Photo books of the month: November

PhotoQ Bookshop picks of the month

Curated volumes on women photographers, a book by Ed van der Elsken on the theme of party, a conceptual photographic study of temporary homeless shelters, and the stories of men affected by eating disorders; PhotoQ Bookshop manager Edie Peters shares his selection of the best photo books for the month of November. 

Women Photographers by Clara Bouveresse/Photofile

Women Photographers is a set of three volumes in the Photofile series, bringing together 190 women photographers from all over the world, working in different styles and genres, from imaginative experiments of the 19th century to the thriving art movements of the 20th century and on to the digital world of the 21st century.

Edie Peters, manager of the PhotoQ Bookshop, says: "This is a broad overview of photography’s history that deserves a much bigger space in our memories than it had before. ‘Women Photographers’ is also a concise and affordable pocket sized encyclopedia. Author Clara Bouveresse made a great choice of famous and lesser known women who were and are essential in the development of the realm of the still images."

Clara Bouveresse is a lecturer at Université d’Evry Val d’Essonne and a photography specialist and curator. She co-organized the exhibition ‘Magnum Manifesto’ at the International Center of Photography, New York, in 2017, and edited the accompanying book.

Find out more and order Women Photographers by Clara Bouveresse/Photofile, published by Thames & Hudson - €17,50 to €44,95

feest by Ed van der Elsken 

Around 1960, Ed van der Elsken put together a photo book around the theme of the party (in Dutch: feest). He drew on old and new work and designed a book of successions of festive events, combining individual photos into sparkling and rhythmic pairs. The design of feest was one of the big surprises in Van der Elsken’s legacy that the Rijksmuseum and the Netherlands Fotomuseum acquired in 2019. Sixty years after the photographer worked on the design with scissors and masking tape, the book has now been published in the format he envisioned.

"This only recently discovered dummy by Ed van der Elsken from the end of the 1950s is now officially published, thanks to the Rijksmuseum. Please pick up this book whenever you feel sad. The energy and fun of people partying in all kinds of situations – documented by Van der Elsken in a strong black and white contrast as always – is jumping from the pages. I even discovered a carnival scene from 1958 in the southern Dutch mining city of Heerlen, where I was born three weeks before!" says Edie Peters.

Ed van der Elsken (1925-1990) was a famous Dutch photographer and filmmaker who expressed his encounters with people through photos, photo books and films across the span of 40 years. His first photobook Love on the Left Bank was published in 1956 and about twenty photobooks followed. He also made several movies for television, mostly about subjects touching upon his personal life.

Find out more and order feest by Ed van der Elsken, published by nai010 publishers - €19,50

Living Room by Jana Sophia Nolle

Jana Sophia Nolle’s Living Room is a conceptual photographic study documenting temporary homeless shelters recreated in various San Francisco living rooms. The artist worked closely with unhoused persons to understand their improvised dwellings and reconstructed these in upper middle class homes. Nolle's photographs aim to confront the urging socio-political dichotomy of lives most precious and lives most precarious.

"German photographer Jana Sophia Nolle visualizes the social divide in America’s sunshine state California through the juxtaposition of these two realities. In the last section we see portraits of people living on the streets with their handwritten comments. That is how you get in touch with people that you maybe rather would neglect. Photography in the way it is meant to be." - Edie Peters.

Jana Sophia Nolle's work lives between research, observation and documentation. Her interests reflect on social change, fragile identities, as well as individuals embedded in socio-political transformations. Having a research background, she often acts as an investigator as well as an observer, scanning the lives of others and using methods of both scientific research and conceptual photography.

Find out more and order Living Room by Jana Sophia Nolle, published by Kerber - €50,00

A Story to Tell – or: Regarding Male Eating Disorders by Mafalda Rakoš and Ruben de Theije

"'A Story to Tell' resulted from many encounters with eleven men affected by anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. Well-acquainted with the topic themselves, photographer Mafalda Rakoš and journalist Ruben de Theije tried to answer the question: how is it to be affected as a male? The protagonists of this project, many of them trans*, gay, bisexual or otherwise associated with a genderdiverse community want to show: everyone can be affected," explain the authors.

PhotoQ Bookshop manager says: "The subtitle ‘Or: Regarding Male Eating Disorders’ discloses the underexposed theme of this book. Austrian photographer Mafalda Rakoš and Dutch journalist Ruben de Theije approach the men with a warm dose of empathy, giving them the floor to talk about this extremely complex matter. Rakoš’ and De Theije’s approach leads us through the minds of the men who suffer from eating disorders, through co-creation of authors and subjects, so we can begin to understand what is going on."

Ruben de Theije is a Dutch journalist. Mafalda Rakoš is an Austrian documentary photographer based between Vienna and Amsterdam. Her long-term projects are often at the intersection of art, documentary and journalism as she attempts to dive deep into stories around safety, pain and trauma.

Find out more and order A Story to Tell – or: Regarding Male Eating Disorders by Mafalda Rakoš and Ruben de Theije, published by Fotohof - €33,00

The PhotoQ Bookshop, part of World Press Photo since August 2019, specializes in documentary, journalism, and art photo books. It is run by Edie Peters, photography lover, who has shared his knowledge with enthusiasm since opening a photo book store in 2013.

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