Timofey Parchikov, from ‘Peripheral Vision Moscow’
Paris photo ended yesterday, as I’m sure you’ve probably realized if you read photo blogs. I’ll be splitting observations and related matters over 3 posts as a few very distinct issues came up. This first one will be on the topic of the fair itself, whilst the next one will be on the state of the photoblog world (a topic of a type of satellite blogger meeting organized by Laurence Vecten of LOZ), whilst I’ll address ‘The New Weird’ stuff that I’ve been mumbling about in the one after.
So, the fair. First off, I’ll say that, of the 3 Paris Photos that I’ve been to, this one was the best. That being said, the previous two didn’t set much of a high bar. Which is not to say that the organizers habitually do a terrible job, but rather the very structure of the fair is really really hard to take. For one, you have so many people there that you almost have to elbow spectators aside in order to see a piece. Second, fairs are commercial affairs, so the only organizing principal is that the work displayed be sellable. And finally, there’s just so much of it that the work blurs together: In one of the booths there was a sculpture, which, by sheer fact that it wasn’t a photograph, made it instantly memorable. Someone made the comment that some kind of ingenious gallerist would rent a Paris Photo booth and show nothing but sculpture and installations and sell out simply by sticking out.
But, with all of those caveats, I still found the fair pretty decent this year. There was, of course, the greatest-hits-effect where most of the best work I saw I had seen a million times before, but a good portion was unknown to me, helped along by my relative ignorance on the subject of this year’s theme, Iranian and Arabic photography.
I made a concious decision this year not to dart around the fair and instantly note down the names of artists to blog about, but instead to let the work settle in before making a choice of my favorites. In retrospect, that was a stupid decision: On the last day I showed up to do one final look around before writing anything – I lasted about 15 minutes before deciding that after almost 5 consecutive days of drinking and socializing and, above all, looking and thinking about photography, I was done.
That was yesterday – so, today, you can check out the few highlights I have information for or just look around at other people’s round-ups, a list I’m collecting at the bottom of the post.
Bookshop M: Just inside the door of the fair was the relatively uncrowded booth of Bookshop M, a Japanese publishing venture with jaw-droppingly beautifully constructed books. 5b4 reviewed one of their Takashi Homma books (Trails) a little while ago if you want more info.
Olivier Cablat’s Etudes typologiques des effets de causalité observés
sur des individus exposés à des épreuves physiques à caractère podologique: A hilarious but serious book – There’s a full preview available here. Note that the English translations are on the left hand side, but only faintly.
Pobeda gallery: My favorite gallery find of the fair – a Russian space with really nice work, including that of…
Timofey Parchikov: Okay, yes, he has a way Flash site, which would normally disqualify him, but the two prints I saw at Paris photo were two moments of “Oh, wait, stop, yeah, this is why I’m here…” They were both, incidentally, from the series ‘Peripheral Vision Moscow,’ available on his site.
Arab Image Foundation: Their members seemed like they were everywhere and they presented the centerpiece show of the fair, which seemed somewhat thrown together, but it was enough to remind me what great work they do.
Anders Petersen’s Du Mich Auch:
Be wary of:
Nicely formulated principles and truths.
Useless feelings of guilt and sins
of the past or while we’re at it, a
photography resembling pretty adjectives.
On the other hand, I like private
diaries and family albums.
Hans Peter Feldman’s Voyeur: They published a fourth edition of it and I got my hands on it. Worth a look if you haven’t seen it before.
Horses Think 1
Horses Think 2
The Year in Pictures
Lens Culture’s Preview
More as I come across them or you leave them in the comments.