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#34 Dummy Spring 2013 â‚Ź19,50

Linda Beumer / Yuji Hamada / Oliver Hartung / Arthur Mole / Shinji Otani / Max Pinckers / Mahesh Shantaram / Mirte Slaats


Linda Beumer / Yuji Hamada / Oliver Hartung / Arthur Mole / Shinji Otani Max Pinckers / Mahesh Shantaram Mirte Slaats


Portfolio Overview

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foam magazine # 34 dummy

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2 4 1. Linda Beumer

2. Yuji Hamada

The book Sticks & Stones takes the reader through an astonishing collection of stones. Or rather, through an astonishing collection of pictures of stones, or pictures of pictures of stones. Or objects that look like stones but might not be. In short, it is not a book about stones but a book that asks questions about the origin of the photos in it.

Yuji Hamada arrived at the idea for Primal Mountain after receiving a postcard from a good friend with a magnificent picture of mountains. The peaks were so beautiful that the more Hamada looked at them, the more unreal they seemed. After countless attempts and failures, he succeeded in capturing the spirit of the mountain in nothing but a single, wafer-thin piece of silver paper.

3. Oliver Hartung

4. Arthur Mole

Syria Al-Assad is a collection of photos of monuments and billboards erected to the greater honour and glory of the Assad family, which has ruled Syria with an iron fist since 1971. The iconography of these monuments typifies the way in which a dictatorial ruler likes to see himself depicted. All images have been taken until 2009.

Almost a century ago, and without the aid of any pixel-generating computer software, itinerant photographer Arthur Mole used his 11x14-inch view camera to stage a series of extraordinary mass photographic spectacles that choreographed living bodies into symbolic religious and national communities.

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5 6

portfolio overview

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5. Shinji Otani

6. Max Pinckers

Most of the photos in The Country of the Rising Sun were made around four years ago in several suburbs of the Swedish city of Stockholm. Otani photographed a range of different houses that, as is typical of suburbia, each have their own character yet are utterly interchangeable. He is fascinated by the question of how it can be that every location in the world has its own unique character.

The Fourth Wall explores the influence of Hindi cinema on everyday life in India and looks at how this fictional world infiltrates reality. The book consists of a series of photographs in combination with quotes taken from Indian newspapers that have a similar duality to that of the images, emphasizing the blurred boundary between fiction and reality.

7. Mahesh Shantaram

8. Mirte Slaats

How does a person born and bred in India look at Cardiff, capital of Wales? Caerdydd Diary by the Indian photographer Mahesh Shantaram offers a possible answer. It’s a Moleskine A5 notebook filled with images, accompanied by often humorous notes that place them in a new perspective, making the reader privy to the author’s extremely personal feelings and thoughts.

Fascinated by the symbolic language of graveyards, Mirte Slaats photographed evergreen trees and shrubs at cemeteries in the Netherlands and abroad. Evergreen is an unassuming, ambiguous little book in which the carefully considered design greatly adds value to the way the typological images, with their strongly documentary look, are experienced.

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by Marcel Feil

In September last year in Amsterdam the first instalment of Unseen took place, a new photography fair that concentrates on contemporary work, especially by young photographers. For Foam and communications agency Vandejong, which as well as being the initiators of Unseen and involved in its organization are the driving force behind Foam Magazine, it was a terrific challenge to put together a viable fair presenting not just work with a proven market value but new work by relative unknowns. Unseen was intended to be an up-to-the-minute fair reflecting what is going on in photography right now, an exciting event where it would be possible to discover new things. ›

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theme introduction

The photobook is not just a natural habitat for much photography, it can also be a means of expression in its own right, with which the artist gives insight into his artis­ try in a far more complicated sense than he could with a series of prints. The selection and order of the images, the chosen format, the way in which the images are arranged on the page, how they relate to each other, the type of paper, the chosen printing tech­ nique, the binding – it is all an inextricable part of an artistic process that is both complex and intriguing. A Dummy is the first, raw and fascinating outcome of this extraordinary creative process.


foam magazine # 34 dummy

With this aim in view, it was clear to the organizers of Unseen from the start that it would be essential for the fair to pay attention to the photobook. Certain developments in contemporary photography can generally be followed more closely by looking at photobooks than at photographs on offer in galleries. A gallery has a strong interest in presenting individual prints of a photographer’s work, which are produced in limited numbers, since their scarcity largely determines their commercial value. But however great a single photo can be, especially when printed in a suitable format and presented in a carefully chosen frame, essentially it is still at odds with the fundamental character of photography. In contrast to many other arts, one characteristic feature of photography is that a shot can be printed and distributed endlessly. Limiting the number of prints is in fact a ruse motivated by commercial considerations. The printing of photos in a book or other publication is a tried and tested way of making them available to a larger audience. Furthermore, the qualities of many photos come to the fore more successfully on the page of a book than on the wall of a living room, gallery or museum. The great thing about photography is that some work can be experienced and appreciated to the full when it is published in a book. But a far more important reason for devoting attention to photobooks is of course that they have developed into something way beyond simply a means of presenting photographs. In contrast to, for example, catalogues in which work is reproduced reasonably straightforwardly on the available pages, purely to provide information, the most interesting photobooks are those that make no distinction between image and vehicle, where the book is seen in its totality as an autonomous work of art. It is then about far more than the quality of the photography alone. The selection and order of the images, the chosen format, the way in which the images are arranged on the page, how they relate to each other, the type of paper, the chosen printing technique, the binding – it is all an inextricable part of an artistic process that is both complex and intriguing. The book is therefore not just a natural habitat for much photography, it can also be a means of expression in its own right, with which the artist gives insight into his artistry in a far more complicated sense than he could with a series of prints. It would be extremely foolish to ignore this fact at a fair intended to provide an annual insight into the state of play in the field of photography. This was the reason we decided to invite Offprint, a book fair devoted not just to international publishers of art books but to small independent publishers producing their own books or alternative vehicles such as newspapers and zines, simultaneous with Unseen. This part of the fair became a place where artists, photographers, graphic designers, publishers, curators, critics, collectors and enthusiasts could meet and familiarize themselves with the impressive number of publications that have appeared of late. But mindful of the underlying concept of the Unseen photography fair, there was also a strong desire among the organizers to pay attention to books that had not

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yet been published, and the Unseen Dummy Award was the perfect means of doing so. The principle behind the award was simple: photographers who were involved in making a photobook and had already prepared a dummy were asked to send it in. A jury of experts judged all the entries and the shortlisted dummies were displayed during Unseen. The public was able to look at them, pick them up, leaf through them and select a favourite. Finally the winner was announced, Shinji Otani. The main prize was of course the actual production of the dummy as a book. Now a dummy is a specific and particularly interesting semi-finished article. It appears on the scene only when many of the crucial decisions involved in making a photobook have already been taken. The most important of these is also the most obvious: the decision to make a photobook at all. That might sound glib, but not every work is suitable for publication in book form. The question ‘why a photobook?’ is key, for all its simplicity. Why should a given collection of photos, a certain series or a specific, clearly defined project take the form of a book? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Are there other, better ways of presenting it? What is the photographer hoping to achieve? What will the book bring about? It is fundamental questions like these that force the photographer to think about the essence of his work and about the result he has in mind in making a book. This is a first necessary step in a long series of decisions that will all influence the final result. Not long ago Jörg Colberg, on his excellent blog Conscientious, set out with absolute clarity the steps that have to be taken in making a photobook and the dangers that lie in wait. Anyone considering making a photobook should most definitely take a look (http://jmcolberg.com/weblog/extended/archives/how _to_make_a_photobook/). Most photobooks are based on a specific series or a specific project. There is usually little point in publishing a random selection of photos. If the question of whether a photobook is the ideal way to do justice to a specific project is answered in the affirmative, then one of the most difficult processes begins, namely the selection. Which photos will be retained, which will be dropped and which are borderline cases? Aside from


The most inte r are those tha esting photobooks t make no dis tin between ima ge and vehicle ction the book is se , en in its tota where lity as an autonomous work of art.

Perhaps even more difficult than selection is editing. How do you put the photos that have survived the selection process in the right order? How do the photos relate to each other? What relationship do they enter into and what are the consequences? This goes far further than purely the sequence, although that is often difficult enough. It directly affects the decision about the format in which the photos will appear: which images need to be big, which smaller, or should they all be the same size? And in what way does the format and position of the image relate to the size and shape of the page? What is the value of the remaining white space? What is the value of a border? Must the images fill the entire page (bleeding)? Is there a need for white pages, or blank spreads? Even with a relatively limited number of photos, the possibilities are endless. Every detail, every step has to be contemplated, since every step and every detail influences the way in which a book acquires its internal logic, coherence and power. Even the choice of materials can have consequences for the edit and for the way in which images refer to each other, and therefore for all the conceptual, artistic and narrative aspects of the book. The use of thin paper for example, such as newsprint, sometimes means that photos on the next page are dimly visible, entering into a relationship with those facing the viewer. These are aspects you do well to take into account in advance and use deliberately, to avoid being confronted with unpleasant surprises later. All these considerations, all this expertise – photographers do not necessarily know the first thing about

any of it. In fact they usually don’t (although they often believe otherwise). These are all issues of design, and designers are professionals in their own right. To make a good photobook it is therefore essential to enter into collaboration in a timely fashion with a good graphic designer. The moment you know what the photobook is intended to achieve, what effect it needs to have or what story you want to tell, it is time to involve a designer in the process. The choice of designer is of course crucial. In my opinion it is vital that the designer and the photographer know and respect each other and each other’s work. Without a good relationship between them, misunderstandings and therefore disappointments are almost inevitable. Only when a designer knows the work of a photographer well, and understands the essence of the work that needs to be transformed into a photobook, can this transformation be made successfully. Similarly, the photographer must have sufficient knowledge of and faith in the designer to be open to suggestions, criticism, and sometimes vehement but necessary exchanges of opinion. Only then can they work together to achieve a fruitful symbiosis of image, typography, graphic design, materials and means of production. The photobook must be regarded principally as a physical object of which all the elements, from the edit to the format, paper type, printing technique and binding, are inextricably linked, reinforce each other and serve the purpose the photographer has in mind in making the book. That purpose is always the primary concern and it guides all the choices made during the process. A dummy is therefore in no sense a definitive product. On the contrary, a great deal can happen after a dummy has been put together. The point of a dummy is to try things out to see whether certain choices work well or need further adjustment. You should not expect the dummies entered for the Unseen Dummy Award to be anything other than an initial taste. All the same, it turns out that many ideas have been revised since submission. Some photographers let it be known that they have now opted for a different type of paper, that they were considering using a different cover or felt less than satisfied with the selection. You should therefore regard the dummies presented here not as a fully fledged end product but as an extraordinarily interesting glimpse into the creative process. ›

