A Focus on Les Levine's House

Here is a book that has remained somehow unnoticed for a long time. House, published in 1971, is a gem that probably needs to be re-discovered. It could be seen as a missing link by Bernd & Hilla Becher on one hand, and Gordon Matta-Clark on the other hand. Indeed, the book is presented by the artist in a revealing way : "On the following pages are proposals for a series of sculptures yet to be executed”. Becher’s Anonymen Skulpturen had been released two years before, it is difficult not to see a relation. The full page photographs show a house getting in ruin, placing architecture as a raw material for sculpture. A few years later, Matta-Clark would take the same artistic path.

A Focus on Allen Ruppersberg's 23 Pieces

At first glance, Allen Ruppersberg's 23 Pieces is a photobook, a rather traditional one: black & white images, in the middle of white pages. Then comes the context. Though Ruppersberg is quoted as being the only author on the cover, we learn in the colophon that the pictures were taken by another person, Gary Krueger, a man we imagine as a professional photographer and/or a close friend of the artist. Krueger took the pictures under Ruppersberg close supervision.

Arles & Photobooks

Back from the Rencontres d’Arles. To be honest, despite the charm of the city, exhibitions were rather disappointing: too much academism, not much risk taking. Hopefully, book stands proved to be quite interesting. I came back with two Roe Ethridge books: “Rockaway NY” and a signed copy of its less known companion “Rockaway Redux” (published by Andrew Kreps Gallery in 2008), both bought at Mack stand in Hypermarkt. The return bag also included a nice copy of Sanne Sannes’ cult book, Oog Om Oog, published in 1964, 3 years before his death at an early age. The photographs and the book design/editing were well in advance of its age, still exerting influence some forty years later.

7 Days Athens - Engström & Wallard

This first post is about a key word nowadays : crisis. When JH Engström and Margot Wallard went to Greece last November, apparently, they did not plan to take photographs of street demonstrations. Actually, they went there for a workshop, which was cancelled. They then found themselves “in the middle of the Greek economic crisis”. As Engström puts it: “People lost their jobs. People demonstrated. No one knew where the whole thing was going. We went out on the streets and photographed in the Greek capital during those turbulent days at the beginning of November 2011”. The result is a striking book, which pages have been inundated with a red background, a color that stands for violence and heat.