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Book of the Week: A Pick by Roger Eberhard

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Roger Eberhard Roger Eberhard selects Myopia by Hillie de Rooij as Book of the Week.
Myopia. By Hillie de Rooij.
The Eriskay Connection, 2015.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from Roger Eberhard who has selected Myopia by Hillie de Rooij from The Eriskay Connection.

"There have been a number of photobooks lately that play with the viewer’s perception and understanding of what a photograph is and how it should be read. This is not at all a new concept; one just has to think of Joan Fontcuberta’s amazing Fauna from 1988. But it seems as if books that question the use of photography in new media and the unstoppable flow of images shared on sites like Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook are especially high in demand right now. Myopia by Hillie de Rooij is exactly in that vein of books, too.

At first glance Myopia is a lighthearted and beautifully designed book showing different aspects of life in Africa. The book contains a fragmentary collection of 3 types of images — tourism, journalism and arty lifestyle photographs — each type is given its own paper (high gloss, newsprint and uncoated) and they alternate throughout the book.

But appearances are deceiving; Hillie de Rooij plays a game with the visual characteristics that Western media use to depict Africa. On the last page of the book a short text informs the viewer that none of the photographs taken were actually made in Africa, but all across Europe. De Rooij cleverly shows us that our perception of Africa — not that of famine or war, but of everyday life — is made up of some visual clich├ęs that can also be found right in front of your doorstep.

That being said, what I enjoy most about Myopia is how unfussy it is; it’s straightforward and contains some really strong images and smart design elements. Hillie de Rooij’s Myopia is neither lecturing nor offering a solution, it’s a wonderful conversation starter and a great artist book."—Roger Eberhard

Purchase Book

Myopia. By Hillie de Rooij. The Eriskay Connection, 2015.
Myopia. By Hillie de Rooij. The Eriskay Connection, 2015.

Roger Eberhard is a Swiss photographer and publisher (b.frank books). His latest book Martin Parr Looking at Books is a little satire about the photobook market and its key player. Will Steacy’s Deadline was recently published by b.frank books.

View titles from b.frank books at photo-eye Bookstore

Read more Book of the Week picks