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Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Quotes [prior to or scattered through essay in web presentation] Anything was suitable for the ‘Sixtiers’ to make poetry out of it: they embraced reality, reality as a whole, as a source of poetry. The object does not have to be elevated or abstruse, the everyday is just as worthwhile. In another magazine from this period, Gard Sivik (1955-1964), this aspect was expressed programmatically as follows by Armando: ‘not to ‘bemoralize’ reality or to interpret (to-make-into-arts)it, but to intensify. Working method: to isolate, to annex. In other words: authenticity. Not on behalf of the creator, but of the information. The artist, who is not an artist anymore; a cool business eye. Poetry as a result of a (individual) selection from Reality’. 1 When the word ‘poetry’ in the above quote by Armando is replaced with ‘photography’, then this approach to reality becomes the breeding ground for a neorealist genre of photobooks, consisting of found photographs. ‘If memories were strong and solid you would’nt need any photographs. They would remain upright by themselves, without sticks or guy ropes. But most memories are flabby and shapeless and therefore we take pictures of things that look memorable to us. With each click of the device we try to expand the image archive of our memory. Who is photographing anticipates on what he wants to remember in ten, twenty or perhaps 50 years.’. 2 ‘The fact that some scholars want to open up the domain of images to consider both artistic and non-artistic images does not automatically abolish the difference between these domains’. 3 ‘And so archives are contradictory in character.’ 4 ‘The current organization and experience of the public domain is defined in part by the tension that exists between individual and collective, between old and new, between autochthonous and allochthonous memories. Within the public domain, memory (its content, control or place) has an impact on the way in which we view each other, ourselves, our past and our future. He who controls the memories and the archives of a society controls time and space’. 5 ‘I never take pictures just for the taking of pictures; I’m not interested in that at all. I’m not intrigued that much with the medium…I want the end product; that’s what I’m really interested in. It’s strictly a medium to use or not to use, and I use it only when I have too.” The end product is not a fine photographic print but the book, a mass-produced object whose coming into-being Ruscha describes as “contrived”. “The first book came out as a play of words”, says Ruscha; the title

1 From: consulted on August 24, 2015.

2 Douwe Draaisma, Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt. De geheimen van het geheugen, Groningen 2001, 58. 3 W.J.T. Mitchell, ‘Showing seeing: a critique of visual culture’, Journal of Visual Culture, August 2002, 173. 4 Sekula, A., ‘Photography Between Labour and Capital’, in: Buchloch, B.H.D. and Wilkie, R. (ed.), Mining Photographs and Other Pictures 1948-1968. A Selection from the Negatives of Shedden Studio, Glace Bay, Cape Breton. Photographs by Leslie Shedden, Nova Scotia 1983, 197.

5 Jorinde Seijdel, ‘editorial’, (NO) Memory. Storing and recalling in contemporary art and culture, Nr. 7, 2004, 4.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism came before I even thought about the pictures. I like the word ‘gasoline’ and I like the specific quantity of ‘twenty-six’. Ruscha then, as is logical, set about “finding” the photographs to fit.” 6 “I collect everything that seems of value or might eventually be needed – doesn’t everybody?”


“Tatsächlich fällt es nich schwer, bei der Beschäftigung mit Knipselfotografie all die bekannten Vorurteile bestätigt zu finden, und doch lohnt sich ein differenzierterer Blick.” 8 “Evoking failure is one of the principal duties of 21st century photographic practice as it exceeds in relativism, but fails in absolutes thus erasing what culture at large assumes to be photography’s pivotal role in the distribution of the image. It places a silk hat on the pig of meaning and it does so playfully and without the anxiety associated with cynical critical discourse again rending les and less absolutism within the tyranny of image distribution.” 9 The very discussion of vernacular imagery, if it happens to use the language of art history or criticism, would seem to posit some more inclusive delineation of the photographic canon, a claim that “these can be art. […] WE might add to this that the snapshot is unmotivated, unauthoritative, nondidactic, and, for this reason, no matter how stages, will pass for authentic” 10 “Anyone” could also be everyone or no one, the anonymous, the mass; the picture so tightly woven into the experience of everyday existence that its author can only be the product of an embedded collective recognition of ourselves. 11 Introduction The question is how to clearly define research on and publication of photobooks of found photographs. The immense reservoir of material available is overpowering, especially when books are included in which found material plays a supporting role. On the other hand, when the selection of books would be restricted to ‘unadulterated’ books, then much of value would be discarded In recent years the genre has exploded with photobooks of found photographs. This project represents work in progress, and is not the result of an all-encompassing inventory of the genre. It is meant to be an organically emerging anthology that allows collaborative modification and extension of its content and structure; it’s a long term participatory project. The metadata for each selected book in this anthology has been entered into an electronic database, using the program FilemakerPro. The website, based on the database, is a flexible and organic environment to which relevant data and visual material will be added. 12 The genre is growing;

6 Mark Rawlinson, “Like Trading Dust for Oranges”: Ed Ruscha and Things of Interest’, Various Small Books. Referencing Various Small Books by Ed Ruscha, Cambridge 2013, 12.

7 Hannah Höch, Album, Berlin 2004, no page numbers. 8 Joachim Schmid, ‘Das Reich der Bilder’, >Knipsen< Private Fotografie in Deutschland von 1900 bis Heute, cat. (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) Stuttgart 1993, 3.

9 Brad Feuerhelm, Miss Titus Becomes a Regular Army Mac, Zürich, 2013, 5-6. 10 Douglas R. Nickel, ‘The Snapshot. Some Notes’, cat. Snapshots. The Photography of Everyday Life 1888 To The Present, (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) 1998, 11, 14.

11 Quote by Christopher Williams, in a conversation with Christina Ritchie, in: C. Ritchie, ‘Foreword and acknowledgements’, Archäologie Beaux Arts Ethnography Théâtre-Vérité. Couleur Européenne, Couleur Sovéitique, Couleur Chinoise. Varietes, cat. (Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver) 2005, 33.

12 The web presentation [] is constructed and designed by Boudewijn de Ridder.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism there is always new input. The complexity of the genre, its diverse variety and multifaceted appearance changes over time. Other kinds of found material came into play, other ways of editing and selecting emerged, in particular due to The Internet era. Three decades ago you had to go to the Waterlooplein flea market in Amsterdam, or elsewhere, or cut and file clippings from magazines and news papers. Different artist’s strategies exist over time: some take walks and gather discarded photographs, others sit behind their screens and filter pictures depositories, like Flickr, or e-Bay shots, or archives of police departments, or CCTV scans. Exploring the variations is interesting, and that is the main thrust of this essay. The database however, is an effort to order the total, with all its strength and weakness in a typology; resulting in seven different categories. This anthology is based on a personal selection by the initiator and contributors, and presents typology of different artist’s strategies within the genre. Some authors-photographers only work with found imagery, and demonstrate strategies of artistic practice in the field of found material. John Baldessari, Christian Boltanski, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Erik Kessels, Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan, Peter Piller, Joachim Schmid, and Erik Steinbrecher fit into this category. They have been working with found photographic material in books for decades. Few women have chosen for this strategy, in particular contemporary female artists: Tacita Dean, Celine Duval, Batia Suter, Elisabeth Tonnard, and Mariken Wessels. Several protagonists: Kessels, Piller, Schmid, Tonnard, and Wessels have provided me with lists of their favorite book titles within the genre, and selections from the private collections, of Johan Deumens, Joachim Schmid and Christoph Shifferli have been included. Most of them are authors-photographers and also work as editors, producers of artists’ books, book collectors and documentalists. This enhanced website is based on the research project Artists' Strategies, Photography & Archives: Photobooks of Found Photographs conducted by Mirelle Thijsen who is author and initiator of the project that took place between 2011-2016. The typology is based on entries in a database catalogue and contains the results of the research. This essay is meant to be an in-depth explanatory text about the cultural historical context of the topic, a niche topic in the history of photography. The objective of the essay is to make a chronological itinerary through the photobooks of found photographs that have been published since the late 1960s, starting with Klaus Steack, Per Kirkeby, Christopher Rauschenberg, Mike Mandel, and Hans-Peter Feldmann, as well as to identify revolutionary artists’ publications such as the Situationist Times. The key focus remains contemporary photobooks of found photographs: photobooks that depart from neorealism rather than cut-and-paste visual imagery in books based on variations of surrealism. As of 2015, [270] titles have been collected and annotated. Additional contemporary protagonists in this field of photography include: Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Rosangela Rennó, Doug Rickard, Will Steacy and Timothy Prus. An anthology of this and other material, in the form of an enhanced website, is the result. In the inventory of these titles, still underway, technical-information about the books is provided, along with references and selected quotations. This information is arranged in fields constructed for that purpose in the FilemakerPro database and has been transported to the web version. Different categories have been created, related to strategies of editing and selecting. Indexes are provided. Each book is categorized and assigned a unique database number, referring to one of the seven categories of books within the genre, and in the case of series of books by the same authorphotographer, a suffix (A, B, C, D, etc.) indicates the number of publications per artist selected for the database. Entries include an image of the front and back covers and several spreads from within the book, as well as a short annotation that describes the content and concept of the photobook, which is based on the artist’s strategy. The annotation addresses the quest and selection procedures by the artist n processing large volumes of images from archives and collections, both public and private, and from repositories and the Internet. Selected quotations, based on found text, are highlighted in color. The result of this exercise is creation of a typology of books about found photographs. One of the subcategories of the typology indicates, for example, the different genres of photography represented in the books, from ideological war photography to encyclopedic imagery, from amateur-photography to forensic photography. Also noted is the origin of the material retrieved, be it from a menu card in a Chinese restaurant or reproductions from books about Adolf Hitler found in a library from a private


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism collector, a former pathologist. The amount of elaborative text in this genre is limited. What accounts for the lack of textual contributions to this genre? And, if present, to what extent is it explanatory? What seems to prevail is an emphasis on literary components, oral histories and other forms of historical evidence. The purpose of quotations in this typology is two-fold. Firstly, they provide factual descriptions of the content of the book and of the ordering principle applied in selecting found photographs, which, in some cases, resemble photographs from scientific archives, a family albums and company inventories. Second, the quotations provide insight into the appreciation and reception of the books at the time the publication was issued. How, in other words, have the photobooks of found photographs been received by critics, in art magazines, in supplements of daily and weekly papers; how have they been signalled on blogs, and which galleries and retailers have given attention to the genre in press releases and online Web shops? The genesis of the various projects is often explained in a bio-narrative manner by the photographers, functioning as editors and authors themselves. In blogs, e-mail exchanges with the authors, artist’s statements on personal websites, this kind of information has been made accessible. These fragments of texts and quotes are included in the database. Perspectives on the use of archives and collections of found photographs in contemporary photography are illustrated by a large selection of statements from practitioners, critics and theorists, related to the selected publications, including Allan Sekula, Hans Aarsman, Jeffrey Ladd, Walid Raad, Joan Fontcuberta, and Lenny Gottlieb. What all of the books selected for this anthology have in common is that they are organized with both humor and intelligence. These publications are the result of attempts to deal with new artists’ strategies towards narrative and authorship. And in doing so, the documentalists, are working towards shifting intersections between art-as-photography and advertising, the private versus the public, citizen journalism and media politics. These photographers-as-editors take into account the vast quantity of images that Western culture produces, be it in corporate annual reports, family albums, photo booths, be they found on Craigslist or eBay. In many cases it is simply a strategy of hoarding images: the images have been collected by the artists, sorted and categorized over the years and stored within the artists’ personal archive. For example, Celine Duval separates amateur photography from post cards in colour, travel photography and notes, images cut out of magazines. Others make complete indexes. Finally, we are made aware of the impact of collective memory and joint ownership of each single photograph. Approaches to editing and selecting The website draws from a long term research project on different artists’ strategies related to the medium of photography and archiving, and focusses on photobooks compiled of found photographs. The research addresses the increasing interest in the advancement of art-practice-as-research during an era when the boundaries of producing, presenting, distributing and collecting photography are shifting on a global scale. The focal points of the project involve the contextualization of vernacular, documentary and art photography, and the genesis of found footage archives in the practices of contemporary artists and author-photographers. In some cases these practices serve to reconstruct historical narratives; in other cases they contribute to the construction of new personal histories. How did I arrive at the seven categories? By comparing artist’s strategies, ways of editing and selecting by the author-photographers within the genre: how is the (lack of) narrative, and the sequencing of images structured? The first category gathers photographers’ strategies regarding both collective memory and cultural identity. This approach involves archival retrieval and the re-finding of both private and public documents in an attempt to store collective memory, as applied by Susan Meiselas and Christian Boltanski. The second category is showing more playful approaches to historical evidence. This type of photobook of found photographs involves fake and constructed archives, and personal narratives questioning the definition of ‘documentary’, as compiled by e.g., John Baldessari, The Atlas Group and Mariken Wessels. The third category is the largest one, fitting about a third of the selected publications. A wide variety of collections of found photographs, including even film stills, or stills from home video’s and selections of vernacular and amateur photography are clustered. Bringing together in this category a waver of author-photographers, from Per Kirkeby to


