The Photobook and Dance in Barreiro

Great to hear about this experimental workshop and reading session in Barreiro that looks to explore links between photography and dance. Thanks to Sofia Matos for the report and images…

24st may | Auditório Municipal Augusto Cabrita

Studies for the Impossible Body

Magda Fernandes (Imagérie – Casa de Imagens)

Studies for the Impossible Body is a series of little artist books that document the making of the Impossible Body project, developed in a photography workshop, in partnership with the photographer Susana Paiva and the Olga Roriz Dance Company, in Lisbon.

In pursuit of an elusive territory, that could be inhabited by photography and dance simultaneously, there were many dead ends and bifurcations along the way. These books are diaries of experimentation and exercise books at the same time, and they speak, through images and words, of discovery, as well as of the infinity and the poetry that emanate from the dancing body.

photobook-club-barreiro-004_web photobook-club-barreiro-006_WEb photobook-club-barreiro-010_web photobook-club-barreiro-013_web

The Natural Collection

There are some fantastic photobook collections the world over – collections that focus on indie or handmade books, collections that are driven by rarity and monetary value, collections based on location and many based on specific events or happenings. The Photobook Club has never been and never had a collection, occasionally kind folks have sent books through to me and I have sought wherever possible to take them with me to Photobook Club events and talks but no more.

Paul Gaffney – We Make the Path by Walking

Now, I find more and more I have been asked to bring collections of books to events, Universities and so on – I respond by bringing my own collection but it is a young and sparse collection lacking curation and coherence. At the same time I have been thinking a great deal recently about a thematic collection, a collection that, while not seeking to be exhaustive, does seek to provide both broad and deep reading. A collection that can be visited in my home, a collection that will be viewable online and a collection that can travel in whole, or in parts, to different locations.

Lucas Foglia – A Natural Order

I figured such a theme would need to be narrow enough that it could near a completion of sorts but in reality this will never happen. I have chosen instead to openly begin a collection with a broad headline, which can then be shaped both by works submitted and interest in it’s contents. The theme chosen I believe speaks not only about photography and it’s history but also relates to the indie photobook movement, the interest in the generative artefact and a quest for a less hectic way of life.

The Natural Collection
– Photobooks, zines and papers that explore our relationship with nature and the natural landscape.

As mentioned above, this is broad, but will be shaped in time. As a set of books to offer a well known guide, I would consider the likes of John Gossage’s ‘The Pond‘, Lucas Foglia’s ‘A Natural Order‘, Ricardo Cases ‘Palomo al Aire‘, Ron Jude’s ‘Lick Creek line‘ and Oscar Tuazon’s ‘Leave me be‘.

The call

I would be grateful to anyone, established or otherwise (incl publishers) who would be willing to send works through to the collection, these works will be featured on the Photobook Club website, will be taken to various book club events and will be open to anyone willing to pop by for a cupa! The condition of the works is not of paramount importance so any misprints at publishing would be welcomed with open arms!

The Natural Collection
The Photobook Club
10 Granby Avenue



Bangalore Weekend of Photobooks July 20-21, 2013 (incl the Box of Books)

Excuse my lifting text directly from the event itself but it perfectly sums up what this event, and Mahesh and Vidya’s open house project in it’s wider context, seeks to do.

For about a year now, photographer Mahesh Shantaram and book designer Vidya Rao have promoted appreciation for photobooks through their Open House library sessions.
On one or two Sundays a month, members are invited spend a few relaxed hours in the residential library.

The Bangalore Weekend of Photobooks will open that collection to a larger audience of photography and book lovers in the city. Come and get immersed in a weekend full of activities centered around the magnificent world of photobooks.

The event will also include the unboxing of the Photobook Club’s ‘Box of Books’ which will be heading next for Kuala Lumpur! You can find out more about the event by clicking the banner above.

Midwest Dirt, A Photobook by Nathan Pearce, edited by Matt Johnston

Dear all,

For a while now I have been working with photographer Nathan Pearce to edit his ‘Midwest Dirt‘ project into what will be a photobook towards the Autumn of this year. Nathan is seeking a modest amount of funding to realise the work as a physical artifact in exchange for some awesome Midwest rewards and I would love anyone interested to check out the project in more detail below.

I will have more on the work, and the process soon but for now, enjoy having a look


When I was 18 years old I packed my bags and left rural Illinois. It had been my home my entire life, but I thought in leaving I would find the perfect place for myself elsewhere. In the city everything and everyone I knew was very different from what I knew back home and yet at the same time familiar. The wild and restless days of my youth were in full swing. But when I awoke those mornings I still expected to see my old midwestern life.

