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Best Books of 2014: Reviews and Interviews Part 3

Books Best Books of 2014: Reviews and Interviews Part 3 A collection of reviews and interviews on some of the Best Books of 2014.
Fractal State of Being
By Sara Skorgan Teigen

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Sarah Bradley
Christopher J. Johnson
Melanie McWhorter

"For Teigen, the process is about recursion; motifs of hatched lines and tendrils of hair, seaweed and fractal-like natural forms embellish and expand the photographs outwards, repeating across pages, but also on the body depicted in the photographs — marks on the body, marks on the photographs, marks on the page. Tape both holds the images in place and creates another surface and type of mark to play with."—From the review by Sarah Bradley 

Gold Coast
Photographs by Ying Ang

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Daniel Boetker Smith
Mark Power

"Gold Coast is a self-published book by Ying Ang where she presents a superficial and beautified view of Gold Coast in contrast with the underbelly of the region. Beautifully designed with a pink slip box and black & white textured cover, Gold Coast is Ying's personal memoir about the daily life of people around her, a realistic viewpoint without any manipulation that talks about her dark and surreal growing-up experiences. For me, Gold Coast is one of the most intimate book projects from the year 2014."—Picked as a Book of the Week by Manik Katyal

By Robin Maddock

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Sarah Bradley
Marco Delogu

"The small white ball and other small white interventions that continuously bounce through the monochromatic landscape of Robin Maddock’s III are utterances, glances, skipped-beats and double takes; they represent tiny moments when the rules of life (or indeed photography) become arbitrary. The refined photographs of contrasting light and deep shadows suggest an underlying seriousness, transcending them from play to game. Moments of quotidian beauty are created from the simplest of gesture, with mirth injected into a seemingly concrete existence."—Picked as a Book of the Week by Barry Hughes

Photographs by Guilherme Gerais

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Sara Skorgan Teigen

"While the book’s overall design is compelling, the book’s ambition is a bit undercut by the printing. However, in a strange way, this works. The merely average printing of the work enhances its underground/self-published look. Resembling an ornate tome you might pull from the dusty back-shelf of a New Age store, perhaps shelved between TAROT and COSMOLOGY, Intergal├ítico feels like a manifesto of some unknown outsider artist — the photocopied ramblings of a self-taught mystic."—From the review by Adam Bell

Pikin Slee
By Viviane Sassen

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Eric Miles
Roger Willems

"Deep in the jungle of Suriname — the second smallest country in South America — is Pikin Slee, a village of inhabitants descended from Maroons who escaped slavery on Dutch plantations in the 18th century. As a Dutch woman raised in Kenya, Sassen felt an unmistakable connection to 'the strange lines of faith that tied together [her] own history and theirs.' And while resonances such as this one have informed a number of Sassen’s previous projects, this idea is not the foundation of Pikin Slee. She turns her gaze to focus on this environment — less so its people — nodding to the unusual ways the modern world intersects with their traditional way of life."—From the review by Allie Haeusslein
Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Melanie McWhorter

"With all the activity surrounding our booth, I still took the time to sit down and block out all the noise around me to look at each image in Touching Strangers. His large-format portraits engaged me with their detail and intimacy; I was so captivated with Richard’s photos of complete strangers wrapped in each others arms, touching as if they had known each other for life. I looked at every individual in the shot knowing that they had just met and I tried to imagine what their relationship would be if they actually knew each other. I build my own narratives around his images and also realize that the narrative that I build speaks more about me than the people in the picture."—Picked as Book of the Week by Melanie McWhorter

Typology 1979
By Joachim Brohm

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Jeffrey Ladd

"These allotments are the subject of Joachim Brohm’s Typology 1979, a series of pictures of the plots shot in the grey of winter. They make for fascinating viewing with no two plots the same. The most picturesque have become miniaturised versions of suburban homes complete with a front lawn and separate wings, a model version of the home the allotment leaseholder would like to live in. Others have a holiday feel about them; these are the country cottages in the city, gingerbread houses with window boxes and wood panelling."—From the review by Colin Pantall

The Epilogue
By Laia Abril

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Cristina de Middel
Manik Katyal
Markus Schaden

"It was very clear in my mind this was going to be a book, as was clear the kind of storytelling I wanted to create. As in previous projects text was an important aspect, so I interviewed all the relatives of Cammy in order to use the text in the project (first for the book, then eventually a video piece), I photographed the grieving process in the present and I started to collect anything that could help me tell who Cammy was and explain every part of her life; helping me show a bigger panorama of her struggle with bulimia."—From Laia Abril's statement on the making of the book

Also selected as Book of the Week by Baptiste Lignel

Mono No Aware
By Anton Kusters

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Eric Miles

"The image sequencing is much more fluid in Mono No Aware than a traditional photobook. Kusters’ folded accordion chapters empower the viewer. He or she can define the number of images visible at any given time — just a few or the entire book. Notions of a fixed beginning and end are less prescribed as well. It was this autonomy that allowed me to bypass what did not resonate, moving along to those instances that caused pause and sent me drifting through my own memory bank of these bygone moments."—From the review by Allie Haeusslein