PRESENTS: The Photo Book

Welcome to PHOTOFAIRS PRESENTS: The Photo Book online exhibition. Bringing together an international and multigenerational group of artists and publishers, this exhibition explores the photobook as an art form, and celebrates the vital role publishing has within contemporary art discourse. 

While the term photobook is recent, it is a form—invented in the mid-19th century—that remains one of the most critical aspects to the photographer’s practice, as well as the history of photography. A photobook is a book, or a book object, in which the photograph is the dominant content. The book can be manifested in various ways but ultimately it is a work of art that is meant to be experienced and to challenge the conventions and possibilities of photography. 

This virtual exhibition assembles a collection of works—handcrafted or mechanically produced—that can be interpreted as monographs, poetries, personal albums, scrapbooks, sculptures, mementos, alternative sites for exhibitions, and more. The 51 artists featured here consider the physicality of both the book and the photograph and how they affect one another across a wide range of styles, narratives and approaches. 

There is something playful, authentic and democratic in this craft that represents a commitment seen throughout the programming at PHOTOFAIRS: to champion an evolving generation of makers and thinkers, who experiment, stretch, and play with the medium of photography. In a time of digital omnipresence, it is all the more imperative and resonant to celebrate such corporeal ingenuity that is found in the printed book. 

All works presented are available to purchase at the PHOTOFAIRS website from January 11 to February 28. The Publishing sector within PHOTOFAIRS, launched in conjunction with the exhibition, is now open for applications—through May 21, 2021.

To celebrate the exhibition, and to give you more insight into the photobook, we invited the participating publishers to briefly speak about their understanding and perspective of the photobook in a Q&A series Understanding a Photobook. These Q&As will be published on a weekly basis throuout the exhibition period. Stay tuned to our social media platforms to discover more. 

Alongside Understanding a Photobook we organized two publisher talks—Foto Féminas and Aprilsnow Press—for our online Conversations program. You can enjoy Foto Féminas' talk, where Verónica Sanchis, founder of the publishing press, discusses the photobook with artists Erika Morillo and Fabiola Cedillo here. You can now also watch Aprilsnow talk, where Kay Jun, design writer, lecturer, and co-founder of the Korean publishers, shares her experiences using the medium with artists Yongjoon Choi and Minji Yi. Enjoy the talk here.

Click through the links below to explore more. 


Artist Publishers