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2017 Best Books: Jim Goldberg


Books Jim Goldberg: 2017 Best Books Jim Goldberg Selects Red Flower: The Women of Okinawa, Ville De Calais, and Pictures from Home as the Best Books of 2017
Jim Goldberg
Jim Goldberg American, born 1953, lives and works in the Bay Area

Jim Goldberg’s innovative use of image and text make him a landmark photographer of our times. He has been working with experimental storytelling for over thirty-five years, and his major projects and books include Rich and Poor (1977-85), Raised by Wolves (1985-95), Nursing Home (1986), Coming and Going (1996-present), Open See (2003-2009), The Last Son (2016), Ruby Every Fall (2016), and Candy (2013–2017). His work is in numerous private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Getty, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He is the recipient of numerous awards including three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship (1985), the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award (2007), and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2011). Goldberg is Professor Emeritus at the California College of the Arts and is a member of Magnum Photos. He is represented by Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York, and Casemore Kirkeby Gallery in San Francisco.

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Red Flower: The Women of Okinawa 
By Mao Ishikawa.Session Press, 2017.
 
Red Flower:
The Women of Okinawa

Photographs by Mao Ishikawa

Red Flower, The Women of Okinawa, is the first US monograph by Okinawan photographer Mao Ishikawa.

In this seminal work Ishikawa poignantly and fearlessly documented the lives of herself and her friends, all of whom worked as hostesses in the segregated black GI bars in American-occupied Okinawa between 1975–1977.

The images of happy-go-lucky 20-year-olds as they laugh and cry, drink and fall in love, contrast sharply with the divisive tensions of the militarily controlled island.

(Okinawa was annexed by force in 1879 by Japan when the Ryukyu Kingdom was abolished. That history, the relations between Okinawans and the Japanese, and the history of black people and their relations with white people are very similar. )

Most documentary work is descriptive, as it comes from the outside. With Ishikawa’s work, we are way inside, (no man could have made these images) in ways that only books allow us to be. It’s her world we are seeing.

Session Press and Miwa Susuda deserve special credit for publishing this largely unknown work. The design of the book is brash, urgent, playful and brutally honest — strong to the core like the women inside.

Selected as a photo-eye Book of the Week

Purchase Book Here

Red Flower: The Women of Okinawa By Mao IshikawaSession Press, 2017.

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Ville De Calais By Henk Wildschut.
Henk Wildschut, 2017.
 
Ville De Calais
Photographs by Henk Wildschut

This book maps the impermanent city, often called the “Jungle,” that was created in the dunes of Calais, France from January 2015 to October 2016. In it, lived approximately 6,000 migrant peoples, all hoping to cross the Channel to England and to pursue their dreams of a better life. The shantytown was destroyed, but the migrant crisis is far from over. (If I am not mistaken the former city is being turned into a nature-themed park.)

The images in Ville de Calais map the place, creating typologies of homes, businesses, infrastructure, streets, small gardens, places of prayer, etc. The text tells the stories of the everyday, as it draws us into the inhabitants’ lives and to everyone’s dreams of living in a safe place that we can call home.

What’s all the more impressive about this well designed and produced book tour de force is that it was self-published.

Ville de Calais not only reveals the humanity in an inhuman situation, but it also reminds us how the camera can be used to actually teach us something.

PS: An ideal companion book would be Immorefugee by Marco Tiberio

Purchase Book Here

Ville De Calais By Henk Wildschut. Henk Wildschut, 2017.

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Pictures from Home By Larry Sultan. Mack, 2017.
 
Pictures from Home
Photographs by Larry Sultan
 
Larry Sultan was my teacher and best friend. His special gift as a storyteller and photographer made the original book a masterpiece, so I was nervous opening the 2017 reprint, afraid it wouldn’t live up to the original.

Yet, the new Mack edition is wonderful. The new design seamlessly weaves the complex layers of text and images together. This, together with the beautiful printing, makes the haunting photos of Larry’s parents now come even more alive.

Larry always thought of Pictures from Home as an impossible project, “I realize that beyond the rolls of film and the few good pictures, the demands of my project and my confusion about its meaning, is the wish to take photography literally. To stop time. I want my parents to live forever.”

The original edition proves how he succeeded in this way; the reprint demonstrates how these questions and desires succeed all of us.

Read the full review on photo-eye's blog

Purchase Book Here

Pictures from Home By Larry Sultan. Mack, 2017.

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