|Books on Books 1-12|
The Books on Books series now features 12 titles, Eugene Atget’s Photographe de Paris, two editions of Walker Evans’ American Photographs, Sophie Ristelhueber’s Fait, Chris Killip’s In Flagrante, William Klein’s Life is Good...New York!, Yutaka Takanashi’s Toshi-e, David Goldblatt’s In Boksburg, Koen Wessing’s Chili September 1973, Paul Graham’s Beyond Caring, Zdenek Tmej’s Abeceda, Alexey Brodovitch’s Ballet, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy’s 60 Fotos and three limited edition sets.
Series originator and Errata Editions Creative Director Jeffrey Ladd was kind enough to take the time to compose an essay on this venture, sharing his inspiration for the project, how it came to be, how books are picked and some plans for the future.
My love of photobooks started while studying at the School of Visual Arts in New York City from 1987-1991. Year to year, I had the good fortune of studying with teachers who stressed the importance of photobooks and their difference from stacks of pictures or exhibitions. Some of my professors were self-taught and largely informed by photobooks. This was a habit they instilled in us, to discover photography by looking at the great bookworks and learn by example. So it was natural that when I wasn't out photographing, I too would fall in love with the medium by turning pages.
Through books I uncovered not only the variety of practice that the medium holds, but also its rich history. I saw first hand how certain books seemed to influence others and on the other hand, how some artists made wilder leaps of faith in testing their pictures and the book form. I scoured the shelves of bookshops for gems, buying some that I could afford, or, when the book was long out of print, I would try to find them through libraries to finally experience what I had heard so much about. This ongoing search, not necessarily to own the books but to see them and include them in my understanding of the wider context of history, became harder and harder as certain titles grew in popularity and their scarcity or vast expense increased.
|The Photobook: A History Volumes I and II by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger|
|From American Photographs by Walker Evans|
In 2008 I had an idea. How could I create a series of books that walk the fine line between reprint and facsimile while being neither, yet provide all of the content of the original? I decided to try an experiment. In an early conception of Books on Books, I made a mock-up of my idea using Chris Killip's In Flagrante and presented it to Chris through my publishing partner Ed Grazda. Through conversations with Chris I knew he was against reprinting both In Flagrante and his earlier book Isle of Man. Surprisingly, when he saw my mock-up, he agreed instantly that it was a good idea and said we could feature it in the series. It eventually became Books on Books #4, and was the first step in the birth of the series.
|Books on Books on press|
|From Atget's Photographe de Paris|
Since we are publishing four books per year, the question of which books should be done is important. We could have published books that fit the criteria arbitrarily but I wanted to curate the series so that the four books sit in interesting relation to one another - that in exploring loose connections between the books they become richer. For instance, our first four books move progressively forward in terms of artists recognizing the book as an art form in itself and advance toward crafting an art object. From Books on Books #1 with Atget's Photographe de Paris published posthumously in 1930 to Books on Books #2, Walker Evans' American Photographs where Evans, with the help of many people, consciously explored the book as a work of art using his own photographs, to Books on Books #3, Sophie Ristelhueber's artist book Fait which is an example of an artist taking full personal control of the presentation with minimal outside help.
|Creating Chili September 1973 by Koen Wessing|
|From Fait by Sophie Ristelhueber|
In 2011, Errata Editions is taking our publishing mission to the next level by applying to becoming a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization. It is our hope that by acquiring this status we can explore different funding possibilities through tax deductible donations and grants so that we can not only sustain the series in this troubled economy but create a division of Errata aimed at distributing our titles for free to schools and institutions which do not have sufficient library budgets to purchase our books. With your help we can keep this series going long into the future and bring some of these masterworks of photography back to bookshelves.
-- Jeffrey Ladd
Creative Director, Errata Editions
See all volumes from the Books on Books series here.