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theme introduction

the quality of individual photos, one important selection criterion is provided by the answer to the question: what is publication of the book intended to achieve? Does a certain photo fit with the book as a whole, does it have a function and does it contribute to the quality of the final product? These are fundamental questions relating to content and they are far from easy to answer. Although it is intrinsically an artistic process that concerns the photos as such, help will almost always be indispensable. Someone who has relevant expertise but is not impeded by the experiences and emotions of the photographer is usually in a better position to wield the knife than the creator of the work.


Shinji Otani

foam magazine # 34 dummy

Winner of the Unpublished Dummy Award 2012. The Country of the Rising Sun might be seen as the start of an unremitting investigation into the idiosyncratic and universal aspects of a specific place. The paradox that similarity and difference can reveal themselves simultaneously at a single location lies at the root of the unique concept behind Otami’s dummy. The design of Otani’s dummy is striking in that it is composed of eight loose sheets of paper, all of them in A1 format. Each sheet is a photo of prints pinned to a wall. The eight sheets are then folded in such a way as to make a 64-page book. This folding means that each page shows just one quarter of the photo, and each fragment automatically sits up against a quarter of another photo. This method of construction makes it difficult and complex to determine in advance what the sequence will be and how the images will relate to each other. At the same time it touches upon the essence of the making of a photo book. 66 photos including front and back cover by Shinji Otani / 64 pages / Format: 297 x 210 mm / Offset tritone printing / Designed by Our Polite Society.

Olivier Hartung Syria Al-Assad is a collection of photos of monuments and billboards erected to the greater honor and glory of the Assad family, which has ruled Syria with an iron fist since 1971. The photos themselves are deliberately devoid of any other political statements, in contrast to the design of the book and the materials chosen. The dummy is made of cheap paper, and Hartung has said that ideally it should age and yellow. A simple glue binding has been applied and the printing is simple too, with a coarse raster. A distinctive feature of the design is that all the photos are on the right-hand page and each page has perforations, so it can be torn out. As a result the book resembles a tear-off calendar; text and image can be separated, images eliminated and the sequence adjusted. The owner of the book has all the power in the end, and nothing remains static or definitive. 120 pages / 60 colour photos / English translation of Arabic texts / Format: 220 x 280 mm with band / Concept and design: Oliver Hartung / Soft cover.

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Mirte Slaats Fascinated by the symbolic language of graveyards, Slaats photographed evergreen trees and shrubs at cemeteries in the Netherlands and abroad. The large number of shots she took during the project created an increasingly powerful picture of the typology of this specific group of trees and shrubs. Slaats allowed herself a maximum of forty images, making a dummy composed of ten A4 sheets with four photos on each. The sheets were folded twice and then fitted together to make an eighty-page book in A6 format. Because the dummy is not bound, the user has the option of taking it apart, disassembling it and then reassembling the loose sheets differently. In consultation with Matthias Kreuzer, the designer at Our Polite Society, the decision was made to use a specific font and a particularly thin type of paper. Because the book is pocketsized, because it can be unfolded and because each photo gives precise coordinates, associations with a map soon arise. 80 pages (10 sheets of A4 paper folded into A6) / Format: 105 x 148 mm / 40 photos / Printing: 4/4 double-sided, in full colour / Paper: 70g Amber graphic / Concept and photography: Mirte Slaats / Design of index and typography: Matthias Kreuzer.

Yuji Hamada In all its simplicity, Primal Mountain is a little gem, even as a dummy. The A5 format is unassuming and the concept deceptively simple. Making use of a single sheet of aluminium foil, Hamada folded and kneaded shapes that prompt an immediate association with mountain ranges. Once the pieces of foil have been photographed, the material is completely transformed into bare mountain peaks: vast, majestic and apparently located at a great distance from the spot where the photographer is standing. After countless attempts and failures, Hamada succeeded in capturing the spirit of the mountain in nothing but a single, wafer-thin piece of silver paper. In doing so Hamada places himself in the tradition of Sumi-e, the philosophy behind the traditional watercolors of the Far East in which an attempt is made to capture the soul of things using the minimum possible means. Title: Primal Mountain / Photographs byYuji Hamada / Size: A5 / Made in Japan.


theme introduction

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foam magazine # 34 dummy


Shinji Otani

foam magazine # 34 dummy

Winner of the Unpublished Dummy Award 2012. The Country of the Rising Sun might be seen as the start of an unremitting investigation into the idiosyncratic and universal aspects of a specific place. The paradox that similarity and difference can reveal themselves simultaneously at a single location lies at the root of the unique concept behind Otami’s dummy. The design of Otani’s dummy is striking in that it is composed of eight loose sheets of paper, all of them in A1 format. Each sheet is a photo of prints pinned to a wall. The eight sheets are then folded in such a way as to make a 64-page book. This folding means that each page shows just one quarter of the photo, and each fragment automatically sits up against a quarter of another photo. This method of construction makes it difficult and complex to determine in advance what the sequence will be and how the images will relate to each other. At the same time it touches upon the essence of the making of a photo book. 66 photos including front and back cover by Shinji Otani / 64 pages / Format: 297 x 210 mm / Offset tritone printing / Designed by Our Polite Society.

Olivier Hartung Syria Al-Assad is a collection of photos of monuments and billboards erected to the greater honor and glory of the Assad family, which has ruled Syria with an iron fist since 1971. The photos themselves are deliberately devoid of any other political statements, in contrast to the design of the book and the materials chosen. The dummy is made of cheap paper, and Hartung has said that ideally it should age and yellow. A simple glue binding has been applied and the printing is simple too, with a coarse raster. A distinctive feature of the design is that all the photos are on the right-hand page and each page has perforations, so it can be torn out. As a result the book resembles a tear-off calendar; text and image can be separated, images eliminated and the sequence adjusted. The owner of the book has all the power in the end, and nothing remains static or definitive. 120 pages / 60 colour photos / English translation of Arabic texts / Format: 220 x 280 mm with band / Concept and design: Oliver Hartung / Soft cover.

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Mirte Slaats Fascinated by the symbolic language of graveyards, Slaats photographed evergreen trees and shrubs at cemeteries in the Netherlands and abroad. The large number of shots she took during the project created an increasingly powerful picture of the typology of this specific group of trees and shrubs. Slaats allowed herself a maximum of forty images, making a dummy composed of ten A4 sheets with four photos on each. The sheets were folded twice and then fitted together to make an eighty-page book in A6 format. Because the dummy is not bound, the user has the option of taking it apart, disassembling it and then reassembling the loose sheets differently. In consultation with Matthias Kreuzer, the designer at Our Polite Society, the decision was made to use a specific font and a particularly thin type of paper. Because the book is pocketsized, because it can be unfolded and because each photo gives precise coordinates, associations with a map soon arise. 80 pages (10 sheets of A4 paper folded into A6) / Format: 105 x 148 mm / 40 photos / Printing: 4/4 double-sided, in full colour / Paper: 70g Amber graphic / Concept and photography: Mirte Slaats / Design of index and typography: Matthias Kreuzer.

Yuji Hamada In all its simplicity, Primal Mountain is a little gem, even as a dummy. The A5 format is unassuming and the concept deceptively simple. Making use of a single sheet of aluminium foil, Hamada folded and kneaded shapes that prompt an immediate association with mountain ranges. Once the pieces of foil have been photographed, the material is completely transformed into bare mountain peaks: vast, majestic and apparently located at a great distance from the spot where the photographer is standing. After countless attempts and failures, Hamada succeeded in capturing the spirit of the mountain in nothing but a single, wafer-thin piece of silver paper. In doing so Hamada places himself in the tradition of Sumi-e, the philosophy behind the traditional watercolors of the Far East in which an attempt is made to capture the soul of things using the minimum possible means. Title: Primal Mountain / Photographs byYuji Hamada / Size: A5 / Made in Japan.


Linda Beumer

porftolio text

interview by Caroline von Courten 29


foam magazine # 34 dummy

It’s about crossing the boundaries so that interesting things can happen in our work. As you’re actually a graphic designer, I’m curious about your relation to photography? What photographic work by other photographers and artists inspires you and why? I have always been drawn to photog­ raphy and image­making. I collect a lot of images. By being a graphic designer, I am of course treating images differ­ ently than a photographer would do. So for me, it’s mostly about the re­ lation between text and image. But I allow myself now to experiment more with the medium of photography in an autonomous way and to focus solely on the image­making process. I feel inspired by many other artists but mainly I’m drawn to photographic work that has a certain physicality to it. For example the work Barbara Kasten made in the 1980s. What really attracts me in her work is that her practice takes place as much behind the camera as it does in front of it. Other artists that I find inspiring are Richard Prince and John Stezaker even though their work is very different aesthetically, but the way they re­photograph and work with found footage really inspires me.