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism Rosangela Rennó, from Dick Jewell to Ben Schonberger. The fourth category collects publications with found photographs that were subsequently altered, it concerns different artist’s interventions: some cut and paste, as Ruth van Beek, others use alteration of folded page surfaces, like Soto Climent or re-work photomontages, e.g., Albert Oehlen and Luuk Wilmering. Yet others use painted over postcards or anthropological photographs, respectively Tacida Dean and Richard Prince do. The fifth category brings together a selection of books in which found footage is juxtaposed to self-made images by the author photographer. The aim is reflecting on collective memory and the here-and-now: a narrative structure and historical evidence are integrated, the result is a dialogue between archival material and contemporary documentaries. Julian Germain and Larry Sultan, as well as Daniel Blaufuks, Takashi Homma, and Lucia Nimková represent this approach. Yet another category, number six, includes compiled and edited typologies, indexes and encyclopaedic grids, mapping processes of life, time and objects. This type of photobook on found photographs constitutes about 25% of the total and is represented by documentalists like Steinbrecher, Els Scholten, Fons Brasser, Staeck and Mauri, as well as Peter Piller and Paul Kooiker. A variety of images yields from this approach: from digital amateur photography showing fishermen posing after catching a big fish, to a political statement on the ‘War of Terror’ to an encyclopaedic survey of gesticulating politicians. In some outstanding examples, collected in the seventh and final category, seminal artist’s books produced by Ruscha, Feldmann and Christopher Williams, professional photographers are commissioned, or casually ‘instructed’, to make or re-make advertising photography, urban landscapes, and certain typologies in pictures. The result appears to show the artist’s work, but the artist as editor appropriates the original images, sometimes resulting in painstakingly re-photographed material. These commissioned images are simulated or re-produced found photographs. By means of these collections of photographs the artists are creating ways of dealing with the surplus of imagery in the modern world and are redefining conventional visual culture. Collections of found photographs appear not only in books, but also in seminal periodical magazines or zines, and annual reports. The selection of works includes contemporary case studies, the main actors in this survey are: Useful Photography, OHIO and Ringier Annual Report. The research findings resulted in this typology, which focuses on the extensive changes, a real shift in contemporary photographic practice: from image-maker to visual historian. Central to the project is the artistic approach to found photography, the different ways of editing and selecting: the diverse strategies by artists such as Calle, Erik van der Weijde, Arwed Messmer and Annett Gröschner, and Erica Overmeer. The central component of this anthology is a bibliography that includes an inventory of books, selfpublished zines, and author-photographers’ books on found photographs, which have appeared in Western Europe and the United States since the late 1960s. Apart from illustrated covers from the selected publications, book technical data, and found text (quotations) describing the book content, the bibliography also contains annotations. Seven file categories include topics such as: guided collections of found photographs and selections of vernacular photography; books in which found footage is juxtaposed to self-made images by the author photographer. Summarizing the categories of the typology in the database representing the type of book of found photographs: [1] Collective Memory & Cultural Identity: Re-constructed Historical Evidence [2] Constructed Histories, Personal Narratives, Fake Archives [3] Collections of Found Photographs and Selections of Vernacular Photography [4] Re-Made, Re-Worked, Re-Vived Found Photographs [5] Juxtaposition of Found Footage and Self-made Images [6] Typologies Indexes, Encyclopaedic Grids [7] Self-Made or Commissioned Images Simulating or Re-producing Found Photographs


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism These seven categories, which are reflected in the artists’ strategies, and my approach to the source material, constitute the overall typology of artists’ strategies towards found photography. What is, what is not? In this essay the typology categories are not guiding the presentation. A number of types of publications are not included: overviews of private collections, photo-albums, exhibition catalogues, historical reference works, facsimiles, and manuals for functional use. For example, in the 1990s exhibition catalogues were compiled on the <snapshot>as a unique object (Snapshots. The Photography of Everyday Life 1888 To The Present, 1998) or clustered according to artistic categories (e.g., ‘People in front of travel busses’; ‘groups of soldiers’) by professional photographers as editors, in this case Joachim Schmidt (>Knipsen> Private Fotografie in Deutschland von 1900 bis Heute, 1993) is important as a reference work. Schmidt and his contemporaries ‘discovered in the snapshot a kind of folk art that derived a spontaneous aura of authenticity from its unself-conscious directness’. 13 In a more art historical framework the ‘iconographer’ Paul van der Bilt was transforming files of Roy Stryker’s Farm Security Administration photographic survey into an innovative historical resource (Between the Landscape and Its Other, 1993). Instead, Allen Sekula was the ‘iconographer’ of the archives from the commercial photographer Leslie Shedden, but also the author-photographer as editor of Mining Photographs And

Other Pictures, 1948-1968: A Selection from the Negative Archives of Shedden Studio, Glace Bay, Cape Breton [1983 002.III] and thus fitting in the genre. In the same way the magnum opus of authorphotographer Susan Meiselas Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History [1997, 160.I.B], on which she worked for six years, is a collection and selection of 100 years of the photographic history of Kurdistan. The Kurdistan project, a constructed archive of found photography, utilizing self-made and historical photographs and creating an on-going online community and portable national archive is a fascinating model for the genre. The manner in which both Sekula and Meiselas employ vernacular photography to reconstruct memory and history in their practice as a visual artist, professional photographer and researcher is remarkable. They are pioneering in critical, unorthodox approaches to organize collective memory and revolutionized the way of ‘filing’ vast collections of found photography in book form. Excluded from this typology are reference works based on public or private collections like Snapshots. The Eye of the Century (2004) with images from the private collection of Christian Skrein and AfricanAmerican Vernacular Photography (2006) selected from ICP’s Daniel Cowin Collection in New York. Since the last decade this niche photobook has been rapidly emerging. Still, questions arise: What is the content and concept of a contemporary book in which found photography plays a major role? This genre includes a collection of photographs from a corporate archive, like ‘a street vendor photographic firm’ (In This Dark Wood [2009, 074.III.A] by Elisabeth Tonnard) or photographs compiled by a real estate agent (real estate [2010, 103.III.A] by Lydia Moyer). And what is also included is just ‘mirrors and doors from catalogues’, as selected by Penelope Umbrico in Out of Place [2001, 069.VI.D]? Or anthropologists’ photographs, in the 1950s selected for scientific research and cultural exchange by Claude Lévi-Strauss, re-made, re-created and revived by Laurence Aëgerter in Tristes Tropiques Illustrations hors texte [2011, 067.IV.A]. Yet another publication fits this genre: Jet Master – A Visual Strategy [2009, 100.IV] by Idan Hayosh, Corina Künzli, and Salome Schmuki, which contains publicity and advertising photographs created by aircraft and weapons dealers. Other selected titles bring together personal memorabilia, as a family-album (Pictures from Home [1992, 102.V.A] by Larry Sultan, and edited by Eric Himmel; The Epilogue [2014, 140.III] by Laia Abril) or result in a scrapbook (Scrapbook [2009, 087.III] by Donovan Wylie and Timothy Prus). Yet other titles contain visual displays of lots that were sold in an online auction (Private/USED [2013, 078.VI] by Luciano Rigolini). In yet another case the content is a family chronicle of an escape attempt in the former DDR (Apathie. Erfurt / IX1155/82 [2008, 106.V] by Michael Anhalt), and yet another is ‘a

13 Douglas R. Nickel, ‘The Snapshot. Some Notes’, cat. Snapshots. The Photography of Everyday Life 1888 To The Present, (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) 1998, 11.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism container for unstable images’, made by a male nurse who served at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq (Riley and his story. Me and my outrage. You and me [2009, 108.III] by Monica Haller). In some cases collections of self-made images simulate or have the allure of archival material and found footage (The Plan [2009, 107.II] by Michael Schmelling and Cast (Part II) [2009, 107.II] by Raymond Taudin Chabot). Also Paul Kooiker’s books fits in this category: in particular the series of small booklets: Hunting and fishing [168.VII.A]; Showground [168.VII.D]; Seminar [168.VII.C]; room service [168.VII.B]. All of his images are self-made, mostly with a handy camera. His photographs of cigars, nudes and animals simulate found footage, but are actually self-made. Nude Animal Cigar [2015, 168, VII.E] is the first book Kooiker prepared that is based on a thematic selection from, and thinning, his immense personal archive. It is not about the intrinsic quality of the photograph itself, rather simulating vernacular amateur and useful photography, also in terms of quality of printing, while maintaining an artistic message, an artist’s strategy. (The imagery and book are self-made by the artist, including the binding and the cover design.) His way of photographing cigars is reminiscent of Urformen der Kunst: Karl Blossfeldt’s scientific studies, a way of indexing avant-la-lettre. The personal archive has the allure of found photography due to the passage of time, but one cannot speak of a fake archive. The deception is limited. Each page in Nude Animal Cigar is sepia toned, each in a different color. ‘Women and cigars’ is in a feministic discourse an inflammable juxtaposition of subjects, the category ‘animal’ eliminates all suspense. By the way, each cigar Kooiker has smoked himself. These examples, Kooiker’s books, are clustered in the seventh category: ‘self-made or commissioned images simulating or re-constructed found footage.’ The most controversial are the conceptual artist’s books by Ed Ruscha - made during his most prolific period of making books 1962-1972 - simulating barren topographical photography in residential and municipal areas (Thirty-four parking lots in Los Angeles, [1967, 169.VII.A]; nine swimming pools and a broken glass, [1968, 169.VII.B]) or anonymous archival material (twenty-six gasoline stations) and product photography cataloguing ‘how to’ manifest fire in a domestic environment, like in a manual (various small fires and milk, 1964). While other publications give the feel of an absurd movie flip book (Crackers) a clinical forensic research (Royal Road Test, 1967) or a real estate catalog (Some Los Angeles Apartments, 1965 and the accordion fold Every building on the Sunset Strip, 1966). He considers them all collections of ‘facts’.14 Up until 1967 Ruscha was the author-photographer of the photographs in his books. That particular year he hired commercial photographer Art Alanis to take aerial shots from parking lots, although Ruscha himself selected the locations for the book Thirty-four parking lots in Los Angeles, driven by a sociological perspective (Russcha: ‘I’ll tell you what is more interesting: the oil droppings on the ground’).15 In a few cases fake archives of found photographs are created with self-made images ( The Fae Richards Photo Archive [1996, 107.II] by Zoe Leonard) and of course the masterpiece of artistic fabrication is: Fauna [1988, 042.II] by Joan Funtcuberta and Pere Formiguera. Also the photographic images in Moments of Considered Time [2006, 050. IV] are not found photographs; these are pictures taken by Arthur Kleinjan. They are based on and reconstructed after found photographs of Cairo couples ‘lingering along the Nile’, taken by a former press photographer Khalid, whom withdraw from his profession. But the viewer never gets to see the original material. Kleinjan plays with questioning authorship, fact and fiction. In some cases, entire pages from books with full bleed images are reused, like: Stephen Lapthisophon and Suter. In other cases, and much more often, pictures are derived from illustrated magazines, e.g. in the selected publications by: Chris Burnett, Will Steacy, and Luuk Wilmering, or from daily newspapers, as in the artist’s books by Helga Eibl, Susanne Kriemann, Joke Robaard, Els Scholten, and Wolfgang Tillmans, and the private domain. The provenance of the latter is quite diverse: e.g., photo-albums, postcards, family photography and lots of anonymous, and in some cases cell-phone, amateur-photography is represented in the book works by Stéphanie Gygax, Anne-Marie Merryman, Christian Boltanski, Broomberg & Chanarin, and Rickard, and more recently of course stills - from films, videos and social media by Daniel Blaufuks, Grégoire Pujade-Lauraine, Timm

14 Sylvia Wolf, ‘A Decade Kissed by Angels’, Ed Ruscha and Photography, New York/ Göttingen 2004, 122

15 Ibid., 144. 7

Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism Ulrichs, Robin Waart. And in that sense, publications are selected which are far from photobooks pur sang. More diffuse is another phenomenon, that of the (existing) picture within a picture. Noticeable for a photographic image or photographic reproduction that is found somewhere in the recording (e.g., on a poster, in a shop window) and that is photographed by the photographer, including its environment. Many photographers are keen on this type of ‘Droste effect’, or mise en abyme in art, the effect is always surprising. The question arises to what extent this phenomenon has been investigated and described at all. This subcategory is not included as such, since the-(found)-picture-within-a-picture is hardly represented within this genre. Kunst & Leben [1993, 129.VI] by Ulrichs is an uncanny example in an art cover disguise and the artist’s approach is touching upon this phenomenon of the-picture-within-a-picture. The booklet shows porn actors in the 1970s and 1980s performing in front of masterpieces of art, which technical data are described in the captions: ‘Andy Warhol. Marilyn, 1967. Siebdruck auf karton, 91,5 x 91,5 cm.’ Then there are these curiosities, exceptions to the rule, the borderline cases, - which are not included, but still worth mentioning. These are many examples of compilations and collections of found photographs in books, which are not selected and edited by the author-photographer as documentalist him/herself. For this reason I did not consider Local News. Tabloid Pictures from the Los Angeles Herald Express 1936-1961, selected by Diane Keaton suitable for the project; as it is not an ‘artist’s book’. The same counts e.g. for Zeitungsfotos (2014) digitally reproduced and re-worked newspaper photographs by Thomas Ruff, published, edited and selected by Bookhorse. And in the same realm bewegungen aus dem bildarchiv der tänzerin Suzanne perrottet/movements from the archive of the dancer Suzanne perrottet (2014) is not selected because it is an overview of her unique collection of tens of thousands of sport movements, circus tricks, military parades, bull fighting events and the facial expressions. And the found material is also selected and edited by the publisher, in this case Patrick Frey. Another noteworthy example, which has not been selected: the American photographer Matt Lipps began his “Library” series (2013), which is based on a set of 17 thematic “Library of Photography” books published between 1970 and 1972 by Time-Life Books, using collage strategies for compiling 500 photographs, in black and white mainly, from Life magazine archives. Once selected and individualized, the final work is an enlarged photographic cardboard structure-slash-still life of the ensemble, and not a photobook.

Front cover Remind (2003)

Other border cases are included in the final selection for inclusion in the genre of photobooks of found photographs: Remind [2003, 077.III] for example, is a publication, produced in a limited edition which


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism appeared as an exhibition catalogue-slash-artist’s book, accompanying a presentation of multiple artists, collectors and archivists by and large working with found photography: e.g., Hans Eijkelboom, Paul Bogaers, meta-collector Erik Fens and Erik Kessels, and as such is reflecting a portrait of an new era. In some artists’ books poetry or theory is embedded in ‘the rethoric of archival images’ as Chris Burnett indicates in In this Dark Wood [2008, 074.III.A] by Tonnard. Others resemble feministic magazines such as Haarscherp. Een feministisch fototijdschrift uit 1977 (2012) by Arjan de Nooy, or actually ARE magazines, such as the remarkable BABARBER 47 Tijdschrift voor teksten [1966, 080.III]. Many books in this anthology are ‘containers of fleeting traumatic memories’ […] to quote Riley, containing images that others do not discharge from.

Early examples, predecessors, and neorealism

Hanna Höch, Album (Berlin 1933, 2004)

Early examples of artistic expressions and the cross-pollination between art, politics and everyday - not necessarily shaped in artist’s books, but in which the lead role is played by found photographs and which have to be differentiated between cut-and-paste techniques, collages, the phenomenon collections and (constructed) archives of found photography and or film-stills, as well as documentation in series of artists’ books - start with the Dada movement and a dedicated woman collagist Hanna Höch, and in particular her model for a sketchbook: Album from 1933. Why? Because found images, mainly vernacular photography, postcards, and newspaper clips are juxtaposed on a page, rather than cut-outs, as well as John Heartfield’s satirist anti-Nazi collages, commissioned by Arbeiter Illustrierter Zeitung, an illustrated magazine which was clearly visible in the early 1930s in the streets of Berlin. A significant post-war example of this genre is the icon of early pop art: Richard Hamilton’s 1956 collage ‘Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?’ which was made for an exhibition catalogue This is Tomorrow. Hamilton was already stressing its everyday, commonplace values. He made an update with almost the same title in 1992.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Cover AIZ, October 1932 [‘The real meaning of the Hitler salute. The little man asks for big gifts. I’ve got millions standing behind me!’]

