larry Sultan’s ‘The Valley’, a body of work exploring the porn sets in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley–the Silicon(e) Valley of the porn industry.

You can still get hold of the book through amazon as well a selection of the images in Sultan’s ‘Katherine Avenue’ which is very reasonably priced on Amazon and while it does not feature all images, gives a good overview of Sultan’s work in the San Fernando Valley where he grew up.

If you would like to contribute any writing for June then drop us an email: mail@photobookclub.org

THE VALLEY by LARRY SULTAN
KATHERINE AVENUE by LARRY SULTAN