Sticks and Stones was initially a series of visual dialogues that took place in the art project space Meneer de Wit in Amsterdam in the summer 2012. Could you tell me more about it? Having both our studios in the building of Meneer de Wit, Jeroen Bouweriks and I have collaborated before and we share an interest in artists and designers who push the boundaries of their working field. So we came up with an idea to create a series of visual dialogues in which it’s no long­ er important in what kind of medium you speak. It’s about crossing the boundaries so that interesting things can happen in our work. We thought it would be nice to start the first series with ourselves. We made a mural as a framework for our work that consisted of paintings, installations, photography and collage. The nice thing was that in the end it was hard to distinguish who made what – exactly our starting point for the exhibition. What came first: the title or the work? And where does it come from? The title and the work came simul­ taneously during the process. The title derives from the book Tappy’s Chicks and the Other Links Between Nature and Human Nature, from 1872. It also refers to an English children’s rhyme. In rela­ tion to the work, we took the words in a literal sense as we collected, created and invented sticks and stones and worked with various aspects of nature and human nature. On the other hand we interpreted the verse more symboli­ cally, doing experiments without being too judgmental about it. At what stage did you decide to make a paper publication out of Sticks and Stones and why?

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For me as graphic designer it felt logical to make a publication from the photos and collages of the exhibition. It gives me more control over the user’s percep­ tion of the collection in a specific order and meaning.

process in front of the camera is more important than behind the camera; the creating and staging of the object itself is crucial. But the scale of the object, the size of the actual print and their de­contextualization become just as important.

Most pages are numbered and the others either have a full bleeding image or are blank. These fullbleed photopages are credited in the back of the book as C-prints with the size 420 x 594mm. What is the idea behind referring to actual prints? The idea behind this is that those pages are representations of the actual photog­ raphic prints shown during the exhibi­ tion; I wanted to refer directly to their physical appearance.

Salon blue is the only image where I get the feeling that the stone is the actual photographed object, whereas the rest are all re-photographed images of stones or three-dimensional collages of stone-images. What are your reflections on this tension between a two-dimensional image and a three-dimensional object? I embrace this tension between 2­D and 3­D but I think it’s mainly about the perception of the viewer and about creating a confusion surrounding how you see what you see. For me, the

How does this publication relate to your other works? What are your recurring fascinations? The starting point of a lot of my work is the act of collecting of any kind: images, objects, historical content, books, ma­ gazines etc. I’m intrigued by aspects of re­adjusting images, objects and giving

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linda beumer

Which parts in the dummy are typically your choice and which are done by Jeroen? We worked together on the editing of the dummy but the photographs and col­ lages and the laying out and designing are done by me.


them false identities or placing them in a different context. This publication is based on exactly those aspects.

foam magazine # 34 dummy

Which three books or publications would you have loved to have designed yourself and therefore function as inspiration for your own work as graphic designer? There are no specific books that I can name right now, despite the high num­ ber of books out there. A good book for me is when everything comes together in the right way – the relationship between the design, the paper and the content. My sources of inspiration are more likely to be outside the field of graphic design, like in photography, art and fashion. Which publisher or publishing house would you most wish to contact you about releasing this dummy? Well, where to start? There are so many great independent publishers. To name a few: FW, The Ice Plant, ROMA, Self

All images © Linda Beumer Linda Beumer (b. 1986, the Netherlands) graduated fro the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2010. Her visual research focuses on photography and graphic design. She lives and work in Amsterdam.

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Yuji Hamada

portfolio text

interview by Taco Hidde Bakker 33


foam magazine # 34 dummy

I want e ideas d to play w a percei bout how with ve wh at’s tr e or fals ue e. What is Primal Mountain about? Where did the idea for the series originate? I came to the project after a friend sent me a picturesque postcard showing mountains too beautiful to be true. I wanted to play with ideas about how we perceive what’s true or false. After the earthquake in Japan in 2011 and the Fukushima disaster we lost our illusions with the Japanese news media. It was hard to distinguish the genuine from the false. This theme is only implicit to Primal Mountain, but there is definitely an ironic allusion to a state of disillusion. How did the idea take shape to turn your project Primal Mountain into a little book. Did you conceive of it as a book right from the start? Each time I work on a project I make at least one dummy book, if only to show people what I’m working on. At first I didn’t think about making a book of Primal Mountain. I simply made a dummy like I always do. When Elisa Medde (managing editor

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of Foam Magazine) asked me to submit work to the Unseen Dummy Award, I decided to send this in.

Did you create multiple versions of the dummy before the one you submitted to the award? No, for each project I make only one dummy. Do you think the photobook is the appropriate platform for Primal Mountain or can you envision it could work as well as a website or an exhibition? I think this project fits the book format really well, but exhibitions are always my goal for each photographic project. Ideally, I publish a book on the occasion of an exhibition. I was fortunate to have met Sayaka Takahashi of Photo Gallery International (Tokyo) last year at a portfolio review. Now we are working together on an exhibition, with the series Pulsar in particular, but a small room will be devoted to Primal Mountain. There is a page in the dummy that looks like an index page that gives an impression of how the photos will look when hung on a wall.


from A to Z, others randomly browse through them and con­ struct their own narrative, and some immediately add it to their special book collection, without perhaps even giving the inside a look. Could you describe the ideal audience for your dummy? It’s up to anyone to do with it what he or she wants and enjoy their own view. However, I am hoping that the series that makes up Primal Mountain will teach people how interesting and ambiguous the world is. If you were to turn this dummy into a published edition would you revise it? Often I make last-minute decisions, but I think this dummy is very close to how I would like to see it published. I would need to add extra pages as the number of photographs has increased. Very likely I would also leave out the little sheet of tinfoil which is now on the last page of the dummy. To put the tinfoil in the dummy was an experiment. I liked the wrinkles and the grubbiness after I had folded the sheet in order to form the miniature mountains. The tinfoil in the

Did you collaborate with a graphic designer? After I was done with the shooting and printing of all the photos for Primal Mountain I asked a friend, who is a graphic designer, for assistance. First I made some rough sketches, then we communicated about the edit and the design, and after that he made the final lay-out. Photobooks are experienced and understood in various ways. Some people might go through them 35

yuji hamada

How long did it take you to com­ plete Primal Mountain, and for the conception and production of the dummy? Most of my projects take roughly two years to finish. For Primal Mountain it took maybe three years altogether, but only three months for the shooting of the photographs. I shot the miniature mountain scenes with a middle-format Mamiya RZ2. With that camera I can get the right kind of close-up. The size of the dummy is determined by the size of the contact prints. In the end, making the dummy took me less than ten days.


end provides a clue; it functions as a wake-up call, but in general people like to be cheated by those mountains, so I think I’ll leave it out if there’s a new edition.

foam magazine # 34 dummy

Do you feel that your work is part of a Japanese tradition of photog­ raphy? The predominant style of photography in Tokyo is still the snapshot aesthetic. Still too many young photographers are following the example of Daido Moriyama and the like. Many are epigones, just copy copy copy. It’s so boring. I don’t want to imitate that much, although I’m also influenced by other photographers like Wolfgang Tillmans or Ryan McGinley. These influences also help me to introduce a new mindset to challenge the traditional Japanese views. You told me you were in Amster­ dam recently. Did you take any photographs there? Oh yes, I took many pictures of bicycles. Also of garbage bins because they look cute and funny. On my first day in Amsterdam I clashed with a cyclist and then I decided to focus on bicycles. But these photos are just snapshots for my ‘sketchbook’. Perhaps my experiences in Amsterdam will become an influence but the bicycle pictures won’t become a project on their own. •

All images © Yuji Hamada Yuji Hamada (b.1979, Japan) graduated from the Department of Photography in Nihon University in 2003. His works have been exhibited widely in Japan, US, Canada and Italy, and he won a number of inter­ national prizes. He lives and works between Tokyo and London.

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Oliver Hartung

porffolio text

interview by Caroline von Courten 37


foam magazine # 34 dummy

First, I’m curious what made you shift to photography in your artistic practice while doing your training in fine arts? In my first student years, in the early 1990s, I was deeply into printmaking, especially intaglio. But it felt somehow inadequate, too historic. During a year abroad in Glasgow, in 1996/97, I started using photography in order to connect travelling (which meant going hiking in the Scottish Highlands) with my artistic practice and as a result, I made my first artist´s book wo ist alles? Since then I have been involved in photography and books. Syria Al-Assad is a selection of works deriving from your longterm project The Arabian Monument, for which you went photographing in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco and Iran. What was your initial idea when starting in 2007 and how did that project evolve? When I became a lecturer at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig I took part in a three-year exchange programme with Arab art schools in Jordan and Lebanon. I realized there that I, and probably most other people in the West, know nothing of those countries and their people, except stereotypes of war and maybe 1001 Nights. So I thought I could make a counterpart of a previous photographic project, a three-month road trip through the USA in 2004 (later named: These Colors Don’t Run). I derived the title of the project, The Arabian Monument, from Lee Friedlander’s The American Monument. Since 2007, every spring and autumn,

I would travel to one or more countries, usually visiting two or three times. As you can see from the info in the book, I visited Syria in 2007 and 2008, but the 2009 trip by car was the most rewarding. In the last two years I concentrated on Iran, which is an amazing country; great people. And it could be the next target for our ‘civilized’ and ‘democratic’ Western governments.

How did the recent events in Syria change your view on your own work that you shot a few years ago? The images of the monuments in Syria Al-Assad lay unused in my archives, until the violence erupted in Syria.

I had been to Deraa, Homs and Idlib and most other places that are now headlining the news. I realized, that the monuments that I all but obsessively collected a few years earlier would not be there anymore. My photographs had become historic documents. Also, as a result of my travels, my naïve trust in news reports has ceased to exist. That’s why I travel: to see for myself, to have personal experiences and encounters that help me to balance the stream of negative broadcasts.