Richard Hamilton, ‘Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?’, collage, 1956

The transition took place in the beginning of the 1960s: from motley photomontages and collages to the artist’s book with just a few photo pages, in which the found photograph plays the leading role and becomes more intact, unadulterated. The prelude to the Bilderhefte of Hans-Peter Feldmann and Landscape Files by Overmeer is 1961 by Georges Hugnet, a Surrealis writer, photographer and film director, including a variety of other artistic pursuits, and kindred spirit of André Breton in the 1930s. Even the up side-down date <1961> is the same. The self-published publication, numbered in an edition of 500 and consists of just four photomontages.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Georges Hugnet, 1961. Illustré de quatre photomontages, Paris 1961

In the same realm Robert Rauschenberg catapulted his hyper collages in the years 1967-1978, Asger Jorn and Noel Arnaud published the intrinsic order of, in majority, Nordic folk-art photographs in La Langue verte et la cuite (1968) and the bulky counterculture magazine and product catalogue, an occasional publication, The Whole Earth Catalog (1968-1972) stirred the world. Both in Fin de Copenhague and in the artist’s book with sandpaper cover: Mémoires. Structures Portantes d’Asger Jorn, containing compositions on paper, literarily, splashed in bright color paints by Asger Jorn on top of collages by Guy Debord composed of scattered newspaper clips and advertisements (e.g., a reproduction of a line drawing from a Martini bottle, an entrée ticket for the cinema), as in many other publications of the Movement Situationist International (S.I.) released between 1957 and 1972, pictures were reproduced, without attribution, often pictures already published in newspapers or books, although in both titles found photography does not play the lead role, line art drawings do. The leaning Tower of Venice (1957/2002) is an exception to the rule, a plagiary of the fotonovela which were then popular in Mediterranean and Latin-American countries, compiled by the British co-founder Ralph Rumney in Venice, at the time S.I. was founded.16 In those days Rumney was married to and had children with

16 Ralph Rumney was an active artist in the United Kingdom at the London Psychogeographical Association. From the Bauhaus Imaginista, a group of Italian artists, once established by Asger Jorn, and the movement Letterist International (LI), represented by a young generation, e.g, Guy Debord and his wife at the time: Michele Bernstein (who married Rumney two


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism the daughter of Peggy Guggenheim who owned a mansion in Venice. His wife later committed suicide. The Leaning Tower of Venice is 36 pages in a loose leafed ‘dummy’ that was meant to be published in the first issue of Situationist International.17 It got lost – Rumney lent the document to ‘an honourable man’ [Roddy Maude-Roxby] and refers the delay to ‘family circumstances’. And because of the delay Rumney was expelled from the artists’ movement. His ‘lost city’ was found, 31 years later, and published for the first time in facsimile in 2002 by Silverbridge, later named Royal Book Lodge, with a introductory text by Rumney that recounts in sequence his misfortune. This posthumous artist’s book contains a facsimile from the fake ‘fotoromanzo’ The Leaning Tower of Venice, by Rumney. ‘I began to make this work as a plagiary of the fotoromani’, he writes in the introduction. And that aspect makes this extraordinary bookwork one of these rare examples fitting in the category ‘self-made or commissioned images simulating or reconstructing found footage. ‘A’ is the main character, in a story in six episodes. The pictures are taken by the author himself, by Rumney. The narrative, the layout (clumsy framing in black vermicelli lines), simulate the then famous Italian fotonovela, which occasionally reads as a trivial crime fiction. Each spread, of a total of 6 ‘documents’, describes the photographs in this storyline, taken at different locations situated along the black line marked on the plans psychogeographiques, which create an ideal trajectory traversing, wandering in fact, the city zones - and which are in terms of the developed theory ‘psychogeographics’ the most interesting.18 In long descriptions, we are guided through the episodes. Typed in courier typewriter letter font, short rectangular text columns are pasted in between the small series of grainy and absurd photographs. Like ‘document 2’ leads us through the Jewish quarter: ghetto Vecchio, which is described as the most sinister zone frequently visited by cats and armed men. Followed by Via Garibaldi, San Francesco della Vigna, Santa Maria Formosa, and the itinerary ends at Rialto, where the story has been interrupted at a crucial moment. The book includes a postscript in French.

decades later), a new group split-off: ‘Internationale Letteriste’, as the French preferred it. The members met in the summer of 1957 in Italy to establish a new movement: Situationist International (S.I.), Situationists for short. The British group was represented by Rumney, while Jorn was representing the Italian clan, and Debord the Letterists. In Venice they decided to create an international art magazine: Situationist International. [Isn’t some of this information in the text?] Twelve magazines have been released, the movement is lifted in 1972 by Debord, then final member of the S.I. Dirk Bakker, Bruxelles, in an email message to Mirelle Thijsen, Amsterdam 28 August 2015.

17Ibid. 18 Guy Debord made two ‘plans psychogeographiques’ based on aerial photographs of Paris, which he cut out of a book from

the1940s. Several pamphlets were made using found photographs, and putting found text in text balloons. The most famous is La Société du Spectacle. You do with what you got, with what you find, was the motto. ‘Detournement’ was already a Surrealists notion indicating changing existing material, like Marcel Duchamp’s industrial ‘urinoir’ from 1917.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

front cover Situationist International 1, 1957

Facsimile. 12 pages article on one side, 58x40cm, spread from â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Leaning Tower of Veniceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; by Ralph Rumney, (1957) 2002.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Situationst Times 5, [Paris, Hengelo1964] 179

Situationist Times 5, [Paris/Hengelo]1964, 111

In particular the Situationist Times (1962-1967), an art periodical initiated in 1961 by Jacqueline de Jong, then still an active member of the movement Situationist International, of which the first issue appeared in May 1962, and was published in Hengelo, is a convincing example of the random use of vernacular found photographs with a particular focus on anthropology and ‘outsider art’, in terms of using patterns of ‘overlapping situations’ in thematic issues (dedicated to e.g., the typology of knots, labyrinths, rings).


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism The Situationist Times as well as the issue Barbarber 47 Tijdschrift voor teksten, Augustus 1966 [080.III] are both early examples of artists’ expressions in the Netherlands in the form of irregularly appearing magazines, what today would be called ‘magazine-style books’, in which found photographs play a leading role. That said, the Netherlands should be attributed a key role in making post-war artist’s books on found photographs, in the Neorealist sense of narrative form. The editors of Barbarber, among whom J. Bernlef, G. Brands and K. Schippers [Gerard Stigter] argued for purpose, spontaneity and realism in word and image, and soup up the most trivial of moments from reality and insignificant events from everyday life.

covers BARBARBER Tijdschrift voor Teksten, 1965-1966

Tijdschrift voor Teksten, Augustus 1966

spreads BARBARBER 47(FOTO’S)

The playful Dutch avant-garde magazine Barbarber not only hosted found text (e.g., shopping list, notes) but also found photographs (both forms of ready-mades) were. The ‘Sixtiers’ strived for closing the gap between highbrow art and daily life. They visualized life itself, in word and image, in the shape of human and authentic documents (‘dokumentjes’), which were taken out of their original context. By way of such an unorthodox twist to the way of looking at reality, Barbarber 59, an issue consisting entirely of wallpaper, could exist. Like all issues of this literary magazine, Barbarber 47 has an oblong format: a lengthwise folded A-4. Characteristic of the anti-elitist attitude towards literature is that in the case of this particular summer issue of the journal Barbarber random and insignificant black-and-white amateur pictures and family photographs are included from the private collections of writers/poets, such as Jan Hanlo, Olga


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism Madsen, and S. Stigter. What stands out most is the plain grey craft paper cover, the neutral sequencing and sober juxtaposition of these small and utterly insignificant vernacular photographs (such as: suitcases on a street; a curved dyke; some cows in a field; a bouquet of flowers in a window sill; a polder road) reproduced in vertical rows of 4 images per page, and above all: no captions, no text, which is strikingly similar – and prior to - the BILDER series (1968-1971) by Hans-Peter Feldmann, artist, collector and specialist in the field of ‘useful photography’. On the back cover the word ‘FOTO’S’ [photographs] is stretched in black bulky letters over the full length of this unconventional literary journal.

The Situationist Times, nr. 5, [Paris/Hengelo] 1964, 139


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Front cover The Situationist Times, nr. 5, [Paris/Hengelo]1964

The reference book IN NUMBERS. Serial Publications by Artists Since 1955 delivers information on the genesis of the counterculture magazine and ‘artistic touchstone’ The Situationist Times launched in cooperation with Jacqueline de Jong (in the 1960s assistant to Willem Sandberg, and partner of artist Asger Jorn).19 De Jong was co-editor and compiler of The Situationist Times, with Guy Debord, Noël Arnaud and Jorn. The founders were inspired by the interdisciplinary magazine Internationale Revue i10 (founded by Jurriaan Schrofer and Arthur Lehning in 1927) and the German Twen (magazine for young people in the turbulent 1960s). A total of six numbers of this revolutionary art magazine appeared, mostly composed around a conceptual theme (e.g., knots, spirals, labyrinth, wheel). As the publication continued, particularly in the last four issues, the emphasis became more visual. The later issues contain hundreds of photographs, provided by artists, scientists and architects. This happened six years before Feldmann’s first brochure 12 BILDER (1968) appeared with, occasionally, self-made’ photographs. Thus Barbarber and The Situationist Times represent the contemporary international flow of neo-realism in literature, film, and photojournalism. The cutting-and-pasting becomes past tense, as in the work of Höch, Heartfield and Hamilton, and in the social realist propaganda art of the people’s Republic of China, the Russian Soviet Union and Weimar Germany, in which idealized representations of the ‘new human’, codes of conduct and learning objects appealed to the masses. Writers, visual artists, professional filmmakers and photographers wanted to distance themselves of the use of image and language by means of strategic and economic power instruments. The shift in consciousness is foremost expressed and has its first unequivocal demonstration in Italian neo-realism in film in the 1940s-1950s, deliberately shot like grainy documentary newsreels. Amateurs, ordinary citizens, plaid supporting and lead roles in neo-realistic movies and Latino fotonovelas, set in rural areas and working class neighbourhoods. There is a core focus on popular topics and ordinary people in their daily environment and often-banal situations. Working class people were filmed on location, in long, slow shots, such as in Roma città aperta by Roberto Rosselini (1948). The scenarios are not averse to sentimentality and humour.

19 Victor Brand, ‘The Situationist Times’, A. Roth, P. E. Aarons (ed.), IN NUMBERS. Serial Publications by Artists Since 1955, Zürich 2009 361-367.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

NAGVALK Photo-story magazine translated in Afrikaans after Italian fotonovela

Spread from Latin-American fotonovela in the 1960s.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Cover Szenen aus dem Leben der Rennfahrer (1943)

And exactly these characteristics apply to the unique loose-leaf edition, Szenen aus dem Leben der Rennfahrer (1943), published in an edition of 100 copies, not meant for commercial distribution. The publication, designed by Hans Falk, does not have the features of a post-war documentary photobook. Because of the numbered plates, the sequential thematic and reproduction quality, it is without doubt not a scrapbook, but based on the choice of subjects (the daily reality of cycling crashes during amateur and professional competitions in Switzerland reviewed in newsreels), this is definitely an artist’s book in a trend towards neo-realism. And it is 25 years ahead of its time and sets the tone for a genre of photobooks of found photographs that took root in the mid-sixties. The publication consists of 29 sport and press photographs on cyclists’ accidents, all newspapers clippings from local newspapers collected by Manuel Gasser in a ten-year period before the Second World War. In this respect Szenen aus dem Leben der Rennfahrer is to be considered a precursor of the remarkable neorealist film Ladri di biciclette (1948). Gerry Badger rightly states: ‘it is an extremely early example of the ‘conceptual’ artist’s book, celebrating and elevating vernacular photography long before Ed Ruscha, Hans-Peter Feldmann or Joachim Schmid.’20 Szenen aus dem Leben der Rennfahrer is indeed an early and rare example from 1943, portfolio-like but meant as a book. This large format publication is a loose leafe system with numbered plates, a sequence of pages, with press photographs printed on single sheets. The raw newspaper pictures, documentary and vernacular in nature, are printed in high quality heliogravure. At the same time you realize the reproduced images are folded, roughly cropped, not re-worked: not made to look ‘clean’. The documentalist is not an artist, but an editor in chief of Switserland’s Du magazine, and it was well known that he was gay. Manuel Gasser made a selection of sensual pictures of sport men crashes during road bicycle racing. As such it could well be considered a pre-runner of the genre. 21 So Feldmann examined for years the phenomenon of the ‘archive’ and the ‘operation of the collective memory’. Feldmann works with found photographs, posters, covers from illustrated magazines, postcards, which he collects in a meticulously categorized database. In case a topic is missing, Feldmann complements it with self-made images. In 1977 from this lexicon of found photography an exhibition was curated for the very first time. By showing the ubiquity of the reproduced picture as a form of visual art Feldmann comments indirectly on the mechanisms of the art market and he fortifies

20 M. Parr and G. Badger The Photobook: A History. Volume III, New York 2014, 284. 21 Paraphrased comments by Christopher Schifferli, during a Skype conversation with Mirelle Thijsen,

March [15?], 2015.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism his view that he does not wish to be commercially exploited. Very conscientiously he underlines the importance of undervalued expressions of visual culture, such as the photo album and emphasizes the power of expression of everyday aesthetic strategies. Since the 1980s Feldmann exclusively compiles photobooks. R.W. Lippert explains in Hans-Peter Feldmann. Das Museum im Kopf in words and stunning pictures, how Feldmann, opening with a book given a blue hardcover Knaurs Jugendlexicon (1967-1968), compiled a scrapbook with collages, product photographs and ads, before he started in 1968 his series 12 BILDER (a notebook with a selection of 12 out of 100 self-made photographs of aircraft in the air). 22 It might very well be possible that this Jugendlexicon fifteen years later inspired Martin Kippenberger to create two ‘diaries’ about a similar youth theme: Kippenberger! 25.2.53-25.2.83 Abschied vom Jugendbonus! Vom Einfachsten nach Hause (1983) en Kippenberger!. 17.2.53-17.9.84 Abschied vom Jugendbonus! Vom Einfachsten nach Hause (1984).