Where I was living wasn’t exactly the wrong place for me, and at its core my life wasn’t drastically different, but it wasn’t home.
I came back home to live almost a decade later. I still have no idea if this time I will stay for good, I don’t know if that will ever happen.
The wild restless days and nights haven’t ceased.

Some nights when I lay down in my bed and close my eyes I fantasize that I didn’t ever return. I dream that I could get right back up and go over to my corner bar in the city and have a drink looking out on the crowded street.

But I’m not there. I’m here. In the country.

Now it’s just after harvest time, my favorite time of year. The fields are almost cleared and I’m barefoot on my porch with a beer in my hands. I can see for miles.

This project is about a time in my mid twenties when I can feel the tension between home and away.

– Nathan Pearce



The Box of Books in Barcelona

The Box of Books arrived this week in Barcelona and there was a special meetup that Jon Uriarte organized themed around the box, which also coincided with the branch’s 10th meetup!

There are a few word below from Jon followed by images via Oscar Ciutat

We had prepared a outdoors meet-up at Montjuic (a mountain/park) but because of a heavy storm with a lot of rain and thunders, we finally met at the CFD, a documentary photography school who kindly let us met at their space. It was great to have books brought by nobody, because it allowed at even more open and sincere discussion about the books than when they are brought by the participants.

Images are CC BY-NC-ND Oscar Ciutat

The box shows some signs of love and travel
All the books
A notebook that travels with the box
Ron Jude’s ‘Lick Creek line’
Rena Effendi’s ‘Liquid Land’
Mrs Merryman’s Collection

The Photoook Club Belfast Launches

The newly formed Photobook Club Belfast run by Laura McMorrow at the awesome Belfast Exposed Gallery held it’s first meetup just this weekend with a great turnout and some sweet books brought along. Looks like more will be planned some day soon in Belfast. I’ll keep you posted, in the meantime, check the event out…

PBC Belfast
PBC Belfast
PBC Belfast
PBC Belfast

Two New Photobook Club Launches: Belfast and Galicia

A busy week – having just shared the Photobook Club San Sebastian’s inaugural invite, here we have two more first sessions from Belfast and Galicia…


The event to be held in Belfast will take place at the fantastic Belfast Exposed Gallery in their book section. The event will take place on World Book Day – Thursday the 7th of March at 6pm. If you are interested in attending, pop Laura McMorrow an email.


The newly formed Photobook Club Galicia will hold their first session next Saturday 9th March at 5pm. Anyone interested in attending this event should email prior to the date. You can find out more about the club by visiting their Facebook page here.

PBC Galicia

The #Picbod Exhibition

264 posts, this is only the second mentioning anything other than photobooks*, but it is something that I am very keen to share. For a while now I have been lecturing at Coventry University on the photography degree and just this term have been running an open class called #picbod (Picturing the Body) which looks to question our representations of the body as well as develop the students artisanal skills as photographers and producers.

The #Picbod Wall at Coventry School of Art and Design

The class is unique in that alongside the 30 students who attend classes with me in Coventry, there are a further 160 who take part remotely, from around the globe through a Google + Community. For the first five weeks all students had small tasks (The Self Portrait, The Tribe, Nude and Naked, Negotiation and The Empowered Portrait) which they would share with one another and be able to receive feedback and discussion outside class times.

©Melissa Santos

Now, students are working on their final submissions which will be exhibited at a venue in Coventry on the 8th and 9th of March (All of this organized solely by the students). They will also be exhibiting digital artifacts online which will be linked by the G+ Community so if you cannot get to the exhibition, this may be an interesting place to go.

If you are keen to see the tasks I have set the students as well as lecture notes and their responses, head to the G+ Community.
(All lectures and lecture notes are available for you to use and reuse how you see fit but I would ask that you let me know if you are planning to do this)

If you are interested in attending the exhibition in Coventry, UK, or just want to show support, head to the event page in facebook.

*Actually, a heap of students are making handmade books for their submission so perhaps this is about photobooks after-all.

©Kate Green


The Photobook Club at the University of Hertfordshire

Next Tuesday I will be visiting the University of Hertfordshire to give a lecture on photobook design and sequencing as well as to run a Photobook Club meetup in the University’s bar.

University of Herts

It should be a great day as it is always fun to work with art students and hear their thoughts on what the book can become, i’ll post some images after the event. If you would like the Photobook Club to visit your University, or perhaps to work together to help increase engagement with library resources just pop me an email.

– Matt