You mentioned that most of the photographs were taken from your car while moving along the street past signs and statues. This instant nature of the fleeting moment contrasts with the centred composition. What lies behind your choice of format? Because of the movement of the vehicle, the foreground is often blurred, which creates a notion of fleeting temporality and secrecy that anticipates recent events. Was it difficult or even forbidden in some cases to photograph these monuments? Yes, sometimes. For example, if they were next to army barracks. They had great murals and sculptures. The best images are the ones I didn’t take, I still feel the loss... Which road trip are we taking when flipping through the book and what were your reflections on the sequencing?

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Although the road is always present in the photographs, I wouldn’t use the term road trip. I don’t see a narrative. For me, the work is much more conceptual.

you tell me a bit about the various elements, like the perforation, the choice of the paper, the use of text? Did you collaborate with others? For The Arabian Monument, which was published in April 2012 by The Green Box Kunsteditionen Berlin, I collaborated with the book designer Andrej Loll. I decided to include none of the images of Syria Al-Assad, except one, and instead to find a separate format. I could not imagine framed images on the wall. I wanted something that proclaims the temporary nature of those images. First, I thought of publishing them as a set of postcards – I still like that idea. Then

How did the process of designing the book yourself develop? Can

My phot had bec ographs ome his toric docume nts.

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oliver hartung

Other than all the portraits of Hafez, Bashar and Basel Al-Assad, you barely include people in your images. At times they appear in cars or on a scooter like on your very last page, so you can imagine that I was fascinated by the one man who actually faces the camera while standing at an empty marketplace in Al Thawrah. Who is he and what is his role in your story? In the sequencing, I tried to interrupt the typological flow of the monuments by inserting other images of signs, advertising or landscapes. They are very important, as they are personal comments on the present political situation. The book starts off with a heart-shaped sign with a provincial election poster. The final image shows two men on a scooter near Deraa (where it all started), carrying what appears to be an olive tree. Other, less tender images show a Pirelli advertisement that features a clenched fist, saying, ‘Power is nothing without control’. In 2009 it seemed just as out of place as today. Or an advertisement for a washing powder named Friends. The man standing in the rain by the road in pitiful Al Thawrah (meaning: revolution) is just another one of those symbolic images.


I came up with the idea of using a perforation, like it’s used in tear-off calendars. Their usefulness is limited, because yesterday’s pages are torn off and discarded. The perforation also separates the English translation of the monuments’ Arabic inscriptions, plus information on place and time, from the images. I have chosen thin, cheap-looking, glossy coated paper. I wanted woody paper, so the edges would yellow over time, but that wasn’t available.

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Which place would be your ideal for showcasing this particular series in the broadest sense as a book or as an exhibition? I think, the present book is the perfect rendering for this work. In a perfect world, it would be published by an enthusiastic publisher and sold for little money, so anybody who likes the work could have it. •

All images © Oliver Hartung Oliver Hartung (b. 1973, Germany) studied at the Kunstakademie Stuttgart, the Glasgow School of Art, and the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Since 2004, he is a freelance photographer for the New York Times; from 2007 to 2013 he was teaching Photography at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig. Oliver lives and works in Berlin.

40


Arthur Mole

portfolio text

interview with RĂŠmi Faucheux and Mathieu Charon (RVB Books) by Caroline von Courten 41


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ok o b e h t We see dium in its e as a m n right ow Let’s start with the man himself: who was Arthur Mole and how did you two editors/designers stumble on his work? Arthur S. Mole was born in England in 1889 and migrated to the United States with his family when he was twelve. His foreign-born status was doubtless a major factor in a career that highlighted citizenship and national community from the outset. At the precise moment when the United States entered the Great War in 1917, Mole was commissioned to make spectacular images at military bases throughout the United States. These images came to serve as rallying points for defenders of American involvement in the war and opponents of isolationist tendencies. We discovered Arthur Mole’s work in a collective exhibition – Spy Numbers – at Palais de Tokyo, Paris in 2009. His photographs immediately fascinated 42

us. So we started to research him. We set out to locate some books, but we couldn’t find any. It became obvious that we would have to make our own.

How did Mole construct these photo-formations requiring the assembling of thousands of people – these ‘Living Photographs’ as he would call them – given the technical limitations of the time? In these mass portrayals, thousands of troops and other groups were skilfully arranged to form American patriotic symbols, emblems, and military insignia when viewed from a bird’s-eye perspective that mimicked aerial photography. Working with his partner John D. Thomas, who directed the troops on the ground, Mole used his 11x14-inch view camera to stage elaborate photographs that transformed living bodies into symbolic configurations of the American community.


How does Mole’s body of work, dating from 1915 to 1920, relate to the present time? What made you want to share it in the form of a photobook now? Firstly there’s the political aspect. Mole was a pioneer of this particular type of imagery, in which North Korea now excels. And obviously the way this series of photos looks to us almost a hundred years later is particularly interesting. As Louis Kaplan so aptly puts it in his introductory essay, these pictures oscillate between ghostly illusion and collective memory, between art and documentary. We’re fascinated, too, by the sheer craziness of what Mole was attempting. When he took these pictures, photography was still an emergent medium, and the technical means employed were really something. There were weeks of advance preparation, and putting the participants in place took several hours. Actually taking the photo called for building a tower some twenty-five

meters high, and Mole gave his instructions to the crowd from the top, using a loudhailer.

Why and when did you decide to dedicate your professional practice to photography and making books? From the creative point of view this really is the most exciting field at the 43

arthur mole

Mole seems to be the only one of your artists not personally involved in the book-making project. Experimental book projects carried out with artists are one of your hallmarks: could you tell me something about the ambitions and the passion that drives RVB Books? Up until now we’ve worked exclusively with contemporary artists very much involved in the actual designing of the books. We see the book as a medium in its own right – but obviously we’re closer to the artist’s book than to the exhibition catalogue. As for our collaborations with artists, each publishing project is different. The common factor is that we love exchanging and sharing ideas with our artists: we do everything we can to meet their requirements, so that the book as an object is as faithful as possible to the spirit of their work. It’s not just a report, but rather a contribution to what they’re doing. This is our first experience of working without the artist, and it’s turning out to be trickier than we anticipated. It’s sometimes disconcerting not to be able to have your editing decisions okayed by the photographer. For example, we found it made sense here to meticulously crop each mise en scène. This seemed necessary from the very start; we might be at a slight remove from Mole’s intentions, but this choice provides a valid interpretation of his work.


moment. There’s contact with the avantgarde art scene, so it seemed natural to us to get involved, firstly by setting up the publishing house, then by opening a space dedicated to new editorial practices – working from printed material towards exhibition, rather than the reverse.

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How did the collaboration with Louis Kaplan as author of the accompanying essay come about? Did his text influence your edit or the other way around? Among the authors currently concerned with Arthur Mole’s work, University of Toronto associate professor Louis Kaplan was the most responsive to our idea of a book that would be as impressive visually as it was historically.

Could you name me a few artists who are on your dream/wish list to make a photobook with? We refuse to think along those lines. Our collaborations are first and foremost a matter of encounters and affinities. So far our choices have gone to emerging artists who see the artist’s book and image-related experiments as crucial to their approach. With this project, though, we’ve set off in an entirely different direction; and in fact it’s just as exciting to turn up ‘forgotten’ artists and make them a core concern in a very contemporary venture. •

As publishers, how did you deal with the copyright question? Did you face any difficulties in the process of making the book? The photos are now in the public domain, so the rights aren’t really an issue. The problem is more with the files: we have to find the highest resolution files so that we can do exactly the book we have in mind, with extreme cropping.

Arthur S. Mole (b.1889, UK) was an artist who worked as a commercial photographer in Zion, Illinois, north of Chicago. His partner in this endeavour was John D. Thomas. During World War I, he travelled to various Army, Marine and Navy camps to execute his massive compositions. He is considered a pioneer in the field of performed group photography. Mole’s work is featured in the collections of the Chicago Historical Society, Metropolitan Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Library of Congress.

44


Shinji Otani

portfolio text

interview by Taco Hidde Bakker 45


foam magazine # 34 dummy

Congratulations on winning the Unpublished Dummy Award with The Country of the Rising Sun. How did you come to make this dummy and why is the title prin­ ted on the cover in four langua­ ges? When I was a student of photography at the Rietveld Academie back in 2006 and 2007, I went to Sweden three times. I was struck by how bright and crisp the light is up there, giving a kind of experience of wearing new glasses. Most of the photographs in this book were made in Stockholm during the winter time. Swedish people have been telling me how horrible the winter is in Sweden, so I thought it might be interesting to photograph the light in the winter. I had maybe four hours of sufficient light to work outside. The title refers to the idea that one needs light to make a photograph and it’s also a reference to my home country of Japan, where people are really proud to be in ‘the country of the rising sun’. But in rea­ lity the sun rises in every country – even in Sweden in wintertime. I put the title there in the four languages important to this project, which are my native language Japanese, Dutch because I live and work in the Netherlands, Swedish because of the subject, and English because it’s international. A second feature that stands out when browsing through your dummy is the peculiar placing of many of the images. Could you elaborate on that? The whole concept of this dummy derives from my graduation show at the Rietveld. I got many positive respon­ ses to it and people started saying that it should become a book. I knew the graphic designers of Our Polite Society, who were fellow students, and proposed

to them that they make a book out of the graduation show. The exhibition was of 66 black­and­white photographs, all hand printed by me on baryte paper. Then we had to think of an interesting way to transform a 3D­experience to 2D without losing the sculptural and spacious character of the exhibition. As a starting point we took the A1 sheets that are used in offset printing. We digitally photographed overviews of the exhibi­ tion of analogue prints, leaving visible the pins that held the photos to the wall. An A1 print sheet is one shot of a wall of the exhibition. Some I photographed from a distance to have small images on the sheet, others from closer, so that after folding only one­fourth of the image would be on one page. The tricky but very interesting part is that some ima­ ges end up upside­down in the layout. I needed to photograph the wall arrange­ ments properly, based on how I wanted to have the sequencing of the pictures in the dummy.