Cover of Kippenberger! 25.2.53-25.2.83 Abschied vom Jugendbonus! Vom Einfachsten nach Hause (1983)

‘In the past twenty years photography plays a role of growing importance in artists’ books – as a compilation of found images or in the shape of self-made images that are processed in a book’, according to Sabine Röder in Sand in the Vaseline.23 Röder discusses artists’ books in series, as a collective work in progress, and books and magazines that provide the artist ‘in a functional and a committed way a platform for their ideas.’ In Röder’s selection striking examples of artists’ books and magazines that contain found footage are included, by H.P. Feldmann, sometimes in collaboration with Céline Duval, as well as Martin Kippenberger’s 25.2.53-25.2.83 Abschied vom Jugendbonus! Vom Einfachsten nach Hause (1983) and Kippenberger!. 17.2.53-17.9.84 Abschied vom Jugendbonus! Vom Einfachsten nach Hause (1984). In both catalogues found material, roughly cut-outs from magazines, is combined with cropped photographs partly modified with ballpoint pen. It contains ‘pseudo-artistic collages on the left page juxtaposed to ‘authentic’ Kippenberger’s: Polaroid pictures of performances and work processes. 24

22 W. Lippert, Hans-Peter Feldmann. Das Museum im Kopf, Keulen 1989, 14. 23 S. Röder, ‘Sichtbare Welt’, Sand in der Vaseline. Künstlerbucher II 1980-2002, Cologne 2002, 9. 24 M. Kleige, ‘Einführung ins Denken’, Sand in der Vaseline. Künstlerbucher II 1980-2002, Keulen 2002, 20-25. 20

Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Feldmann denounces since late 1960s the prevailing conventions in the field of the concept of originality and the reproducibility of a work of art. 11 BILDER is dating from 1969. The title is rubber stamped in purple capitals on the front cover of this small tan stapled wrappers. It contains eleven reproductions of photographs of womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s knees, wearing a skirt, some are foreshortened, and taken by Wolfgang Breuers. We see knees, frontally and in profile, of posing women who are sitting on a chair. This cahier is one of a series of cahiers in which Feldmann reproduces per volume one or more found, or commissioned, photographs. He re-produces and re-contextualizes, without making comments, without providing information. Unpretentious photo booklets is what they are, with a grey paper cover, small in size, stapled, not signed, and in an edition of 1000 copies on display in museums of art. 4, or sometimes a total of 10, booklets were bundled in a cardboard envelope with a Ribbon and distributed by gallery Paul Maenz and Edition Staeck. In the typology categories, these foreboding series by Feldmann fit in category seven: Self-Made or Commissioned Images Simulating or Reproducing Found Photographs.

Hans-Peter Feldmann, BILDER (1968-1971)


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Cover and spread from A document made by Paul Thek and Edwin Klein, Stedelijk Museum/Moderna Museet, Amsterdam, Stockholm (1969)

In the late 1960s The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm copublished A Document made by Paul Thek and Edwin Klein (1969). The ‘book’ of 130 pages consists of one and the same double page layout from the International Herald Tribune reproduced over and over again, on which, in different arrangements, photographs - by Jean-Paul Vroom (who released the artist’s book


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism HE. Visual Information about a Human Being in the very same year), and other members of the collaborative Artists’ Coop - objects (wine bottle, twisted rope, paper-clips) and books are posted, and the lineups are reproduced in offset lithograph on paper. Edwin Klein co-published a re-issue in 2011. And that very same year appears H.P. Feldmann’s 11 BILDER (1969), a first cahier in the more extensive series BILDER (1969-1974) containing 4 to 45 images from different subjects, such as: tools, beds, landscapes, girls, animals, chairs, shoes, maids, clouds, ambulances, and airplanes. What follows more or less simultaneously is a series entitled 1 BILD (1970 -1974). A total of 7 cahiers in which Feldmann, per volume, reproduces only one ‘found’ photograph, be it a Zeppelin, a table, a volcano, a bicycle, starting with a winter coat.

Front cover Ferdinand Kriwet, Stars 1, 2, 3 (1971)

Spreads from: Ferdinand Kriwet, Stars 1, 2, 3 (1971)

Ferdinand Kriwet’s Stars 1, 2, 3 (1971) has been released as a standard pocket edition in three volumes, printed in offset printing. Stars is a lexicon in black and white pictures, an avalanche of collages in three small volumes. Kriwet, a pioneer in media-art and a poet, gathered Coca-Cola ads, newsreels, USDollar billets, film posters (Batman; civil rights conspiracy WANTED by the FBI), political figures (J.F. Kennedy, Marx) military aeroplanes and Apollo astronauts, and just the lettering: KU KLUX KLAN. All bleeding images are cramped on double spreads. Objects and faces are arithmetically repeated, expressing in his layout the strength of cutting, editing and mixing. Kriwet is using a strategy sprouting from the ambition to make affordable (art) objects, accessible to a wide audience, and scattered by rapid distribution channels, in order to democratize art. Stars is a striking example of crossbreeding and the use of found photography, seamlessly put together as ‘Schriftbilder’ and ‘Super-Seh-Texte’. Kriwet was


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism an early pioneer in the field of the artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book in which visual art, lettering on the street, vernacular photography and literature were rhythmically integrated. Not only Ed Ruscha and contemporaries made basic photobooks, so did Kriwet.

Front cover Staeck: Pornografie, Steinbach/Giessen 1971


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism Spread from Staeck: Pornografie, Steinbach/Giessen 1971 1971

Klaus Staeck’s Pornografie (2005) is identical to the first edition, printed in 1971. The facsimile is less rigid. The first edition has a tendency to ‘break’ in the spine. The new edition has been printed from the original offset films. The 1971 edition is compiled in the same year as Stars, and has the same density; both publications are made by outsiders (both editors aren’t professional photographers) on German soil. Film maker Staeck was the John Heartfield of the 1970s, well known for his provocative political posters, postcards and flyers, drawing his motifs from current political discussions in Germany. Pornografie however, is the very first political statement within the genre: an exclamation mark in making a political artist’s book compiled of full bled found journalistic and press photography, product photography, advertisements, pamphlets, as well as self-made images by Steack and other source materials. The bulky book, in many ways a forerunner of several of Boltanski’s artists’ books (e.g. Kaddish [1998, 0.26.III.B], Menschlich, Scratch [2002, 0.26.IV.C]) is a manifest on what we call now ‘the War of Terror’. In documentary and staged images on violence in the mid-twentieth century, this publication is representative of an innovative and critical way of using found photography which since has not been surpassed. Why did Staeck make this kind of book in 1971? It is the year of major battles in the Vietnam War that took place in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, the year of the Indo-Pakistani War and of the horrific genocide in Bangladesh. A deluxe edition has been issued in a box and comes with a fishhook. In the same realm Fabio Mauri was scarred by traumas of 1930s fascism and war at an early age. His parents were influential in the Italian publishing industry. Linguaggio è guerra [1975, 165.VI.A] by Fabio Mauri, is an artist’s book per se, consisting of 120 pages with reproductions of full bleed photographs of historical facts from the Second World War, which were all taken from British and German journals, and have been cut, and assembled. The publication is number 1 in a series ideologia by the publisher and has, judging by its cover, the appearance of an academic syllabus. Each collected image carries (part of) a stamp text: ‘language is war’. As such they are branded and usurped. In the very back of the book the full stamp is reproduced. As in Staeck: Pornografie, which was released four years earlier, the found propagandistic, journalistic and press photographs on the ‘War of Terror’ in a broader sense (war victims; ceremonies; transport; in e.g., Indochina, Nazi Germany, and the Middle East) are ‘neutralized’ in terms of storytelling, like ‘archaeological findings’, cropped, and juxtaposed seamlessly on full bleed spreads, as is the case in Kriwet’s Stars. ‘The frontality of the images is enhanced by the static reality of the represented figure’, according to Filiberto Menna in an afterword. There is a division between the signs of language and visual history of mankind appropriating these signs. The result is a ‘seemingly pacifistic use of the photograph.’ The reader is decoding the formal ordering principle, which represents the rationalization of war strategies and the chaos, the disorder, of what any war is signifying in daily life. Fabio Mauri is to be considered an outsider as well: as Steack and Kriwet he was a ‘documentalist’, but not trained as a professional photographer. Manipulazione di cultura [165.VI.B] appears one year later and only consists of images from the 1930s, from Italy under Mussolini and Germany under Hitler. The alarming captions help to reflect on the mechanisms of cultural manipulation and ideology which power is trying to implement.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Fabio Mauri, Manipulazione di cultura, Pollenza 1976

The original images were clamped on a surface of burlap, that Mauri painted black. Those press pictures, e.g., of Hitler parading amidst Nazi military soldiers, in a black void were photographically reproduced for the book. Captions are in German and Italian, and phrased in dry comments: ‘Sie verbrennen Bücher’ [They burn books]; ‘Sie filmen Alles’ [They film everything]. Mussio is the publisher of a series of artist’s books, with a main role for photography, of which Manipulazione di cultura is one. The conceptual graphic design for the large size book started at the beginning of 1971 and ended in 1973, while the book was then printed in 1976. In the back of the book, on the final page, it reads the author has ‘selected and re-worked photography, photographic documents, and divers testimonies throughout time.’ Prior to that, one single page contains a listed and numbered caption index in key-words in German and Italian, like: 1 Sie verbrennen Bücher; 10 Sie bilden Gruppen; 41. This is the only text page in the publication. The lay-out is in threefold. First, blurring and gridded images are printed on, above or below, the upper half of the right page in high quality photogravure on thick Fabriano paper. Second, the lower section of the plane is in monochrome black ink, and painted by hand. Thirdly, critical short captions: ‘Sie kaufen Intellektuelle: Dwinger’ [ They buy intellectuals: Dwinger] are placed in a one-liner below the black plane. ‘Entartete Kunst’ it reads on a banner (Sie definieren die Kunst [They define art]); group portraits with Adolf Hitler or Mussolini alternate with individual portraits of the dictators. Technical progress; classical sculptures; uniforms; leisure time (Sie braunen sich in der Sonne [They take sun baths]); examples of Körper Kultur; and mass meetings in stadiums showing citizens bringing the Nazi salute. ‘They get rid of all enemies’ is the caption of a photograph from a mass grave full of skinny and naked human corpses; the only sign of genocide within the book. The smallest photograph and the largest black plane is for a series of four


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism photographs, in the upper quarter plane, showing Hitler performing and gesticulating, probably in front of a mirror, preparing his propagandistic speeches. The caption reads: ‘They multiply an image.’ ‘The copyright intends to refer to specify the total manipulation’, according to Mauri in the colophon. The publication sells nowadays for 1500 euros. It is a seminal photobook, a masterpiece within the genre. A third photobook Intellettuale (1975), a loose leaf edition by Mauri, contains projected film stills ‘Il Vangelo secondo Matteo’ on the human body of Pier Paolo Pasolini. A predecessor of Thomas Maileander Illustrated People [2014, [145.III]?25

Bruno Locci, “Signore e Signori Qui Si Da Inizio All Giocco” / “Ladies and Gentlemen we start The Game” [1977, 164.III.A] is a compilation of trivial black-and-white found photographs of anonymous family gatherings in Italy in the 1950s, showing squalid amateur theatre in a bourgeois living room setting. The result is an artist’s book, in a small edition of 500, selected from the private archive of Roberto Pavese. The fading vintage photographs – I presume just the reproductions - are made by Fulvio Rosso. The way of selecting and editing, of re-contextualizing within an existing narrative structure, is strikingly similar to the artist’s strategy applied by Erik Kessels in the series In Almost Every Picture, some 25 years later. A new narrative is created. Archivio [1982, 164.III.B] is a second publication compiled of found and reinterpreted photographs stemming from the Pavese’s archive, issued by the same publisher: Giancarlo Politi Editore. And the large folio in a small edition, is rather scarce. The archive is revisited, reinvented into sections. Stories and protagonists – a fake history - are introduced by a brief statement, one-liners like: ‘Maybe Pietro is recovered by Christmas’, or ‘The dead of her husband first plunged her into despair [...]’. The layout is straightforward, simple. ‘Locci’s book shows private lives in picture fragments and afterwards constructed with sentiment. They are really trivial pictures and after all quite squalid but perhaps the result of giving them meaning grows from contrasts.’26 Both books are designed from the white surface, one photograph per page.

25 Dirk Bakker, in an interview conducted by Mirelle Thijsen, Amsterdam, 13 October 2015. 26 Quote from the introduction of Archivio (1983) by Bruno Locci. 27

Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Sigmar Polke, Untitled [First Dublin Painting], 1966, Acrylic on canvas

Gerhard Richter, Atlas, Plate 25 Album Photos, 1962-1968


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism Bruno Locci made personal stories based on found photographs from private collections. Locci, as his contemporaries, never has had a photo camera in hands, and still compiled artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s books. In the 1960s visual artists started to take an interest in photography; a lot of experimenting went on in the United States and Europe, especially in the axis powers Italy and Germany, by such protagonists as Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter. Photobooks are strongly represented in the 1970s in Italy, with Clemente, Locci, and the most outspoken personality Fabio Mauri.27

Per Kirkeby, Roman 1. Landskaberne, 1969

Per Kirkeby, Roman 2. Personerne, 1969

27 Dirk Bakker, in an interview conducted by Mirelle Thijsen, Amsterdam 13 Oktober 2015. 29

Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Per Kirkeby, Rejser, 1978

In the late 1960s and 1970s unique examples of both the Danish artist/poet Per Kirkeby and the Italian Francesco Clemente pop up. The dual publications Roman 1. Landskaberne [1969, 071.III.B] and Roman 2. Personerne [1969, 071.III.C] by Kirkeby were published as early as 1969, even before the artist had started his carrier as a painter/sculptor. Roman 1. Landskaberne and Roman 2. Personerne are both artists’ books produced in one and the same year by Per Kirkeby. The latter contains, apart from a few reproductions of drawings (similar to the reproductions of paintings in Rejser [1978, 071.III.A], mostly a series of found portraits from [people in Denmark], without hiding at all the fact that they are found. The original photograph itself is reproduced as an authentic object: scattered, folded corners, etc. The juxtapositions on a double page, in terms of subject matter, are strikingly miscellaneous. That also counts for Roman 1. Landskaberne. Both titles stand out in terms of sober typography and layout: simply rows of insignificant folk-art and amateur shots. Roman 1. contains postcard-like (urban) landscapes reproduced in black and white photographs. Also in here you may find reproductions of realist paintings and graphical works scattered throughout the vernacular photographs. And the cute booklet REJSER, published by Swing in 1978, shows in two parts respectively ‘representations of Humas Nature’ in landscapes, nudes, reproductions of kitsch romantic paintings, amateur and press photography, and popular culture in no particular order, followed by a series of poems. The random selections, the sobriety of sequencing of, mostly, vernacular photography is similar to the selecting strategies of the editors of BARBARBER 47 (1966), and as well those applied by H.P. Feldmann and Ushi Huber in OHIO, an artists’ initiative in a magazine, published since the mid 1990s. This approach, this artist’s strategy initiated by outsiders in the world of photography, is echoing and cumulating a decade later in the working methods and publications – be it zines, exhibition catalogues as artist’s books or author-photography books - by e.g. Aëgerter, Boltanski, Claude Closky, Eibl, De Jong, Soll Lewitt, Charlotte Collin and Jana Papenbroock, Scholten, Constanze Schweiger, Suter, Steinbrecher, and Van der Weijde.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Front cover Francesco Clemente, Pierre Menard, Rome 1973

Francesco Clemente’s Pierre Menard [1973, 152.VI] is an early example and a surprize: a conceptual book, small in size, compiled of a series of photographs after Jorge Luis Borges’ short story ‘Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote’ (This short story only appeared in Spanish in the Argentine magazine Sur in 1939). The booklet consists of architectural imagery, somewhat similar in approach to Erik van der Weijde’s pictures in Superquadra of nowadays residential blocks in Brasilia or houses built in settlements in Nazi Germany: we look at a series of cut-outs taken from newspapers. Clemente is not known for this kind of work.

