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Best Books 2014: Eric Miles

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Eric Miles Best Books picks from photo-eye Auctions Director Eric Miles.

By Franz Erhard Walther
Walter Koenig

Walthers long career has been a sustained investigation into the foundations of action, language, and space. He was a participant in curator Harald Szeemann’s legendary shows When Attitudes Become Form (1969) and Documenta 5 (1972). This exhibition catalogue for the largest retrospective to date of Walther’s career takes the form of a pop-up book for adults, thus bringing his concern with the objects in space and viewers relation to them into the arena of the book.
By Thomas Mailaender
Archive of Modern Conflict

Yet another compelling book from Archive of Modern Conflict. In a brilliant bit of Appropriationist high-jinx, Thomas Mailaender re-presents found photos of 1930s Cambridge students climbing the town and university’s buildings at night. At once absurd and poetic, Mailaender’s re-framing of these unlikely ‘buildering’ pictures effectively ‘pranks the pranksters.’
By Mikhail Subotzsky & Patrick Waterhouse

Subotzky and Waterhouse use documentary photography, archival research, oral history and found objects to investigate Ponte City, an iconic Johannesburg building, its rise and spectacular decline, and the recent attempts at its transformation.
By Rinko Kawauchi & Terri Weifenbach

What began as a conventional email correspondence continued as a ‘conversation-with-pictures’ between artists Rinko Kawauchi & Terri Weifenbach. The resulting ‘picture-letters’ trace oblique narratives of seeing, in which the artists seem to share moments and passing insights into the nuances of the respective visual fields. Their photographic ‘conversations’ are here presented in a sumptuous slip-cased two-book set.
By Anton Kuster Zabrozas

One of the most brilliant uses of the accordion-fold binding format we’ve ever seen! Four l.p. style record sleeves, with the accordion-folded chapters allow for resonant juxtapositions that are at once dream-like and cinematic.
By Viviane Sassen

"This project is an exploration of the beauty of the everyday," writes Sassen in her introduction, "an investigation of the sculptural qualities of the ordinary."
By António Júlio Duarte
Pierre von Kleist Editions

Enigmatic photos that embody urban alienation and anomie yet still retain their unmistakable attachment to the specificity of place.
By Andy Sewell

Sewell's meditation on the English countryside focuses on the overlooked, prosaic details that nonetheless conjure an unmistakable idea of place. Guardian critic Sean O’Hagan describes Sewell’s depiction of the countryside as a “carefully managed mundanity that undermines our notions of the rural landscape as well as our collective will to preserve it.”
By Andrea Botto
Danilo Montanari Editore

Constructed from a variety of documents, letters and photos, Botto’s book traces the journey of Botto’s grandfather, Primo Benedetti, through Northern Germany to his home in Tuscany after being released from a Nazi prisoner of war camp. A reflection on the memory and history of the Holocaust that should be considered alongside artists as diverse as Primo Levi, Art Spiegelman and Christian Boltanski.
By Daisuke Yokota

TEIKAI (Wandering at midnight) is the second part of the TEIKAI trilogy. Daisuke Yokota is a dystopian flaneur  threading a path through an urban wasteland that is made quasi-mythical in Yokata’s black-and-white photos of everyday, banal objects.

Eric Miles has overseen of photo-eye's rare book and print auctions since 2004. He has written on photography and photobooks for various publications, most recently an essay for 10x10 Japanese Photobooks.