Despite its apparent structu­ ral complexity it sounds like a straightforward concept for a

46

I approach th making of a e photobook as installation an It’s not a po . rt but an obje folio ct.


book design. And the intriguing part is the preservation of the spi­ rit of the exhibition and of a confi­ guration of photographs in space. Exactly. I approach the making of a photobook as an installation. It’s not a portfolio but an object. There are some technical pitfalls regarding the transmis­ sion of the harmony of an overview on a wall to a sequence in a book. To think about the pagination I had to go back and forth many times: one test shot of the wall, then making very small and simple sample dummy’s to figure out how the paging would function. Ma­ king small dummies by folding paper is a good feeling, very different from doing it on a computer. In short, the concept for the dummy is very simple. Just a photog­ raph of photographs on the wall, then folding, and finally a book. The crucial question is how to make the sequence.

What sort of audience do you envisage for your special photo­ book debut? It would first of all be for book lovers; people who can appreciate how we made the book. It’s not some easy flip­through postcard book. It is about the construction of a book.

How did people react to your dummy? As it’s still somewhat of a puzzling experience to leaf through the book, no matter how elegant its concept of layout and design. People need to take effort in reading this book. They need to turn it, flip it, and figure out how it’s constructed. The designers encouraged me to work this way. The first dummy we made was far from perfect. It just conveyed the idea of presenting some images small and others larger. Some were upside down, others not. For example, with some of the symmetrical images the folding works really well. Geometrical rhymes come into being. Many people primar­ ily want to see picture quality of indi­ vidual images and that book design should enhance that quality. My dummy is much more than that. The layout is key. With the structuring and the design, I was prepared to go to the limit. 47

shinji otani

Since you won the Dummy Award you have been fortunate enough to be able to take this project off the shelves and work towards an official publication with Lecturis. Did you go back to the designers of Our Polite Society to ask their help again, and how is the col­ laboration with Lecturis? It felt a bit difficult to ask Our Polite Society again after four years. They gave me the letter design from the first dum­ my, then I completely handmade four copies of the second dummy myself, one of which I submitted to the competition. Luckily, Our Polite Society still found my dummy to be excellent and wanted to pick up the project again, starting from the original pagination. We are discussing the upgrading of the typography and how that should combine with the images. They have a great approach towards the book as an object. For instance, they hold and bend the dummy to look if they want the book volume a bit more stiff and united instead of bouncy. That sounds like sculpturing. I talked to Lecturis to ask what their focus will be and they want to make the best of it, because that’s the way for a small publisher to survive. They would like to do the printing in tritones – two scales of grey and one black – instead of the usual duotones. They are confi­ dent that they can recreate the feeling and tonal range of the original prints. Lecturis is a publisher with spirit.


Would the best thing your future buyers could do is to buy two co­ pies and take one apart? Actually, we plan to have the book ac­ companied by a full­scale poster, exactly like the sheets from which the book is made.

foam magazine # 34 dummy

You would give away the key to the book’s structure rather instead than keep it a mystery? We need to to clarify the structure, or too many people might not understand the point of the book. I hope future owners of the book will come back to it every once in a while, like good music, to discover something new each time. •

All images © Shinji Otani Shinji Otani (b. 1972, Japan) at first concentrated on ceramics, but ultimately he switched to photography. In 2007 he graduated from the Photography Department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, in Amsterdam. He was the recipient of the first edition of the Unseen Dummy Award in 2012. He lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

48


Max Pinckers

portfolio text

interview by Taco Hidde Bakker 49


foam magazine # 34 dummy

Could you tell me something about the subject of your photobook dummy The Fourth Wall? As a child I lived for many years in Asia, and for my previous work, called Lotus, from which I made a photobook, I focused on transsexuals in Thailand. For my graduation work at the KASK (School of Arts) in Ghent, I went on to take photographs on the Bollywood film sets in Mumbai. When I first came to Mumbai I thought I needed to see many Bolly­ wood movies, so I could use scenes as source material for my photographs, but I quickly figured out that I didn’t need to. Ultimately, I left it to the characters to express some of their fa­ vorite scenes. On the film sets one could always find some corners left unused. I set up my lights and found people to pose for me. I used these backgrounds to create my own images. For example, the pink cloud in the empty bedroom. I asked the producer if I could let off a smoke bomb, and he gave me permis­ sion to do so.

Looking at your photos can be a befuddling experience. Am I looking at film sets or at real-life impressions mimicking movie scenes? The photographs are ambiguous and intriguing. And you have woven in textual quotes, increasing the levels of possible reading. By taking photographs on film sets I created a first layer of uncertainty about whether you’re looking at fact or fiction. I started work using this method with Lotus and continued along the same lines with The Fourth Wall, but I wanted to explore it more deeply. For example by using texts, often lifted from newspa­ per stories, predicting something which would happen later in the photographs. Narratives are triggered by the ima­ ges in combination with the suggestive connections of the newspaper quotes. Sometimes the links are so particular you couldn’t possibly guess. One clear example is the piece from the newspaper about the school girl who went to Mum­ bai to look for her idol Salman Khan.

I know o place in f no other where t the world he of came presence ras is so greatly appreci ated

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tell you that my subjects are very well aware of the fact that they have been photographed. It is important to know, otherwise much of the magic disappears.

Is it necessary for the audience of your book to be familiar with Bollywood culture? No, I don’t think so. Except perhaps in recognizing a movie star like Salman Khan. What is significant though, is that movie culture has such a dominant and positive presence in India, that almost anyone is willing to act in front of a camera, no matter if it’s a film or photo camera, they often don’t even know the difference. I know of no other place in the world where the presence of came­ ras is so greatly appreciated. It’s easy to ask a complete stranger: ‘Look, I want to photograph that scene… everything is set up, do you want to act?’. Most of them are wildly enthusiastic about it. That’s the most exciting part.

The Fourth Wall is a fairly wellknown concept in theories of theatre and film. Does your title refer to that? And is it suggestive in that the readers of your book are invited to think of who makes up the fourth wall in this case? I don’t like titles that immediately give away a key or explanation. Usually the fourth wall is thought of as being the imaginative wall in between actors and their audience. In the case of my book, it’s open to a multitude of interpre­ tations, but I have taken it as a clear reference to the theoretical concept. If you know what it means it should 51

max pinckers

Shortly after you finished your dummy, you made an edition of a thousand of The Fourth Wall, financed through crowd-funding. The most striking difference between dummy and final book is the newsprint used for the latter. The photos in the book aren’t as vivid and sharp as in the dummy. At an early stage in the design process, Christof Nüssli, from Werkplaats Typografie, Arnhem, proposed to use standard 45­gram newsprint. I thought at first that that would be a radical proposal, as it pertains to the subject of the book and to the quotes I have lifted from newspapers. It binds the photographs together rather than leaving them as standalone pieces. One should always consider good printing quality for a photobook, but I don’t think that’s of the utmost importance. In an exhibi­

Of course, she meets an evil man who steals her money and she is left alone in this anonymous mega­city. This story was a perfect fit to a photograph I had taken of Khan’s double, three months before reading the article. Only Indians or Bollywood­experts will recognize Khan in the picture. That image and quote have a clear link. Then there is the story of the boy Sohail who was very curious about whether there is life after death. The boy committed suicide after seeing a character dying in a TV show and miraculously returning to life in the next episode. The boy believed he would come back to life as well. In the images following that quote you’ll see a boy who’s watching at scenes from a distance. Overall, it’s free association. One of the essential ideas of the work is the subconscious power that fiction can have over reality.


foam magazine # 34 dummy

tion it should be perfect though, whether as print or lightbox. The prints which I make for exhibitions are not on news­ paper but either transparencies or baryt prints. We couldn’t make a dummy using newsprint, as offset requires a print run of at least a thousand. We needed a tem­ porary solution for the dummy, hence the heavier paper. But the lay­out and editing hasn’t changed much in the final book.

The book has rather a disposable feel about it now? Yes, it’s a lot thinner than the dummy, which is still a sort of coffee­table book. Like I said, it fits the concept of my pro­ ject, and also I wanted to do something different from what is always expected, which of course shouldn’t be the ulti­ mate reason to make such a choice. In India everything is wrapped in news­ paper, almost everything is of a dispo­ sable quality. The nice thing about the book is that it’s really in the spirit of how I experienced things in India.

Have you showed the book to the people you photographed in Mumbai? Not yet, but I’m going back to India soon to make new work for the Europalia Festival in Belgium. I’m going to give copies to any of them I can trace. I have shown the book to some Indian people already and they all react very positively and say they’ve never seen a represen­ tation of India like this before. They even see things that I wasn’t aware of. As soon as you learn about the cultural conno­ tations the story gets so many extra lay­ ers. The most interesting part of working in series and making photobooks is that it enables you to weave many storylines together. You can use texts and other materials, push a reader in a certain direction. You can’t perceive it in one viewing. It’s another way of seeing. •

All images © Max Pinckers Max Pinckers (b.1988, Belgium) recently graduated from KASK in Ghent, Belgium. His images have been exhibited widely in Europe, USA and Japan, and published in a number of magazines including the British Journal of Photography, De Volkskrant, .tiff magazine. Max Pinckers is also founding member of www.foundfootage.be, an online platform for hidden, forgotten or lost material. He lives and works in Brussels.