Collected writings Willem de Kooning (Hanuman Books No. 14), New York 1988

One other example of Clemente using found photography in a very interesting way is a numbered series of in total 48 small format books edited and published by Hanuman books.28 They don’t qualify, because they are secular textbooks, but it’s a curiosity, smaller in size than a postcard, and published by the artist. Only the strange, Bollywood-like colorful cover is photographic in nature, using found portraits (of artists, like Willem de Kooning (No. 14), Allen Ginsberg (No. 24) and Jack Kerouac (No. 42). The series of books from the Hanuman canon, deliberately made to be marginal in a broader sense, are hand-made paper gems, printed in Madras, in India. Even the gold leafed stamping of the title is applied by hand.

28 Hanuman was co-founded by Francesco Clemente and Raymond Foye in 1986. The administrative and editorial services were housed at the Chelsea Hotel in New York.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Mike Mandel, Larry Sultan, seven never before published portraits of Edward Weston, [plaats van uitgave] 1974

Mike Mandel’s and Larry Sultan’s early examples How to read music in one evening/ A Clatworthy catalog [102.VI.D] and the end result of a participatory project seven never before published portraits of Edward Weston [102.III.C] are both dating from 1974. The latter might well be the very first ‘exercise’ by Mandel/Sultan in compiling an artist’s book on found photography (from the Mike Mandel Memorial Collection): years before Evidence [102.VI.B] was released. The booklet contains typewritten and handwritten letters to Mike Mandel by e.g., E. Stanley Weston, E.W. Garland, and Emma Weston based on a biography-oriented questionnaire. It’s a satire, and a form of ‘mail-art’, turning into a revelation of personal lives of American citizens called ‘[Edward] Weston’. Thirty-five letters went out, seven of the citizens responded in handwritten letters and personal snapshots. In terms of working method, the approach is somewhat similar to the artist’s strategy practiced by Sophie Calle.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

cover Mandel/Sultan, How to Read Music in One evening (1974)

spread from: Mandel/Sultan, How to Read Music in One evening. A Clatworthy catalog (1974)

spread from: Mandel/Sultan, How to Read Music in One evening. A Clatworthy catalog (1974)

How to read music in one evening. A Clatworthy catalog is a hallmark in the genre – although defined as ‘catalogue’ on the cover, it definitely is an oblong artist’s book leaning towards surrealism - compiled of both technical (‘how to’) drawings and instructional photography – only three years later followed by the seminal photobook Evidence on institutional found photography.

Helga Eibl, Tach, Mao!, Hamburg 1977


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Tach, Mao! [1977, 058.III] is the first artist’s book on found photographs that Joachim Schmid bought in the 1970s. The German artist Helga Eibl also made an artwork on so-called ‘Bahnzugangskarte’, which allowed people to go on to a train platform to greet and meet travelers. Eibl made a replica of the original German ‘Bahnzugangskarte’ adding the notion: ‘fur revolutionairen’. Tach, Mao! is a collection of photocopied newspaper photographs showing Mao Tse Tung shaking hand with other world leaders, e.g., Makarios, Franz Joseph Strauss, Mobuto, and Richard Nixon. All men. On the last page Mao greets Mao. This is the only photomontage in the red oblong miniature booklet. The layout is defined by one cut-out per page, centered on the page. Each picture is introduced with a caption: ‘Mao grüsst Hernn…’ [Mao greets Mister…]. Evidence [1977/2003, 102.VI.B] by Larry Sultan and Mike Mandell – issued in the same year, is, in fact, introducing a ‘new conceptual practice’ and a new strategy towards decentralization of ‘pinnacles in photography as art: narrative and authorship’.29 Evidence is a milestone and the kick-off of a new genre of photobooks on found footage. A new way of sorting and selecting found photography, in this case institutional and corporate archives, of loosely sequencing, of cross breeding arts with politics and the vernacular. And what is demonstrated are documents, records, of empirical research, odd scientific experiments and inquiries taken out of their original academically, and institutionally controlled context. Evidence is an early example of the currently widespread photographic practice as research and the genesis of the author-photographer as editor, in collaboration.

Mike Mandel, Larry Sultan, front cover Evidence, New York 1977

29 Daniel Shea, ‘Mike Mandell and Larry Sultan Evidence’, Ahorn magazine,, consulted on January 28, 2013.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Mike Mandel, Larry Sultan, spread from Evidence, New York 1977

The misfits

Sam Abell, Marlboro cigarettes advertisement / Richard Prince, Untitled (Cowboy), 1975

Richard Prince is one of a kind. The American artist has been consistently using found photographs throughout his oeuvre, he is known for it; it is his landmark. Prince has compiled many artists’ books slash catalogues since the mid 1970s, leaning towards the obscure and perversity. Titles as Adult Comedy Action Drama (1995); Naked Nurses (2006), and Jungle Pam. Ari Marcopoulus and Richard Prince (2011) suggest that. His artist’s strategy has been defined as ‘appropriated’ photography/video and film stills, shown as single re-photographed pictures like Untitled (Cowboy) from 1975, a commissioned, and rephotographed advertising picture taken by Sam Abell and appropriated from a Marlboro cigarettes advertisement. So Prince is merely using found footage to create single artworks, like Andy Warhol did.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism In 1977 Prince photographed four press photographs, previously published in the New York Times. And five years later Spiritual America features a single photograph by Garry Gross from the actress Brooks Shields at the age of ten years old, heavily made-up, oiled up, standing naked in a bathtub, alluring to her sexuality as well as to a photograph of a gelded horse by master photographer Alfred Stieglitz with the same title, meat to criticize pre-war American puritan society. Prince’s rephotographed, re-cycled, re-shaped and re-contextualized single (commercial) photoworks appear on museum walls, and in exhibition catalogues, which is different: not necessary with a main role for sequential series of found photographs in artist’s books.30 It’s all about copyright infringement and putting the already polluted and obscene nature of ‘American spirituality’ under further scrutiny. In terms of artists’ strategies towards found photography, authorship and copyright infringement Canal Zone is an interesting case. Richard Prince ‘Canal Zone’ (2008), is compiled of a series of painted and manipulated photographs, and an exhibition catalogue. It shows a selection of anthropological and ethnographical photographs taken by photographer Patrick Cariou from the Caribbean islands and published in Yes, Rasta (2000). Cariou started a law suit against Prince for appropriating his imagery, and copyright infringement. Prince finally won the case. Prince selected Cariou’s images and painted them over: a form of a painterly intervention with found photography. The original pictures are in colour. Bootleg copies of Canal Zone, which once have been purchased cheap, are on the market.31

The full title of the book edited off the court transcript pretty much says it all: ‘Canal Zone Richard Prince

Yes Rasta: Selected Court Documents from Cariou v. Prince et al, including The Videotaped Deposition of Richard Prince, the Affidavit of Richard Prince, Competing Memoranda of Law in Support of Summary Judgment, Exhibits pertaining to Paintings and Collages of Richard Prince and The Use of Reproductions of Patrick Cariou’s YES RASTA Photographs Therein, And The Summary Ass Whooping Prince Received at the Hand of The Hon. Judge Deborah A. Batts, as compiled and revised by Greg Allen for the making of in April 2011’.32

30 ‘Richard Prince (b.1949) emerged in the 1980s as one of America’s new, highly innovative artists working with the margins of America's subcultures and visual debris. The appropriation and re-presentation of highly idiosyncratic subject matter - such as one-line jokes, off-colour cartoons, cowboys (‘borrowed’ from Marlboro ads) and motorcycle gangs - are essential to his work. In the late 1970s Prince was working for the cutting services of Time Life publications in New York, where he had access to thousands of cut-up magazines in which only the advertisements remained intact. He began to re-photograph the advertisements and compose his own pictures from this highly familiar imagery, updating 1960s Pop Art’s homage to consumerism and its icons.’ Quote from Abebooks, consulted on September 15, 2015.

31 Christopher Schifferli in a Skype conversation with Mirelle Thijsen, March 15, 2015. 32 ‘The 375 pages of Richard Prince’s deposition released as part of the litigation of Patrick Cariou’s copyright infringement case constitute the longest, most exhaustive interview Prince has ever given. In it, he discusses his work, his inspiration, and his practice, but also his history and biography, topics about which he had carefully cultivated an air of ambiguity.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Front cover Christopher Williams, Archäologie Beaux Arts Ethnography ThéâtreVérité. Couleur Européenne, Couleur Sovéitique, Couleur Chinoise. Varietes, Vancouver 2005

For the same reason the question arises: Does Christopher Williams fit in the genre, or not? The answer is: probably yes and no. He is an intellectual conceptual artist, mixing found photography with self-made images, or the artist commissions professional commercial photographers to duplicate existing advertising and photojournalistic photographs and apply them to a new art context in artists’ books which are equally considered exhibition catalogues. He uses high quality photographic reproduction techniques (dye-transfer), which allows excellent control of the colour in the final print. In his subject matter there is a quick reference to travel posters, National Geographic, T.V., product advertising, and photographic industries. Williams re-enacts histories of American photography, such as the fact that in post-war America colour photography was banned at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and in the pages of US Camera. The catalogue issued by Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver: Archäologie Beaux Arts Ethnography Théâtre-Vérité. Couleur Européenne, Couleur Sovéitique, Couleur Chinoise. Varietes [2005, 022.VII.C] is a prototype of manifesting hybridization and cross-cultural historical references, and ethnicity, fitting in the category ‘self-made or commissioned images simulating or re-producing found photographs.’ These cultural historical references are reflected in the title. In a horizontal banner along the top edge of the cover a text is pasted simulating an academic publication and factual product information. The cover photograph is, probably, reproduced from a vintage ethnographic textbook, or travel poster. In another case Williams reproduces and appropriates entire catalogues by fellow artists. A Pierre Manzoni catalogue from the 1970s turns into a Christopher Williams catalogue from 2007 with the same features, like a glued-in photograph. These are a few examples of the artist’s book slash catalogue not fitting the genre. Others are more appropriate: Printed in Gernmany. The Production Line of Happinnes (Green edition) [2015, 022.VII.B] and its predecessor For Example: Dix-Huit Lecons Sur La Société Industrielle (Révision 11) [2010, 022.IV.A]. These are sequential publications, including the catalogue published by the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver. All volumes are part of the series For Example: Dix-Huit Lecons Sur La Société Industrielle. The Yellow edition is the first publication in the trilogy The Production Line of Happinness. The title refers to a line, a quote, from a documentary by Jean-Luc Godard, in which amateur-filmmaker Marcel makes a comparison between ‘his daily job as a factory worker with his hobby of editing his films of the Swiss countryside, describing the latter as “the production line of happiness.” It’s mainly a textbook, in line with the sobriety of academic syllabi. It contains essays, manifests, formal oration Couple this testimony with his affidavit; reproductions of his entire series of Canal Zone paintings; and his lawyer's detailed argument defending their copyright status, with Patrick Cariou's own exhaustive, illustrated assertions of unlawful theft; and you basically have the entire, firsthand story of the art world’s most controversial copyright battle’. From Amazon, consulted on September 15, 2015.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism footnotes, an ‘index’ and ‘supplement’ containing painstakingly described captions of re-photographed material that re-appears as a ‘stand-alone visual object’ in the second, Green edition. Some are added, some are left out. In the Yellow edition it reads: SOURCE (1981), which refers to the first image in the supplement, is a quartet of photographs, that Williams presented as part of his MFA degree exhibition at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). ‘The work resulted from a process of filtering images sourced from the archives of the John F. Kennedy Library through a set of selection criteria and enacting several procedures to reprint and re-present them. During the 1980s Williams continued to work with existing archives and complex systems of selection. [...]. These prints are noticeably well made.’ 33 Although this specific image is not re-appearing in the green edition, in the supplement caption to SOURCE his rigid criteria for selection and technical procedure are described in extreme detail, and this artist’s strategy Williams has maintained for a lifetime.34 Williams appropriates front covers of Elle magazine, winter holiday brochures from Switzerland, TAI Afrique campagnes, product photography of cameras manufactured in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). In the latter, his model is Christoph Boland, or Boland’s wife. The re-photographing is mainly executed at Studio Thomas Borho in Düsseldorf, a hardcore professional advertising photographer. The green edition is kind of a paper sample book: interleaved with plain green wood containing paper sections. On the front cover of each edition is a portrait of a black man: Mustafa Kinte (Gambia), each time slightly different - a moment after a moment - wearing a snow-white Van Laacken Shirt Kent 64. Printed in Germany is in terms of image selection strongly related to the preceding ‘orange edition’ and exhibition catalogue For Example: Dix-Huit Lecons Sur La Société Industrielle (Révision 11) as well as Archäologie Beaux Arts Ethnography Théâtre-Vérité. Couleur Européenne, Couleur Sovéitique, Couleur Chinoise. Varietes in the same series. On the contrary, Boltanski’s publications, from Géo Harly. danseur parodiste (l’album 2) [1988, 026.III.D] to Scratch [2002, 026.IV.C] are considered exhibition catalogues ‘slash’ artist’s books, and vice versa, but are entirely devoted to sequential series of found photographs, and mainly containing selections from his personal archive. And the content is overlapping: the selection of visual imageries is significantly interrelated. Kaddish [1998, 026.III.B] is a striking example. Published on the occasion of the exhibition Dernieres années at Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris du 15 mai au 4 octobre 1998. The bulky publication contains a large selection of grainy, full bleed black & white found photographs from his archive, arranged according to four themes: ‘Menschlich’ (1994), ‘Sachlich’ (1995) and ‘Sterblich’ (1996). And the last series ‘Örtlich’, referring to places where crimes have been committed, is stemming from the earlier series El Caso [1988, 0.26.VI.H]. All four themes were originally presented in installations and issued as artist’s books with the same title. The selected photographs are also referring to other publications by Boltanksi, such as: Diese Kinder suchen ihre Eltern/ Children in search of their parents [1994, 0.26.VI.F] and Les Lycée chases [1987, 0.26.IV.G]. The same counts for Bilder von der Strasse by Joachim Schmid [1994, 014.III.B], and its follow up: Bilderbuch [2012, 0.14.III.F]. This artist book is published on the occasion of the ‘Bilderbuch’ exhibition in Reiss-Engelhorn Museen/ Raum fur Fotografie Zephyr, Mannheim. Containing a wide variety of the very first newspaper clips, play cards, adds collected by Joachim Schmid fourty years ago. From Madonna, Rote Armee Fraction and portraits from J.F. Kennendy’s murderer Oswald to Berlusconi and the Twin Towers on fire. Schmid started out collecting discarded images when he was seventeen. Some grainy reproductions of newspaper portraits are revisited in forty years (2011). Schmid has made

