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A Closer Look -- FOTO.ZINE NR.4

FOTO.ZINE NR.4 is the newest arrival from Erik van der Weijde, master self-publisher and zine maker. In this newest set of five zines, van der Weijde asked five photographers to collaborate on the series, each book containing a pairing of images from the guest photographer and van der Weijde himself. With contributions from Dutch, French, Swiss and Japanese photographers, FOTO.ZINE NR.4 is a little packet of treasures, a wonderful set of photobooks from a number of amazing contemporary photographers. Designed and conceived of by van der Weijde, he has said that the project could be read as a zine homage to the seminal The Family of Man. Indeed, the visual conversation does not simply exist between van der Weijde and his collaborator within the covers of these zines, but also across volumes.

The books themselves are softcover and saddle stitched, and sized perfectly for holding in the hand. Each features a pale but brightly colored cover and has a lovely soft texture to the pages. Printed in black & white, the images feature a rich range of tone.

FOTO.ZINE NR. 4 #1 -- Erik Kessels/Erik van der Weijde
Book #1 with photographs from Erik Kessels, is like a short version of an In Almost Every Picture publication, featuring images of an elderly bespectacled lady and a white curly-haired dog, which then moves into close-up Polaroid images of injured children -- bloody noses, bruises, scrapes and swelling. The transition between images in this book is amazing -- the facial and expressive similarities between the two faces is striking.

FOTO.ZINE NR. 4 #2 -- Linus Bill/Erik van der Weijde
Linus Bill, one of the photographers featured in Smoke Bath and Shoot, contributes images to book #2. In this volume, it becomes harder to distinguish which image was taken by which photographer, as the entire book focuses on images of small children in domestic environments. They do, however, depict two different families -- Bill's in Switzerland and van der Weijde's in Brazil. Despite these geographical differences, the visual vernacular of family is still very much the same.

FOTO.ZINE NR. 4 #3 -- Takashi Homma/Erik van der Weijde
 In #3, domestic scenes of an entrancing large-eyed cat and the subtle, banal beauty of home from Takashi Homma are collected with images of a middle-aged shirtless man smoking cigarettes -- in car ports, on sofas and porches, the Brazilian father-in-law of van der Weijde. The book closes with a pairing of images from both series, a photograph of each of the main subjects in an endearing and vulnerable state -- the father-in-law asleep and the cat as kitten.

FOTO.ZINE NR. 4 #4 -- Eric Tabuchi/Erik van der Weijde
#4 opens with photographs of modernist churches in France from Eric Tabuchi, dismally grey concrete and steeples in sleepy towns with leafless trees, and moves into pointillist half-tone images of van der Weijde wife's butt, seemingly caught unaware by the camera while going about mundane chores.

FOTO.ZINE NR. 4 #5 -- Paul Kooiker/Erik van der Weijde
In #5, fuzzy images by Paul Kooiker of a distressed looking wolf through a chain link fence (eyes so expressive that it's impossible not to anthropomorphize -- his sadness is palpable through the fences and graininess) are paired with images of a sleeping child among his tousled bedding and oddly arranged limbs. -- Sarah Bradley

Purchase a copy here.