52


Mahesh Shantaram

portfolio text

interview by Taco Hidde Bakker 53


foam magazine # 34 dummy

Why have you chosen to keep the Welsh name for Cardiff in the title, despite having found no Welsh identity there? On my long walks through Cardiff, only street names served as a constant reminder that I’m in some place that's not England. I took a hint from that and had the words Caerdydd Diary embossed on the dummy cover since very little else beyond that point in the book is visually Welsh.

Caerdyd is entire d Diary yet very ly truthful, truth m little of that ight be of any use to a nybody .

You spent the summer of 2011 as an artist-in-residence in the city of Cardiff in Wales. During that stay you kept a blog which resulted in your photobook dummy Caerdydd Diary. In the introduction you stated that you ‘set out with the best of intentions to document the Welsh identity as I perceived it’. But to your disappointment you found none. Did you, coming from India, a former British colony, perceive any kind of Welsh identity before coming to Cardiff? It wasn’t long before I landed in Cardiff did I know of Wales as a country in its own right. I went there with zero expectations. My point was to discover the contemporary character of Cardiff and its people. I was hoping to find something fresh, innocent, and visual. Sadly, nowadays the identity of Cardiff is dissolved into the British identity. Even the Prince of Wales isn’t Welsh! Long after the glorious era of coal mines and dockyard workers, redevelopment across Cardiff has made it a newly-scrubbed city in search of renewed purpose. 54

Did the absence of a Welsh identity lead you to photograph Cardiff differently than you had originally planned? You could instead have decided to explore Wales outside its capital to look for a distinguishable Welsh identity, yet you decided to document Cardiff. The resulting photographs show many generic places of a city in decline, but in your written comments you often give the sad look of it a humorous twist. The terms of the residency required me to work within a specific area that spanned three neighbourhoods of Cardiff, with which I developed an intimate relationship. I would walk the streets and back alleys for hours every day. What I found most surprising was the utter lack of street culture in the evenings. Everyone would either go home after work or go to the pub, and the streets would look perfectly empty. It gave me a unique opportunity to put a couple of hours of deep summer dusk light to good use in a city that looked as if it had been deserted by its own inhabitants. I briefly slipped in and out of depressions due to loneliness and had to struggle daily to fight it. I found my own melancholy reflected in the people I met and in the quiet streets I inhabited. The


diary is a record of those experiences conveying how my initial hopes slowly gave way to darker mood. I used humour to make it lighter on those who wished to expend their time on my troubles. As to the idea of documentation, all my work is documentary, but at the same time intensely personal and subjective. Caerdydd Diary is entirely truthful, yet very little of that truth might be of any use to anybody.

How did you get the idea about to make a dummy of your Cardiff series? When I was in Cardiff for the residency, my wife Vidya Rao quit her job in a technology company in Bangalore and went to Madrid to follow a course on photobook design. After she came back to India, she wanted to put together a photobook dummy to submit to the 2012 International Photobook Festival in Paris. I came back with all these pictures

and didn’t quite know what to do with them. Since Vidya had been following my blog from the beginning, she saw the potential to make a book out of it. Very rarely do photographers designing their own books get it right all by themselves, so giving Vidya the opportunity to do the photobook design seemed like an excellent idea. You can think of the photobook as a clean and tight edit of the blog. As for the design of the book dummy itself, what I wanted to communicate through this work was expressed in our various choices right from the cover down to the details such as the format, the size, paper, what to show and what to leave out.

What do you think about photobooks in the diary mode? Initially, I was a bit surprised to read on the title page of Caerdydd Diary that a graphic designer was involved. Now that you tell me she is your wife it makes more sense. Otherwise the notion of a personal diary seems immediately emasculated when you know that a ‘stranger’ was involved in its creation. 55

mahesh shantaram

While the cityscape scenes and still lifes in your dummy are often accompanied by witty comments, all the portraits of people, except the one of fellow photographer JH Engström, are accompanied only by their names. Why? On the blog, all the portraits were accompanied by little quotes from my encounters with the people I photographed. One of them claimed that I had misrepresented him, shortly after I met him and put up the image and words on the blog. I was upset by it, but agreed to take it down. When creating the dummy, I thought it would be best to do away with the stories as far as portraits are concerned and keep a sense of mystery around their personae. I didn’t want to further compromise their privacy in what is already a deeply personal book.


foam magazine # 34 dummy

Of course, photobooks presented as diaries isn’t a new idea. Others have produced wonderful books in the diary format, like JH Engström with La Résidence and recently Olivia Arthur with Jeddah Diary. I think a photobook gives the reader a unique experience, and in the case of Caerdydd Diary, one that gives the voyeuristic pleasure of peeking into someone else’s diary. I could have chosen to show the Cardiff work as a simple catalogue of images. Boring, but perfectly valid. The decision to use the humble Moleskine came after much deliberation. Also, the text wasn’t there when I presented Vidya with my first edit. It was the conception of the diary format that made the text an important part of the story.

Is this dummy close to a possible published edition, or would you rather revise it? I might tweak the text a bit, but by and large I see the book as very close to a final version and fit for publication. Could you describe an ideal audience for your dummy, or for the book in case it is published? Caerdydd Diary is poetry, and as such it wasn’t created with any kind of audience in mind. I can only talk of an audience that isn’t ideal… the Wales Tourist Board comes to mind. •

Is a book the appropriate outcome of this project, or, for example, could it work as an exhibition as well? I would like to think of a photobook as the ideal outcome of any photographic project I undertake. I’m not too fascinated by prints put up on walls for the sake of buyers’ private collections. A photobook works like a pocket edition of an exhibition. It keeps a body of work accessible and complete. Furthermore, I’m interested in the photobook as a medium of expression. With the contribution of a good designer, the final output strengthens the original message of the photographer and goes beyond limitations of what photographs put in sequence can communicate. While there are many good individual pictures in this series, there isn’t much of storytelling value.

All images © Mahesh Shantaram Mahesh Shantaram (b. 1977, Bangalore, India) works in the genre of subjective documentary photography. His main area of interest tends towards visual representations of modern India minus all the nostalgic fluff. Some of his recent work portrayed the transition of Bangalore from garden city to technopolis (Steady State, 2012), an air traveller’s equivalent of stopping to smell the roses (Airtime), and the ‘lovable ridiculousness’ of contemporary Indian wedding culture (Matrimania). After having driven a Volvo bus and flown a Cessna plane, Mahesh Shantaram’s personal goal for 2013 is to learn to drive a car.

56


Mirte Slaats

portfolio text

interview by Caroline von Courten 57


foam magazine # 34 dummy

er w e i v e h t I give g to n i h t e m o s h little t i w r e v o disc ders. n i m e r l u playf

What brought you to study photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy? I remember photographing the different stages of a falling brush; I think I must have been fourteen years old. Or captu­ ring my family in an ‘odd’ way, like only the clapping hands of my little brother. I enjoyed leaving things out of the picture, I thought it was an easy way to capture difficult things. When I stared for a long time at a photo by Dirk Braeckman of ‘just’ a brick wall in De Pont, I knew I wanted to study photography. I like the freedom Rietveld gives you as a student and being a girl from the north I really wanted to go to the big city. How did you eventually come to portray evergreens in cemeteries? Was it by coincidence or a thoughtthrough concept? This project has a long lead. I think it started after the death of the brother of a friend of mine some years ago. His ashes were kept at home in an urn wai­ ting for other family members to die, so that their ashes could be strewn together one day. The way we deal with death set me thinking and I started looking for urns and sprinkle fields. But once I was walking in cemeteries I became fascinated by the garden architecture, how plants and trees seem to put an accent on the atmosphere of sadness 58

and also say something about our at­ titude towards death. For example, the romantic type of cemetery from around 1900 has a more aloof attitude, the landscape style a more monumental language. How they use the monumen­ tal character of for example the Taxus baccata, the European Yew. Nowadays cemeteries have become the green lungs of cities and people start to walk there for pleasure. All this taken together led me to photograph the evergreens.

Disparate references to a cemetery, like flowers or gravestones, are subtly displayed in your work. Only when I was looking specifically for it, did I discover a little flower bouquet in the back on page four that gives me the first indication of a graveyard. How important are the surroundings for you in relation to the isolation of the evergreens? It is important that it’s there, but also that it’s not there. I give the viewer something to discover with little playful reminders. I immediately drew a line between your subject of the immortal evergreens – greening independent of the seasons – and the encircling environment of death. An interesting antagonism that


is often related to photography. But what is your personal relation to the subject of mortality versus immortality? I like the absent present in life.

The booklet was finished, but not like ‘finished’ finished. I knew Matthias, so I dared to ask him at short notice to help me out. And fortunately he is one of the finest graphic designers I know; I thought his eye and hands could make it complete. I like his clear style and I’m very pleased with The Session.

What is it that interests you in the practice of making a photobook? It feels like a playground; I like that. Also that you can add more layers to the work. In this case, the final work is the booklet.

How did your conversations with him change your ideas about the work? What elements were added that you didn’t have in mind beforehand? The work was quite finished already but it was nice to talk it through and make it for real. Matthias had a lot of papers for me to touch. He agreed that the pa­ per should feel like a map. He chose the font and made the index page readable.

At what stage did you start the collaboration with the graphic designer Matthias Kreutzer from Our Polite Society? It was actually one month before sen­ ding it to the Unseen Dummy Award.