33 M. Godfrey, R. Marcoci, M.S. Witkovsky, ‘Introduction’, The Production Line of Happinness, Cologne 2015, 9. 34 ‘1. From SOURCE: The Photographic Archive, John F. Kennedy Library, Columbia Point on Dorchester Bay, Boston, Massachusetts 02125, U.S.A; CONDITIONS FOR SELECTION: There are two conditions: the photograph or photographs must be dated May 10,1963, and the subject, John F. Kennedy, must have his back turned to the camera. All photographs on file fulfilling these requirements are used. TECHNICAL TREATMENT: The photographs are subjected to the following operations: re-photography (4 x 5 " copy negative), enlargement (from 8 x 10" to 11 x 14" by use of the copy negative), and cropping (1/16" is removed from all sides of the re-photographed, enlarged image) [...].’ Christopher Williams, ‘supplement’, The Production the new reaLine of Happinness, Cologne 2015, 167.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism about 120 books on found photographs since 1988. This Bilderbuch is the celebration of printed culture; all printed matter from 1971 till the present day, no digital imagery is collected in this publication. And Erik Steinbrecher’s exhibition catalogues, such as Prospekte. Ansicht wider der Eigensinn [1995, 088.VI], and Karawana Karawana [2004, 088.III.C] are artist’s books, mainly as magazines. Just like Christian Boltanski, Erik Steinbrecher produces artist's books which are self-published, usually in cooperation with a museum or cultural institution as part of an exhibition program. And like Boltanski, Steinbrecher creates ‘reine Bilderbucher’. Instead of people and victims of war, Steinbrecher focusses on everyday life, industrial and mass products. All of them are ‘documentalists’ and make artist’s books in series. Simultaneously, their titles have been issued to accompany exhibitions, but don’t have the features of a mainstream catalogue. For these reasons, all are included in the anthology.

The new neorealist tradition Another milestone, and fitting in the ‘new’ neorealist tradition of documenting found vernacular photography is Mining Photographs And Other Pictures, 1948-1968: A Selection from the Negative Archives of Shedden Studio, Glace Bay, Cape Breton [1983, 002.III] by Allan Sekula. Mining Photographs And Other Pictures, is most obviously an academic publication, and another way to mark the starting point of a new direction in photography when it comes to processing found photographs. Five years after the presentation of Feldmann’s SonntagsBilder at the Documenta 6 - his first experience of art through reproduced photographs - and the emergence of Evidence, Allan Sekula described the capabilities and limitations of the photographic archive in his notorious essay ‘Reading an Archive’, based on the local archive of industrial and vernacular photography built by the commercial photographer Leslie Shedden. The publication is part of the Nova Scotia Series Source Materials of the Contemporary Arts. Mining Photographs is an early example of a photobook in which the distinction between the public and private sphere is dissolving. The photo section in the book consists of two parts: a series of corporate images commissioned by the Dominion of Canada Steel and Coal Corporation (Dosco) and a series of commercial photography of ‘community life’ from the archives of Shedden Studios. The photographs by Leslie Shedden have been commissioned by the Canadian mining company, for PRpurposes. Leslie Shedden was a commercial photographer working in the coalmine regions of Cape Breton between 1948-1968. He documented every event systematically for Dosco’s corporate image. For example, Shedden took pictures of machinery, broken down, in action, with proud engineers and workers standing by; office parties; executive meetings; company baseball teams; pit ponies; and machine shops. In addition, the archive consists of photographs depicting highlights in the local community, also made in this region (weddings, passport photographs, annually portraits of students and faculty members for high school yearbooks.). Sekula makes some critical observations about the reception of such an archive. What are the consequences of re-arranging two different categories of found photographs? What about archival material and documents of which the original, verifiable, historical significance is erased, and what if the context and the format of the images are changed? What Sekula considers problematic is that two very different image categories (commercial and corporate photography versus family and amateurphotography) ‘are homogenized together within a book with identical processes of reproduction which did not exist in the ‘original copies’. […] Allan Sekula questions the authorities and the way ‘institutions of knowledge and power’ appropriate and interpret these images. 35 He writes: ‘Mining Photographs constituted a deliberate shift in the trajectory of a press that had been previously committed solely to the documentation of vanguard artistic practice in the United States, Canada and Western Europe. Through a collaborative effort, the book combines a sampling of an archive of industrial and commercial photographs with essays on regional working class history and the history of photography. In addition to a selection of three-hundred-and-thirty-four pictures by

35 Krystle van Hoof, ‘Allan Sekula. Reading an Archive: Photography Between Labour and Capital’, placed on June 26 2006.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism photographer Leslie Shedden, the book includes an introduction by Robert Wilkie and a study of the working-class culture and politics of industrial Cape Breton by historian Donald Macgillivray. “Photography between Labour and Capital” begins with this brief historiographical mediation and moves on to trace a lineage of technical realism, from the illustrated medical and mining manuals of the sixteenth century and the Encyclopaedia of the eighteenth-century French Enlightenment to the institutionalized industrial photography of the epoch of monopoly capitalism. Thus it is an essay about the emergence and triumph of dominant models for the photographic representation of human labour, about the affiliation of photographic realism with the logic and enterprise of engineering. Overall, Mining Photographs is intended as a “tool kit” – in Michel Foucault’s sense – for the reader. We had in mind a picture book that allowed pictures to offer their density of meaning, and a picture book that developed critique of picture books. Our grandest ambition was for the reader to think differently about work, industry and everyday life. Slightly more modestly, we wanted the reader to think differently about the ways in which history and the present are conventionally represented by means of pictures’.36

The documentalists and newspaper clipping As mentioned earlier, in the 1960s Feldmann began making his series BILDER Hefte, (1968–75), assembling small staple-bound artist’s books that each contain a collection of images of a certain type, not in particular press or journalistic photographs, as a matter of fact the genre might as well be defined as an intimate kind of ‘domestic photography’, showing typologies of everyday phenomena, such as: unmade beds, or women’s knees. The titles: 1 BILDER, (1970, containing a freestanding photograph of a women’s worn winter coat) or 5 BILDER (1973), indicate the number of photographs the brochures contain. They amount to as much as 152 Bilder (1971). The latter is a booklet containing that amount of portraits of women. Not all photographs were commissioned and taken by Alex Schneider. For the very first publication in the series 12 BILDER (1968) Feldmann himself took a number of 100 photographs of airplanes in the sky and narrowed them down to a selection of a dozen pictures. So each booklet contains a fairly poor reproduction of, just one single or more found, or selfmade, or commissioned photograph(s). Feldmann consistently reproduces anonymous people, utilitarian objects and insignificant things without commentary, without additional information. The following citation condenses his working method in the cultural historical context of a Zeitgeist: ‘After 1968, Feldmann began to categorize (as Richter did in his own way) the daily flood of haphazard images with which he was inundated into small booklets arranged according to subjects, such as chairs, mountains, bicyclists, swimmers, trees and sailboats and these serializations closely suggested the works of Bernd and Hilla Becher. He self-published these booklets as simple stapled brochures in various sizes as black-and-white offset publications with no annotation or commentary on what was being presented. The covers were grey cardboard, the titles were stamped in blue, and they were not signed; the maximum print run was one thousand. […] Most characteristically, however, Feldmann errs on the side of excess. For example, the ridicule normative aesthetics and the interchangeability of images, he collects his series of subjects from calenders, books and postcards, or from amateur and professional photographers, often choosing the most banal and hackneyed sorts of imagery and presenting often over 100 images. Feldmann preferred that the average number of objects and photographic representations mirror each other. The number of publications per year varied; in 1968 there were two, and in 1972 there were seven. In one instance, in 3 BILDER (1976), he substitutes the images with descriptions, which made clear how close his work is to conceptual art. (In a reverse strategy, he once answered interview questions by providing photographic images). The

36 Allan Sekula, ‘Reading an Archive’, Brian Walles (ed.), Blasted Allegories. An Anthologie of Writings by Contemporary Artists, New York/Cambridge 1987, 114-127.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism exhibitions of these booklets are as unpretentious as the booklets themselves; in museums and galleries they are thetered by cords from the ceiling or lie on tables that the visitors may handle them. In 1977, Feldmann showed his Bilderfundus (Fund of images), which he described a s “a copy of the world,” in the Folkwanf Museum in Essen, Germany. The museum exhibition of these materials as well as their display in booklets raised questions about the traditional concept of art and work: photos are trivial, and these are ready-mades and reproductions. In the age of mass media the artistic original has become, for Feldmann, a dubious category.’37 The BILDER Hefte series were merely low profile democratized small exhibition catalogues, self-published brochures and packed in cheap carton sleeves, ready to sent of to make little money, and deliberately excluded from the mainstream art market. The artist’s strategy is cumulating in a facsimile of the February 2000 issue of the Austrian political magazine Profil, without text, nor headlines. JeanPierre magazine [024.III.F] which appears a year later, is much more ‘narrative’ in approach. Feldmann’s working method is unpretentious, neutralizing, simple, as is the strategy of Mauri and Boltanski, although in their case manipulation, cropping and blackening is creating the apocalyptic. Der Uberfall [1975, 024.VI.C] instead, is Feldmann’s debut book production offering the opportunity to show larger typological sequences containing exclusively newspaper images of a hostage crisis which the artist witnessed himself, stripped of their original commentary, and only showing the one-liner captions, as appeared in different newspapers the day after the hold up. It is composed of 26 photographic reproductions, cut-outs from newspapers in facsimile, glued to the underlying page. The book is a critical analysis of the contemporary media and picture-editors’ strategies in newspapers following a bank robbery in the German town of Hilden.

Cover Hans-Peter Feldmann Der Überfall (1975)

37 Brigritte Hausman, ‘Hans-Peter Feldmann’, Lynne Warren (ed.), Encyclopedia of Twenthiest Century Photography, New York/London 2006, 504.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Inner work from: Hans-Peter Feldmann Der Ă&#x153;berfall (1975)

This minimalist approach has been a straightforward source of inspiration for many contemporary author-photographers as editors and artists, like Erica Overmeer and of course Duval, and Els Scholten, and other authors/photographers as editors interested in re-contextualizing imagery of the mass media. They have common interest in the way we perceive our surroundings and our realities through news photography, and in how we tend to rely on photography as a reliable source for information. Added to that, in terms of layout Der Uberfall is remarkably similar to that of Nulla da Dire compiled by Els Scholten, approximately fifteen years later.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Cover of Profil, February 2000 / Cover of facsimile Profil by Hans-Peter Feldmann

Again ten years after the BILDER Hefte by Feldmann, Joachim Schmid compiled <Knipsen> Private Fotografie in Deutschland von 1900 bis heute (1993). The publication, an exhibition catalogue, appeared in the series Das Reich der Bilder. Fotografie in Deutschland von 1850 bis heute. [Taking Snapshots. Amateur Photography in Germany from 1900 to the Present]. He chose for a conceptual and sociological approach of useful and amateur-photography. Schmidt discusses the ‘banality’ and ‘peripheral form’ of snapshots, with ‘a differentiated look’ and averse of prejudice. He describes this kind of vernacular photography as the raw material of the history of popular culture, because of its highly authentic status. While selecting, categorizing and archiving Schmidt constitutes ‘tableaux’. Over the years, he created a large image archive that is geared towards a workshop, dedicated to all representations of photography, including postcards, amateur pictures, online image repositories and newspaper photographs. His ambition has been for decades, and still is, out of the sum of tableaux, to develop a classification system on the basis of ‘trivial photography’. Some early examples of classification of groups are: ‘couples’; ‘women at sea’; ‘people with horses’; ‘marriages’; ‘dancing horses’; ‘blurred images’; ‘described picture postcards’; ‘camping holidays’; ‘soldiers’ and ‘workers’. This principle of comparative research, filing and classifying is taken from physical collections in analogy with zoological, botanical ordering principles, although these are not hierarchical but open structures and characterized by a wider typological objective. The principle is for decades manifested in Schmid’s self-published publications – in the early years by Edition Fricke & Schmid and until recently by ABC Artists Books Cooperative. From Bilder von der Strasse [1994, 014.III.B] to L.A. Women [2011, 014.VI.E], to mention a few of at least fourty book titles.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Again other artists simply strip images from daily newspapers, glossy magazines, holyday brochures or academic textbooks. Roman Ondák’s Observations [2012, 081.III] is an example of the latter. Observations is an artist’s book as catalogue published on the occasion of the Documenta (13). Just imagine a white wall with all these small pictures, neatly framed, and lined up in Kassel. You realize right away these pictures are cut-outs from books, or newspapers. Some artists’ strategies with found footage don’t require a lot of effort. The artist himself explained he found the sourcebook without a cover (which might be a cover up, in terms of copyright infringement). The first impression is these captions contain phrases fabricated by the artist. But glimpsing through the thin paper you see the backside is also printed, so both text and image have to originate from one and the same source. Artist’s book collector and editor Christoph Schifferli obtained the original source material by typing one of the longer captions as a string into Google and the publication Nonverbal Communication. Notes on the Visual Perception of Human Relations (1956) by Jurgen Ruesch and Weldon Kees popped up. Professor Ruesch compiled the book in collaboration with Kees, a poet with a small bibliography, in which he explains he collaborated on this project before starting his Ph.D. On the right pages in Observations single images, or series of two 1950s American-daily-life pictures with a high level of Walker-Evans-signature, are depicted. Other pictures show a high degree of Weegee- or Atget-, or even Lee Friedlander-ness. Short text fragments on signs and symbols – from this study book for students in the discipline of communication theory – are philosophical in nature and have been copied integrally. The oblong book clearly contains a selection of found photographs, a very interesting example of the use of captions in terms of ‘iconotext’ throughout time and discipline. So Ondák blindly re-photographed and re-printed both pictures and captions from Nonverbal Communication. Notes on the Visual Perception of Human Relations, without proper quotation of source.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Front cover Jurgen Ruesch, Weldon Kees, Nonverbal Communication. Notes on the Visual Perception of Human Relations, Berkeley/Los Angeles 1956

