Social Media

Best Books of 2014: Reviews and Interviews Part 4

Books Best Books of 2014: Reviews and Interviews Part 4 A collection of reviews and interviews on some of the Best Books of 2014.
The Lines
By Edward Ranney

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Melanie McWhorter

"The Lines is a small and very handsome excerpt from Ranney’s geoglyph photographs, 44 black-and-white images from a much larger practice that covers archaeological sites and monuments along the Andean coastline. The images are printed in tritone on paper that was first varnished to ensure that the ink did not soak too far into the paper. The warm matte finish of the pages allows your eyes to rest easily on the work for long periods of time under various light conditions."—From the review by William L. Fox

Does Yellow Run Forever?
By Paul Graham

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

"In Does Yellow Run Forever? every detail has been deliberately considered and beautifully executed. The book is an exquisite little gem, measuring only 5 1/4 x 7 1/2"; the small scale dovetails with the personal nature of the subject contemplated. Flip open the embossed yellow velvet hardcover to unearth luminous golden end pages depicting clouds. The gilded edging of the pages is another subtle, brilliant detail. The photographs are impeccably reproduced, with incredible image quality where every saturated hue and texture is rendered in the sharpest of detail. Varnish over each image separates the picture from the negative space surrounding it, emphasizing the dimensionality of the photographs."—From the review by Allie Haeusslein 

By Nadav Kander

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Christopher J. Johnson

"Dust explores decommissioned military zones and cities of the former USSR found along the current border of Russian and Kazakhstan. These places (there are four in total), are largely abandoned having been left uninhabitable by weapons experimentation and chemical runoff. What Kander captures of them is a haunting beauty that lingers in the borderland of nightmare. Through shoreline, fields, dilapidated buildings and their interiors, Dust shows us the dismal and terrifying effects of military exploitation of land, resources, and science."—From the review by Christopher J. Johnson

By Lucas Foglia

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Anne Kelly

"Everything about what I do is social. I meet most of the people I photograph through friends of friends. Because I’m introduced to them by someone they trust, they trust me. It’s much more interesting to stay in someone’s home than at a hotel, truck stop or campground, and it helps to introduce me to more people, and to situations I wouldn’t find otherwise. And because the people I photograph trust me, the photographs can be intimate, and sometimes strange."—From the interview with Lucas Foglia

Hidden Islam
By Nicolo Degiorgis

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Marco Delogu
Cristina de Middel
John Gossage
Manik Katyal
Colin Pantall
Mark Power

"Hidden Islam is a beautifully realised book that deals with a sensitive topic in a sensitive manner. It’s multi-layered (even the title has multiple interpretations) but with a humanist element; Degiorgis believes that it is necessary for migrant communities to be visible, that nations need to recognise that their identity is tied in to a migration and change."—From the review by Colin Pantall

Untitled: (I’ve taken too many photos / I’ve never taken a photo)
By Anouk Kruithof

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Colin Pantall

"The pictures are made difficult to view. They are either shown distorted or in miniature form on an accompanying contact sheet. If you really want to see them, then you have to match the conversation to the images. In that respect, Untitled is not so much a photobook as a meditation on how we see, select and show pictures, a smart and playful interrogation of what we take for granted in the land of the Photobook."—From the review by Colin Pantall

By David Magnusson

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Sarah Bradley
Markus Schaden

"The range of possible father-daughter relationships is vast and that diversity comes through clearly in the poses. Some couples hug passionately as if they've been locked together forever. Some couplings look stiff and unpleasant, as if the father and daughter had never before touched. A few of the fathers seem to be propping their daughters up for show, like a limp kitten or prize rabbit. The facial expressions are generally blank and hard to read, and occasionally eyes are closed as if in prayer. No one smiles. The comparison to Richard Rinaldi's recent book Touching Strangers is very inviting."—From the review by Blake Andrews

Memory City
By Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Anne Kelly

"What does it mean to photograph in Rochester during this uncertain time? Webb chose to use his digital cameras in addition to Kodachrome that he processed as black and white. Norris Webb worked like she typically does with color negative film. These individual creative choices give the book extra meaning, and are explored further in a small booklet tucked into the back cover titled Notes on Film and Memory. Containing writing and contact sheets, it shows that both considered their working methods when it came to approaching a city defined by photography."—From the review by Tom Leininger

By Bertien Van Manen

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Blake Andrews

"The first time I encountered a book by Bertien Van Manen was disorienting. I felt fairly certain that I was looking at a book of found photographs. It wasn't until I'd flipped halfway through the book that I was forced to examine the text more closely — What is this?! — and I realized the photos had all been made by one person.

That was Let's Sit Down Before We Go. Van Manen's latest book Moonshine picks up where that one left off. The subject shifts from Eastern Europe to Appalachia but Van Manen's casual command of the snapshot aesthetic is just as masterful. Her photos balance on the perfect edge of precision and chaos. Upping the ante, Moonshine throws black and white photos into the mix. They blend seamlessly with the color shots. And, oh yeah, it also lovingly documents thirty years of rural family history. A perfect book in almost every way."—From the review by Blake Andrews