When did you decide to include the coordinates along with the images? During the process, I don’t remember the exact moment, but it came along with the idea of making a map. And I liked the idea of personalising the evergreens, so that people could also visit them if they felt like it. The intimate, small size of your dummy and the thin paper seem to contrast with the monumental and static appearance of the ever59

mirte slaats

With such an extensive and ongoing collection of evergreens I wonder when this series felt complete for you and how long did you work on it in total? Maybe that’s why it took me a while to finish. The first picture taken in a cemetery dates from 2008, but at that time I had another project to work on. After my graduation in 2009 I took it up again. It was a long process. I made the first picture of the book in June 2010; the rest during wintertime (that was a new rule). In spring 2011, I de­ cided to make a booklet out of it. And the bigger the collection, the pickier I became and came up with other ideas. To make a final selection I decided on forty as the number of preparation and expectation. It was also fitting to dis­ cover that four is the number of death in Japan and China. If you unfold the booklet there are four evergreens on every page. It took me long time to find out the official names of the evergreens, but the booklet was finally finished this summer.


greens. What were your thoughts behind these choices? I wanted to create the association with a map. The small size means it fits into your pocket if you want to discover the evergreens in reality. And I liked that contrast.

foam magazine # 34 dummy

How does the sequence of the images reflect the travelling you did to photograph these evergreens in Berlin, Amsterdam and Basel? The sequence of images is not chosen by place but by shape. I visited a lot of cemeteries, but the first workable image I took was in Basel (page 14), so it was more of a coincidence. The entrance to that graveyard was so overwhelming because the evergreens were so closely pruned, I think there were six of them in a row. The black square on the back page – an undefined end of the book? It’s unfilled and undefined. And finally, what would be your dream bookshelf to find your book on? Foam

All images © Mirte Slaats Mirte Slaats (b. 1983, the Netherlands) graduated in 2009 from the Photography Department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. Her work was part of the exhibition Bending Light/Breaking Time in London (2012), and of the Artpocalypse Collective exhibition in Amsterdam (2011). She lives and works in Amsterdam.

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Colophon

Lithography & Printing Lecturis Kalverstraat 72 5642 CJ Eindhoven -NL

Issue #34, Spring 2013

Binding Binderij Hexspoor Ladonkseweg 7 5281 RN Boxtel – NL

Editor-in-chief Marloes Krijnen Creative Director Pjotr de Jong

Paper Igepa Nederland B.V. De Geer 10 4004 LT Tiel - NL

Editors Marcel Feil, Pjotr de Jong, Elisa Medde, Marloes Krijnen

Editorial Address Foam Magazine Keizersgracht 609 1017 DS Amsterdam – NL T +31 20 551 65 00 F +31 20 551 65 01 editors@foam.org

Managing Editor Elisa Medde Magazine Management Betty Man, Lout Coolen Communication Interns Agata Bar, Julie van der Have, Stefanie Hofman

Operations Manager / Advertising Betty Man Foam Magazine PO Box 92292 1090 AG Amsterdam – NL T +31 20 462 20 62 F +31 20 462 20 60 betty@foam.org

foam magazine # 34 dummy

Art Director Hamid Sallali (Vandejong) Design & Layout Hamid Sallali, Roos Haasjes (Vandejong) Typography Roos Haasjes (Vandejong)

Subscriptions Hexspoor Support Center Ladonkseweg 9 5281 RN Boxtel – NL T +31 41 163 34 71 subscription@foam.org

Contributing Photographers and Artists Linda Beumer, Tim Gutt, Yuji Hamada, Oliver Hartung, Guus Kaandorp, Arthur Mole, Shinji Otani, Max Pinckers, Mahesh Shantaram, Mirte Slaats

Subscriptions include 4 issues per year € 70,– excluding postage Students and Club Foam members receive 20% discount

Contributing Writers Taco Hidde Bakker, Caroline von Courten, Marcel Feil, Sean O’Hagan

Single issue € 19,50 Back issues (# 2 – 29) € 12,50 Excluding postage Foam Magazine # 1 and #9 are out of print www.foam.org/webshop

Copy Editor Pittwater Literary Services: Rowan Hewison Translation Liz Waters

Publisher Foam Magazine PO Box 92292 1090 AG Amsterdam – NL magazine@foam.org ISSN 1570-4874 ISBN 9789070516291 © photographers, authors, Foam Magazine BV, Amsterdam, 2012. All photographs and illustration material is the copyright property of the photographers and /or their estates, and the publications in which they have been published. Every effort has been made to contact copyright holders. Any copyright holders we have been unable to reach or to whom inaccurate acknowledgement has been made are invited to contact the publishers at magazine@foam.org All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photo-copy, recording or otherwise without prior written permission of the publishers. Although the highest care is taken to make the information contained in Foam Magazine as accurate as possible, neither the publishers nor the authors can accept any responsibility for damage, of any nature, resulting from the use of this information.

Distribution The Netherlands Betapress BV T + 31 16 145 78 00 Great Britain Central Books magazine@centralbooks.com USA/ Canada/ Asia S.A.S.S Srl distribuzione@sass-roma.it T +39 0665000236

The production of Foam Magazine has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, paper supplier Igepa Netherlands B.V., Printing company Lecturis and Bindery Hexspoor.

96


Colophon

Lithography & Printing Lecturis Kalverstraat 72 5642 CJ Eindhoven -NL

Issue #34, Spring 2013

Binding Binderij Hexspoor Ladonkseweg 7 5281 RN Boxtel – NL

Editor-in-chief Marloes Krijnen Creative Director Pjotr de Jong

Paper Igepa Nederland B.V. De Geer 10 4004 LT Tiel - NL

Editors Marcel Feil, Pjotr de Jong, Elisa Medde, Marloes Krijnen

Editorial Address Foam Magazine Keizersgracht 609 1017 DS Amsterdam – NL T +31 20 551 65 00 F +31 20 551 65 01 editors@foam.org

Managing Editor Elisa Medde Magazine Management Betty Man, Lout Coolen Communication Interns Agata Bar, Julie van der Have, Stefanie Hofman

Operations Manager / Advertising Betty Man Foam Magazine PO Box 92292 1090 AG Amsterdam – NL T +31 20 462 20 62 F +31 20 462 20 60 betty@foam.org

foam magazine # 34 dummy

Art Director Hamid Sallali (Vandejong) Design & Layout Hamid Sallali, Roos Haasjes (Vandejong) Typography Roos Haasjes (Vandejong)

Subscriptions Hexspoor Support Center Ladonkseweg 9 5281 RN Boxtel – NL T +31 41 163 34 71 subscription@foam.org

Contributing Photographers and Artists Linda Beumer, Tim Gutt, Yuji Hamada, Oliver Hartung, Guus Kaandorp, Arthur Mole, Shinji Otani, Max Pinckers, Mahesh Shantaram, Mirte Slaats

Subscriptions include 4 issues per year € 70,– excluding postage Students and Club Foam members receive 20% discount

Contributing Writers Taco Hidde Bakker, Caroline von Courten, Marcel Feil, Sean O’Hagan

Single issue € 19,50 Back issues (# 2 – 29) € 12,50 Excluding postage Foam Magazine # 1 and #9 are out of print www.foam.org/webshop

Copy Editor Pittwater Literary Services: Rowan Hewison Translation Liz Waters

Publisher Foam Magazine PO Box 92292 1090 AG Amsterdam – NL magazine@foam.org ISSN 1570-4874 ISBN 9789070516291 © photographers, authors, Foam Magazine BV, Amsterdam, 2012. All photographs and illustration material is the copyright property of the photographers and /or their estates, and the publications in which they have been published. Every effort has been made to contact copyright holders. Any copyright holders we have been unable to reach or to whom inaccurate acknowledgement has been made are invited to contact the publishers at magazine@foam.org All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photo-copy, recording or otherwise without prior written permission of the publishers. Although the highest care is taken to make the information contained in Foam Magazine as accurate as possible, neither the publishers nor the authors can accept any responsibility for damage, of any nature, resulting from the use of this information.

Distribution The Netherlands Betapress BV T + 31 16 145 78 00 Great Britain Central Books magazine@centralbooks.com USA/ Canada/ Asia S.A.S.S Srl distribuzione@sass-roma.it T +39 0665000236

The production of Foam Magazine has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, paper supplier Igepa Netherlands B.V., Printing company Lecturis and Bindery Hexspoor.

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‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

N 52 20.172, E 4 57.779

2

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

9

783940

arthur mole

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

N 52 29 11.8, E 13 24 38 EVERGREEN

1

living photographs


N 52 20.129, E 4 57.865 N 52 32.54, E 13 27.554

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‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

N 52 20.122, E 4 57.893

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The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

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66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

N 52 29.205, E 13 24.633

3

living photographs


N 52 20.122, E 4 57.893

4

N 52 29.205, E 13 24.633

3


‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

N 52 32.54, E 13 27.554

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The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

9

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arthur mole

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

N 52 20.129, E 4 57.865

37

living photographs


N 52 29.19, E 13 24.611 This dummy is part of #34 Dummy

40

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‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

arthur mole

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

living photographs


‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

arthur mole

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

living photographs


‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

arthur mole

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

living photographs


This dummy is part of #34 Dummy


‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

arthur mole

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

living photographs


‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

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9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

arthur mole

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

living photographs


‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

arthur mole

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

living photographs


This dummy is part of #34 Dummy


‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

arthur mole

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

living photographs


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‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

arthur mole

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

living photographs


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‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ 21 Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

arthur mole

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

living photographs


This dummy is part of #34 Dummy


‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

arthur mole

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

living photographs


‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

arthur mole

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

living photographs


‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

arthur mole

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

living photographs


This dummy is part of #34 Dummy


‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0

arthur mole

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

living photographs


‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0


‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0


‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

The Country of the Rising Sun Oliver Hartung Syria al-Assad ‫ﺃﻭﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎﺭﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺎ ﺍﻷﺳﺪ‬ Landet med den Stigande Solen ‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬ 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

‫أوﻟﻴﻔﺮ ﻫﺎرﺗﻨﻎ ﺳﻮرﻳﺎ اﻷﺳﺪ‬

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0


Jandar, south of Homs, 2009.