In the first chapter ‘Modern Theories and Methods’ in Nonverbal Communication. Notes on the Visual Perception of Human Relations the authors explain the provenance of the pictures which 55 years later have been de-contextualized by Ondák. One might even consider their endeavor an artistic and scientific strategy towards (immaterial) ‘found photography’, which only existed in the minds of the researchers, as predominating concepts and, sometimes peculiar or funny, objectives in the field of non verbal communication, such as: ‘Habit Patterns’; ‘Order and Disorder’; ‘House C: Oceanic Orientation’; ‘Cues for Particular Clienteles’; Announcing Sanitary Facilities’; ‘What do Type and Lettering Convey?’; ‘Private Corners’; ‘How to be brief”; ‘Putting Things Away’. So, in case of the reference book, the images to illustrate the ‘visual perception of human relations’ simply had to be ‘found’ in daily life America in the area of Berkeley and Los Angeles. The authors as editors, Ruesch and Kees, describe the geographic location in which they took the ‘code of conduct’ images, which professional tools were used, which subjects were chosen and, even more interestingly, their strategies of editing and selecting from their point of view, as academics in the field of communication science and sociology. These strategies towards codified images, are strikingly similar to the ones used one, two, three of four decades later by e.g., Ruscha, Feldmann, Mandel, Schmid, Piller and Duval. These are similar approaches to HOW TO record images findings and implement them in a photobook, because, that is what Nonverbal Communcation. Notes on the Visual Perception of Human Relations resulted in. This is what the authors wrote:


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

frontispiece Jurgen Ruesch, Weldon Kees, Nonverbal Communication. Notes on the Visual Perception of Human Relations, Berkeley/Los Angeles 1956

'To document nonverbal communication, we have chosen and limited ourselves to visually perceivable codifications. The majority of the illustrations used in this book are from photographs made in the San Francisco Bay area in 1953-1954. In our photographic expeditions we wandered from one section to another in an attempt to record human activities and the traces of existence in a variety of situations. Candid and often very rapid shooting was used to capture some of the intentional and unintentional statements made by people as we found them, and by the shopkeepers, decorators, architects, and private home owners whose establishments and houses we saw. We used natural lighting whenever possible. Reflections on store windows or other such blemishes typical of either natural conditions or traces of living were photographed much as any pedestrian might see them. The pictures were taken with a number of cameras: Rolleiflex, Rolleicord, Ansco Reflex, Leica, and Contax. A few of the enlargements come from 16mm negatives taken with a Bell & Howell Filmo 70H camera. A few of the illustrations derived from movies the authors themselves have made (130, 131, 132, 133, 134). We attempted to shoot naturalistically and to edit footage largely in the interest of accurate continuity rather than to inject personal additional touches. That prints from single frames cannot do justice to motion is regrettable but unavoidable. From an accumulation of several thousand photographs we selected a few that seemed to convey particularly well the "what" of an observation. Some of these pictures were later grouped, so that the total configuration of each group became in itself a nonverbal comment. The choice of each picture dictated in some way the choice of another picture, until we felt we had achieved a sort of self-explanatory "whole," however personal and intuitive our selection. The relatedness of the pictures - either contrasting, complementing or contradicting - the number used in each group, considerations relating to a saturation point in layout, aesthetic preferences, all were natural outgrowths of this undertaking. It should be pointed out that words rarely do justice to the reactions following the perception of a message in pictorial language. Thus the achievement of complete agreement about the "meaning" of a statement coded in this way is not often possible. Readers may consequently disagree with the legends accompanying the pictures, since these are in part descriptive, in part interpretive, and sometimes frankly individual .38 Landscape Files [2010-, 006.IV] by Erica Overmeer fits in a contemporary tendency of, at times unorthodox, strategies regarding compiling found newspaper photographs in the photobook as art object. Based on an extensive archive of clippings from international newspapers (mainly clips from Le Monde and International Herald Tribune (IHT), Landscape Files is a multi-volume publication project that is currently underway. After you ‘read’ LF01 and LF02 and before you open LF03, LF04, LF05, LF06 and LF07 (upcoming issues will be published over the course of years, with an intended total of 18 issues) one kind of get an idea of what event, what region and what conflict is being dealt with,

38 Jurgen Ruesch and Weldon Kees, ‘Modern Theories and Methods’, Nonverbal Communcation. Notes on the Visual Perception of Human Relations, Berkeley and Los Angeles 1956, 13-14.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism although the cropped, grainy pictures sequences are not in some chronological order as they would be presented in the press. Some photographs are dated, others not. Some have captions, others don’t. Still, there is a structure, a narrative jumping from book to book, that is based on actual news features. Technically speaking, just looking at the cover and the physical appearance, the thing itself – the volumes published so far – look plain and serene: eight pages with a neon-yellow insert set in a hard cover. Design-wise, this is a dry, minimalist, simple and efficient layout that has all the charm of postwar modernist Swiss graphic design: sober, clear and sophisticated. New documentary photobooks designed by a new generation of Dutch graphic designers (Kummer & Herrman, Mevis Van Deursen and SYB) employ a similar style, with a consistent use of white as the dominant color. 39

spread from Nulla da Dire, Volume VII, 1995

And are you familiar with Nulla da Dire [Nothing To Say, 1988-2000, 029.VI] by Els Scholten? A series of 11 hand-made oblong artists’ books consisting entirely of Xerox reproductions of press photographs clipped from Italian daily newspapers as Corriere della Sera and la Repubblica in the years 1988-2000. Each right page is showing a press photo of, mainly, politicians, all men, gesticulating with their hands. Volume XI [‘Female Volume’] is devoted to women’s gesticulation in political power. No captions whatsoever. All books are self-published and privately printed, numbered and signed in a print run of 15 copies each. Nulla da Dire is an artist’s book on found photography par excellence. Endpapers are conducted in primary colors, sequenced are roughly cutouts of newspaper photographs. An encyclopedic survey of gesticulating Italian and international politicians. Besides Gadhaffi, and George Bush senior hardly any international politicians appear in Volume I. In Volume VI newspaper clips show gesticulation of political men in the international arena at the time (e.g., Giscard d’Estain, Arafat, Sadam Housein, Umberto Ossi, Bill Clinton, and Boris Jeltsin). In Volume VII appear e.g., Fidel Castro, and Pope Johannes Paulus. The amount of pictures per volume is: 284. Except for Volume XI: a unique volume on women politicians in the period 1988-2000. Volume XI contains newspaper clips showing gesticulation with hands of political power women (e.g., Princes Diana, Chicolina, Margaret Tatcher, Hillary Clinton, and Bhuto). One Xerox per page, consistently on the right page. Some press photos of political heads are detached. This is the final volume of the series Nulla da Dire, and the only one devoted to women. Another exception to the rule is the quadripartite series yesterday’s pictures stemming from the personal

39 M. Thijsen, ‘An Interview with Erica Overmeer about her Landscape Files’, STATUS 24 Contemporary Documents (Fotomuseum Winterthur), Winterthur 2012, 72-73.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism archive of Gunther Karl Bose. In an edition of 20, per volume a single anonymous ‘camp’ photograph (Kodak dispositive from 1966) is laminated on linen and inserted in a slim sleeve.

Installation of set of 57 chapters from Holy Bible at Lisson Gallery, January 2015, London

Holy Bible (2013) by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin is one of the most arguable and brilliant publications on found photography ever. A provocative concept based on a replica of the King’s James Bible framework and the collections of Archive of Modern Conflict (AMC) in London. More than 600 images stretching from press photography on the War of Terror, to medical, amateur and engineering photography and pornography are juxtaposed to and matching the underlined passages in red, derived from the Bible. In January 2015 at Lisson Gallery in London ‘Divine Violence’ has been presented as an installation of a complete set of 57 framed chapters from Holy Bible. This is unprecedented: pages from photobooks of found photographs being presented as single art works.

Pseudo historized, fake documentary and mimicry Others are conducting pseudo scientific research, playing with scientific study and mimicry, even switching and translating the artists’ names in the realm of the ‘comic fabrication’ of a fake archive, Joan Fontcuberta and Pere Formiguera were setting a trend with ‘The Ameisenhaufen’s estate’ in Dr. Ameisenhaufen's Fauna [1988 (1991), 042.II].40 RE-made, RE-vived and RE-worked found photographs are at the same time used to address political issues and institutionalized in a photographic archive, as part of the artists’ world: The archive of Found Photographs in Detroit 2009-2010 [2012, 011.III], The Atlas Group and Walid Raad Volume I/Volume II [2004, 051.IV.A; 2005, 051.IV.B] are examples of this approach. Constructed archives consisting of self-made images simulating found footage is yet another approach. The somewhat cute ‘retro/vintage’ looking booklet: Fae Richards Photo Archive by Zoe

40 Charlotte Cotton, ‘Revived and Remade’, The Photograph as Contemporary Art, London 2004, 201. 48

Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism Leonard and Cheryl Dunye is one of the rare examples in this inventory containing self-made images simulating found footage. In this case the book project involves a reconstruction of a fictional character, Fae Richards, a black actress and singer in the 1940s, by providing images as ‘clues’: snapshots, film stills and publicity photographs are all staged and pseudo-historized and challenge issues of gender, race and sexuality. This fake documentary is used as source material for the film The Watermelon Woman (1996) by Cheryl Dunye. Cast (part 2) [2009, 046.II]] by Raymond Taudin Chabot and The Plan [2009, 107.II] by Michael Schmelling are other examples in the category ‘constructed histories and personal narratives, fake archives’. The photographs in Cast (part 2), taken by Taudin Chabot himself, mimic found footage. The reproductions of waiting rooms of clandestine taxi services in London resemble low-resolution pictures from online auction sites on the Internet. The context of somewhat obscure and indifferent images of objects (clocks, tables, television sets, gambling machines, newspapers and other devices) remains clouded. The Plan however, is a bulky documentation (approximately 600 pages) and urban archiving of the services delivered by Disaster Masters, a nation wide agency specialized in compulsive behavior, in this case operating in New York households and counseling hoarders. A first impression of this publication is this collection of images: a selection made from the company’s archive.

Documentalists: derived from The Internet Private/Used [2013, 078.VI] by Luciano Rigolini is one of a growing number of photobooks containing found photographs derived from the Internet. Rigolini is Swiss, a filmmaker and professional photographer focussing on vernacular photography, most neutral images of trivial objects and urban areas. He is considered the documentalist of one of the the richest collections of found photographs in Europe. Private/Used is a peculiar selection of pictures by the author/photographer as editor, mainly from Japan, of people, mainly women, selling on the Internet used stockings, socks, lingerie and underwear and showing how to wear them. Indicating thus these stockings are used, not new. An almost square dark purplish velvet-like book cover, carrying the embossed title Private/Used, makes you wonder what dark subculture you may encounter inside. The inner work, in large contrast to the subject matter involved, is chic: Japanese bound pages, sophisticated off-white paper, and single images centered on the page. The content shows vernacular photography, blurry low res amateurphotography, product photography in fact, of socks, the soles of a pair of used shoes, and lots of selfies (shots from the knee down, or lying down in awkward positions on a sofa, with or without hands and shoes in the picture frame) of female legs and feet wearing stockings, some of which have holes in them, that were found by the author/photographer as editor on online websites for selling used lingerie. None of the images has been cropped or retouched or re-worked. This artist's strategy towards found photography - sequencing of online auction display images - is comparable to the one executed by Moyer in The Unabomber's Wife [2011, 113.III.B]. The poem, (only in French) placed in the midst of it all, is an ode to the sensuality of a woman’s body expressed in new created verbs like: ‘tu me slip noir’.41 Sometimes Rigolini reworks and assembles objets trouvés into monumental museum installations; transforming vernacular photographs into museum tableaus, like in What you see (2008), which turns this publication into a museum catalogue. Surrogates (2012) instead, is an artist’s book per se. The content shows a collection of freestanding photographs from enlarged parts of industrial objects, which presented removed from their original context, could just as well be interpreted as conceptual art, or state of the art industrial design. All images are derived from auction sites on The Internet where

41 Luciano Rigolini, private/used, 2013, no page numbers.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism people sell spare parts of second hand cars (jack, wrenches). Rigolini cropped the images, but left in the original, clumsy, background of the pictures, which makes them strikingly artistic. A diversity of topics is resulting in photobooks compiled of found photographs derived from The Internet. A wide selection of photographs and postcards is showing tanks, soldiers, horses and cars crossing bridges, as well as military landscapes and barricades, all selected from the Internet, in a limited edition of self-published and hand made artist’s books by Fons Brasser. Nucleair Landschap [2010, 030.VI.C] and Sperre [2010, 030.VI.E] are two examples within the series. Yet another striking example is Toppled [2010, 105, III] by Florian Göttke, who selected more then 700 images from various websites of news media, images made by professionals and amateurs, mostly soldiers witnessing the toppling of the statue of Sadam Hussein. asoue. a series of unfortunate events by michael wolf [2010, 049.IV]is a stiff booklet, but a hall mark in terms of illustrating the development that is best described by Steven Harris in the back of the book as ‘pixelation’ of human lives. This book is one of those striking examples of making screen documentary pictures of the Google tool Street View in the slipstream of Doug Rickard's ANAP (A New American Picture) [2010; 2012, 144.III.A]. An early example of using the Internet as a depository of images is reflected in & Interviews [1997,028.III] self-published by Constanze Schweiger. This artist’s book as magazine is containing full bleeding pictures, reproductions from Elle, DETOUR, l’Uomo, cd-covers, postcards and artist’s magazines observing the world of fashion and role patters for both men and women. Material is collected from the Internet, Madame Toussaud archives and glossy magazines such as Permanent Food. In a vermicelli line at the bottom of each page the provenance of the image, the photographer’s credits are mentioned prominently: a unique way of referencing within the genre. Six interviews with artists, a fashion photographer, a designer, a collector of men’s images and a beauty specialist are printed straight over the photographs, resulting in a restless lay-out, difficult to read. Interviewees are talking about comic hero’s; glossy and anti-glossy magazines; gay-porn and heterosexual attraction; the androgyne; codes of conduct. The publication contains photographs by e.g., Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon, Juergen Teller, and Jeff Wall. The Americans [2011, 101.III.A] is a typical compact booklet by author-photographer Andreas Schmid about historical connotation, rather then a re-make of or homage to the iconic The Americans (1958/1959) by Robert Frank. This is a reconstructed history and loose fit narrative on contemporary America. A conceptual tour de force, and a major American documentation revived following the sequencing, lay-out principle and original captions in the iconic The Americans. Without being further analyzed. The Americans by Schmidt is a container and fake archive of - not quite - mirror images, in color, blurred and amateurish in nature, pulled from Google and Flickr.

Documentalists and [maga]zines


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

[front cover Whole Earth Catalog, Spring 1969]

Page 48-49 from Whole Earth Catalog, Fall 1968.

The random selections, the sobriety of sequencing of mostly insignificant vernacular photography in Barbarber, even in the Whole Earth Catalogue, and the small cahiers by Hans-Peter Feldman in the 1960s forebode the artist’s strategies of Ushi Huber and Jörg Paul Janka in OHIO, a German artists’ initiative appearing as a magazine, published since the mid 1990s, in cooperation with Hans-Peter Feldmann till 1998. Echoing and cumulating a decade later in selection procedures and irregularly appearing periodical publications – be it zines, or artists’ magazines such as Useful Photography, permanent food and Subway Magazine, as well as its lightweight predecessor foto.zine A wide range of periodicals, most of them collaboratives, which are providing accommodation for extraordinary collections of found photography, are not included in this inventory, other than the striking protagonists mentioned here and its herald OHIO, in order to demarcate the research project.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

The first issue of OHIO, dating from 1995, is composed of photographs from different sources, from private and institutional archives, from daily press and advertising, as well as artists’ contributions. The main focus in OHIO is the image itself. This explains the non-availability of text, concomitant text, which offers the viewer a meaningful interpretation, are excluded from OHIO. OHIO#16, compiled in 2009, however, is a DVD with video-recordings from Modell-Eisenbahn Club Wuppertal, documenting the association’s history, closing down after 50 years. So the video shows the model being demolished. OHIO#3 shows images sequences like three generations in the Gursky family, and self-portraits by Claude Cahun. While OHIO#4 is the first issue harbouring a concrete thematic sequencing of images by the pensioned Siegried Winter who documented for years, almost daily, the progressive construction of a rail bridge. OHIO#5 is definitely a precursor of Archiv Peter Piller nimmt Schaden. Schweizer Landschaften [089.VI.A] in showing photographs from a Düsseldorf-based insurance agency, which employees were assigned to document property damage. A one-off issue, released with OHIO#6, is a single of The Red Krayola ‘songs of Ohio’ presenting the collection of the Hamburg based artist Lewan, who collects since 1987 photographic Fundstücke in the streets. OHIO #1-#6 are collected in as a multiple in a case followed by a series of OHIO on DVD. OHIO#10 is guest edited by Hans Aarsman and devoted to Arsath Ro’, then an employee of the Amsterdam Municipal Archive. The Indonesian born photographer documented from 1951-1981 the urban expansion. Ro’s moped is depicted in each photograph, for fear of it being stolen, he kept it in the camera’s view finder. In terms of format and book technical solutions this issue is equal to EIKON magazine.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Cover Useful Photography #001

cover Useful Photography #004

‘Useful Photography’ is a generic term for millions of pictures that people are confronted with daily and functionally applied to sales catalogues, newspapers, advertising or holiday brochures, instruction manuals, etc. Often, the selected photographs are made by anonymous photographers. Useful Photography is also the name of a striking Dutch picture magazine that appears since the year 2000, in which these kind of photographs are pulled from their original context and regrouped, which provides new insights into the quality of the picture and the selection criteria of the picture editors as authors. The method of multiplication and reproduction is a substantial component of the editors’ strategy, and this concept is based on OHIO fotomagazine. The irregularly appearing Useful Photography looks less


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism complex, plays more in on current events, and is compiled of series from the private collections of Erik Kessels, Hans Aarsman, Claudie de Cleen, Julian Germain and Hans van der Meer, sometimes in collaboration with guest editors, like Andrea Stultiens, but mainly based on trivial pictures by anonymous photographers: ‘because what photographer expects to create a furor with a chicken breast photo?’42 Useful Photography #002 is a collection of photographs selected from, what started to be popular in those days: auction websites. More serious thematic issues are dealt with. Useful Photography #003 is containing snapshots, passport photographs and studio portraits of people missing, as reported by their family members and friends at the National Missing People Helpline (NMPH) in order to make a public appeal. And the fourth issue shows posters of Palestinian suicide bombers (reproduced in A3 format), portrayed just before their mission, which are put up in the streets after their mission is accomplished. On a center fold printed on white paper the Arabian propagandistic text on each poster is translated. Useful Photography War Special has turned into a collector’s item. The wide variety of military uniforms and color schemes and patterns is nationally determined in styles of camouflages. The latest issue, Useful Photography #013, explores a widespread category within contemporary photography that morphed into a new exhibitionistic genre: the ‘selfie’, in particular an exalted subcategory: ‘the penis selfie’. Even available housed in a limited edition box ‘with remote control (batteries included), and a signed ruler so you can see how you measure up.’43

cover Permament food No. 10, 2003

Permanent food is a ‘cannibal magazine’, drawing material from existing magazines, with a large print run, and a website, created by Maurizio Cattelan and Paola Manfrin, and in collaboration with hundreds of guest editors, like Vince Aletti. It’s a non-profit magazine, without an office or editorial board, that counts for all of the magazines discussed here. Defined as ‘a second generation publication’, it contains just pictures: paparazzi photography, film stills, advertising, professional and

42 KesselsKramer [Erik Kessels et al.],, consulted on December 4, 2015. 43 Kessels Kramer [Erik Kessels et al.],, consulted on December 4, 2015.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism art photography, series from municipal archives, and medical photography, you name it. All images are equal, be it art or popular culture, is the motto. They are packed on a double spread, creating very dense pages. Each issue is devoted to a theme. The following quote by the editors is revealing: The word appropriate can have two very different meanings depending on whether it is used as an adjective or a verb. In the case of Permanent food, artist Maurizio Cattelan and Paola Manfrin's periodical of pilfering, it is  the active usage of the word, and only the active usage, that is appropriate. Bound together in each issue is a  thoroughly bewildering, amusing, grotesque, and blas selection of images culled from anywhere, everywhere,  and nowhere: a German electrical company's ad featuring Tom and Jerry; a trash­strewn airplane interior; a  naked fashion model with wide tan lines; a detail of a Victorian dummy; super­tech eyelashes by MAC; a naked  woman with her toes in a skeleton's eye and nose sockets; a Mapplethorpe photograph of two leather men; a  sweet ceramic puppy; a snow field; a crashed VW beetle; and much, much more. You can't even imagine how  much more.44 

cover Subway issue 01, Summer 2014

spread from Subway issue 01, Summer 2014.

Subway is a small zine self-published and put together since 2014 by Erik van der Weijde with three guest-contributors. Issues contain sturdy quotes, collections of candid and vernacular pictures from EBay, and the publisher’s archive, and self-made photographs by author-photographers. A mixture of

44 From: Consulted on April 30, 2015.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism artists’ statements, varying from: ‘postcards from Hell’, ALF, an American sitcom aired on NBC from 1986 to 1990, and portraits of police dogs photographed by Charlotte Dumas. Image credits are mentioned.

Erik van der Weijde, foto.zine nr.1, 2005

foto.zine 1 appeared in 2005, containing 8 numbered stapled, folded newsprint issues in different sizes, and is definitely a wink to the BILDER series by Feldmann, which was self-published thirty five years earlier. Like then, foto.zines consist of a set of small series of numbered cahiers, in this case, in a sealed plastic bag. And as in the days of Feldmann, the selected photography was popularized, un-authorized, unclaimed by the author photographers. Another analogy: the different contributions were homogenized: professional photoghraphy, art photography, advertising, pornography, vernacular photography was all mixed. foto.zine 1#1 contains a set of pictures of young Brazilian women posing in an awkward position on hands and knees on a bed, a kitchen floor, pictures with a high-Paul-Kooiker-level. The latter, incorporating a challenging human dignity, is also reflected in foto.zine 1#4, showing an oversized man, Marcilio is his name, posing frontally, en profile or sitting down on a chair in desolate living room interiors. Foto.zine nr.1#3 is merely a set of blurry, unpretentious pictures of Volkswagen beetle in urban landscapes. While #6 is a set of reproes from Brazilian porn magazines covers, and foto.zine 1#2 is a fold-out of ministerial promenades in Brasilia by night, photographed by Van der Weijde. Issue foto.zine 1#7 shows a series of photographs of homeless people, completely covered under a blanket, sleeping in the streets of Sao Paulo, and foto.zine1#8 is a fold out depicting documentaries on cell phone antennas, while foto.zine 1#5 is a series of peripheral church facades in Brasil. Both series are photographed by Van der Weijde. foto.zine nr.4, released in 2011, is a set of 5 numbered cahiers in a plastic bag consisting of a mixture of Van der Weijde’s work combined with one of five collaborating artists e.g., Takashi Homma, Paul Kooiker and Erik Kessels. This time the guest-contributors’ credits are clearly mentioned. We see the photographer’s son sleeping on a matrass, a suitcase on a tile floor, domestic pets, the Notre Dame du Haut chapel by le Corbusier. All in low resolution black-and-white pictures.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism

Cahiers D'Images by Celine Duval is described as a series of 60 unpretentious notebooks and booklets, on different formats which contain collections of photographs based on themes and motifs, the result is a directory of amateur photography established in collaboration with H.P. Feldmann. In contrast to Revue en 4 Images – a co-edited directory of amateur photography in four pictures per edition, sixty in total – the photographs in Cahier D'Images are derived from newspapers and magazines, and rarely from private archives. All photographs are printed without captions and outside their original context. 45

The Forced Spectacle: The Hidden Image Several photobooks containing found imagery are not explicitly showing the images. There are several ways to do that. Scratch [2002, 026.IV.C] by Boltanski is a book on forbidden images, hidden under a silver surface. So in order to cover up the disturbing pictures entirely. The silver has to be scratched manually to reveal the images, In order to see, the owner of the book is forced to actually destroy the book. Quite similar to this way of hiding sinister information are the photographs in the Pathologist [2000, 073,IV] printed in silver to create a distance from the visual confrontation with horrifying historical events: ‘the great evil’. People in trouble [2011, 086.IV.A] by Broomberg & Chanarin shows all kinds of traces of visitors to the local archive who recognized themselves on press pictures and took a pen, marker of pair of siccors to deface or manipulate their own face, ‘personal obliterations’ show how pictures were deliberately made anonymous, self-censured. While Yesterday’s Pictures #1 and #2 [2010, 113.III.A; 2010, 113.III.B] are simply folded posters put into a small sleeve. Simply an elegant book technical solution for storing a blow-up from a found commercial photograph. The French fold, Miss Titus Became a Regular Army Mac [2013, 139.III] contains inserted hidden text boards, It is kind of a peep show peaking through the French fold pages to hoola-dancing girl, nudes on polaroid, sex film superstar Marilyn Chamber. This contextual information is only deciphered from the captions, handwritten notes, typewritten text on the back of a press/studio photograph. So the recto shows the full picture from the back, and the traces of its use over time. The verso shows the full picture front side. Although, you have to cut the bound pages in order to “see” it. Yet another example, Tacita Dean’s Regimentstochter [2005, 097.III.B] shows a set of disfigured images. The booklet contains disfigured images, incisions have been made, from a collection of 19301940s era opera programs which Dean had purchased at a Berlin flea market. The opera

45 D. Klein, ‘Sichtbare Welt’, S. Röder (ed.), Sand in der Vaseline, Cologne 2002, 76.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism performances all happened during the Third Reich. Why the images have been fragmented, or censured maybe, remains unclear. Dean appropriated the strange and surprising images and published them in the way she had found them. You recognize a singer, a torso, Beethoven, Rossini. The title refers probably to the daughter of the officer, major or General of the army regiment. The strategies of the ‘documentalists’, and their way of documenting, archiving and selecting found photographs stretches as far as 30 shit pictures, downloaded and bound by Andreas Schmidt in 2010: the inner work has been ‘freshly glued’.

Literature [preliminary list]: Bourdieu, C., Boltanski, Essai sur les usages sociaux de la photographie (un art moyen), Paris 1965. Nickel, Douglas R., cat. Snapshots. The Photography of Everyday Life 1880 To The Present, (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art). San Francisco 1998. Hacker, D., Millionen Touristen fotografieren den Schiefen Turm von Pisa, Berlin 1974. Prince, R., Röder, S., cat. Sand in der Vaseline. Künstbücher . 1980-2002, (Krefeld Kunstmuseen) Krefeld 2002. Sekula, A., ‘Photography Between Labour and Capital’, in: Buchloch, B.H.D. and Wilkie, R. (ed.), Mining Photographs and Other Pictures 1948-1968. A Selection from the Negatives of Shedden Studio, Glace Bay, Cape Breton. Photographs by Leslie Shedden, Nova Scotia 1983, 193- 268. Schmid, J., >Knipsen<. Private Fotografie in Deutschland von 1900 bis Heute, Stuttgart 1993.


Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism Mirelle Thijsen  

Photobooks of Found Photographs since the 1960s: New Neorealism Mirelle Thijsen

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