The Country of the Rising Sun Landet med den Stigande Solen 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

9

»General Electric Company of Jandar. Forever with you, Bashar al-Assad.«

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0


Near Jisr ash Shughur, 2009.

The Country of the Rising Sun Landet med den Stigande Solen 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon

9

»Welcome to Idleb Province. With regards from the Directorate of Technical Services.« »Dentists of Idleb, loyal soldiers of the homeland and the leader.«

66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0


This dummy is part of #34 Dummy


The Country of the Rising Sun Landet med den Stigande Solen 日出る国 Het Land van de Rijzende Zon 66 photographs by Shinji Otani Designed by Our Polite Society Printed by andPrinter Published by Lecturis Published Publisher Productionbymade possible by Igepa, Unseen Photo Fair and Offprint Amsterdam © Shinji Otani, 2008 © Shinji Otani, 2008

9

783940

064486

ISBN 0-00000-000-0


Landet med den Stigande Solen


The Country of the Rising Sun

This dummy is part of #34 Dummy


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Modern + ConteMporary art + design 10 Chancery Lane Gallery (Hong Kong) | 16th Line Gallery (Rostov on Don)* | 313 Art Project (Seoul) | A2Z Art Gallery (Ivry-sur-Seine) | Acabas (Paris)* | AD Galerie (Béziers/Montpellier) | Louise Alexander Gallery (Porto Cervo) | Galerie Alexis Lartigue (Neuilly-sur-Seine)* | ALFA Galerie (Paris) | Analix Forever (Geneva) | Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris)* | Arka Gallery (Vladivostok)* | Arte Estampa (Madrid)* | Galerie Arts d’Australie • Stéphane Jacob (Paris) | Backslash Gallery (Paris)* | Galerie Hélène Bailly (Paris)* | Baudoin Lebon (Paris) | Galerie Renate Bender (Munich)* | Galerie Christian Berst (Paris)* | Galerie Berthet-Aittouarès (Paris) | Galerie Blue Square (Washington, DC)* | Bodson-Emelinckx Gallery (Brussels)* | Galerie Jean Brolly (Paris) | Cat-Berro Galerie (Paris)* | Galerie Bernard Ceysson (Saint-Etienne/Luxembourg/Paris/Geneva) | Galerie Pierre-Alain Challier (Paris) | °Clair Galerie (Munich/Saint-Paul de Vence) | Galerie Claude Bernard (Paris) | Galerie Claude Lemand (Paris)* | Galerie Coullaud & Koulinsky (Paris)* | Galerie Da-End (Paris)* | De Primi Fine Art (Lugano) | Galerie De Roussan (Paris)* | Domeau & Pérès (La Garenne Colombes) | Galerie Dukan (Paris) | Duplex 10m2 (Sarajevo)* | Edward Cutler Gallery (Milan)* | Eidos Immagini Contemporanee (Asti) | Erarta Galleries (London)* | Esther Woerdehoff (Paris) | Galerie Farideh Cadot* (Paris) | Galerie Lukas Feichtner* (Vienna) | Galerie Les Filles Du Calvaire (Paris) | Flatland Gallery (Utrecht/Amsterdam) | Galerie Fleury (Paris)* | Gagliardi Art System (Turin) | Galerie Christophe Gaillard (Paris)* | Galerija Fotografija (Lljubljana)* | Galerie Claire Gastaud (Clermont-Ferrand) | Gimpel & Müller (Paris/London) | Gallery Grinberg (Moscow)* | Galerie Guillaume (Paris) | H.A.N. Gallery (Seoul) | Galerie Mark Hachem (Beirut/Paris)* | Galleria Heino (Helsinki)* | Heritage International Art Gallery (Moscow)* | Galerie Thessa Herold (Paris)* | Galerie Ernst Hilger (Vienna) | Galerie Catherine Houard (Paris) | IFA Gallery (Shanghai) | Ilan Engel Gallery (Paris) | Galerie Imane Farès (Paris) | Inda Galeria (Budapest) | Galerie Iragui (Moscow)* | Galerie Catherine Issert (Saint-Paul de Vence) | Galerie Jacques Elbaz (Paris) | J. Bastien Art (Brussels) | Galerie Pascal Janssens (Gand) | Galerie Jean Fournier (Paris) | JGM. Galerie (Paris) | Galerie Bernard Jordan (Paris)* | Galerie L’aléatoire (Paris)* | La Galerie Particulière (Paris) | Galerie La Ligne (Zurich)* | Galerie Lahumière (Paris) | Laurent Delaye Gallery (London)* | Lehr Zeitgenössische Kunst (Cologne)* | Galerie Leonardo Agosti (Sete)* | Gallery Lilja Zakirova (Heusden)* | Galerie Maeght (Paris)* | Magnin-A (Paris)* | Kálmán Makláry Fine Arts (Budapest) | Mam Galerie (Rouen)* | Marina Gisich Gallery (Saint-Petersburg) - Ural Vision Gallery (Ekaterinburg)* | Mazel Galerie (Paris)* | Galerie Lélia Mordoch (Paris) | Mitterrand+Cramer (Geneva)* | Nadja Brykina Gallery AG (Zurich)* | NK Gallery (Antwerp)* | Nuovo Gallery (Daegu)* | Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris/Brussels) | Oniris - Galerie d’Art Contemporain (Rennes) | Galerie Paris-Beijing (Paris/Brussels) | Galerie Priska Pasquer (Cologne) | Pechersky Gallery (Moscow) | Hervé Perdriolle Inde(s) (Paris)* | Perimeter Art & Design (London)* | Galleria Giuseppe Pero (Milan)* | Pièce Unique (Paris)* | Galerie Placido (Paris)* | Galerie Polad Hardouin (Paris)* | Pop/Off/Art Gallery (Moscow/Berlin)* | Galerie Catherine Putman (Paris) | Galerie Rabouan Moussion (Paris) | RCM Galerie (Paris)* | Revue Noire (Paris) | Galerie Richard (Paris/New York) | J.P. Ritsch-Fisch Galerie (Strasbourg) | Rue Française By Miss China (Paris)* | Sarah Myerscough Fine Art (London)* | Galerie Sator (Paris)* | Mimmo Scognamiglio Artecontemporanea (Milan)* | SEM ART Gallery (Monaco)* | Semiose Galerie (Paris) | André Simoens Gallery (Knokke) | Galerie Slott (Paris) | Galerie Véronique Smagghe (Paris) | Michel Soskine Inc (Madrid/New York)* | Galerie Suzanne Tarasiève (Paris)* | Galerie Taïss (Paris) | Galerie Taménaga (Paris/Tokyo/Osaka) | Galerie Tanit (Munich/Beirut)* | Galerie Daniel Templon (Paris) | The Empty Quarter (Dubai)* | Galerie Patrice Trigano (Paris) | Trinity Contemporary (London)* | Galerie Tristan (Issy les Moulineaux)* | GVQ - Galerie Vanessa Quang (Paris) | Várfok Gallery (Budapest)* | Venice Projects (Venice) | Galerie Vieille Du Temple (Paris) | Galerie Vu’ (Paris) | Galerie Wolkonsky (Munich)* | XPO Gallery (Paris)* | Galerie Zürcher (Paris/New York)

List of galleries by 14th February 2013 | * new participant

(Brussels) | Galerie melanieRio (Nantes)* | Galerie MiniMasterpiece (Paris)* | Galerie Alice Mogabgab (Beirut) | Galerie Frédéric Moisan


unseen

dummy award

d r a n w e a e s y n m u m u d 13 0 2 Send us your unpublished photobook and you may win a complete book production. Open for submissions from 1 April until 1 July, 2013. For more information: www.unseenamsterdam.com

open for

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Foam Magazine’s choice of paper The paper used in this magazine was supplied by paper merchant Igepa. For more information please call +31 344 578 100 or email skirschner@igepa.nl

Yuji Hamada

#34 Dummy Spring 2013 €19,50

portfolio text

Linda Beumer / Yuji Hamada / Oliver Hartung / Arthur Mole / Shinji Otani / Max Pinckers / Mahesh Shantaram / Mirte Slaats

interview by Taco Hidde Bakker 33

The text pages are printed on Maxi Offset 90g/m2, wood-free offset paper EU Flower awarded and Magno Satin 90g/m2,

Jandar, south of Homs, 2009.

The map is printed on Algro Design 350g/m2, one side coated solide bleached sulphateboard, a Sappi product

»General Electric Company of Jandar. Forever with you, Bashar al-Assad.«

8

Linda Beumer is printed on EOS vol 2.0 90g/m2, wood-free bluewhite wove bookpaper FSC

Yuji Hamada is printed on Cyclus Offset 90g/m2, 100% recycled paper

Oliver Hartung is printed on Magno Gloss 135g/m2, wood-free tiplecoated gloss paper, a Sappi product

Landet med den Stigande Solen

Arthur Mole is printed on heaven42 softmatt 135g/m2, absolute white coated paper softmatt FSC

16

N 52 20.093, E 4 54.111 26

N 52 28.86, E 13 24.512

25

N 52 28.819, E 13 24.682

N 52 20 44.7, E 4 56 22.5

15

Mirte Slaats is printed on Lessebo Design 1.3 Natural 100g/m2, CO2 neutral FSC

Shinji Otani is printed on Profibulk 1.1 115g/m2, wood-free white bulky design paper FSC

Mahesh Shantaram is printed on Soporset Premium Offset 120g/m2, wood free offset paper FSC


c-print, 45 x 30 cm, photoŠ Studio Wurm, Courtesy: Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York

BP

Erwin Wurm, One Minute Sculpture, 1997


PREVIEW Foam Magazine Issue #34 Dummy