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2016 Best Books: Ania Nałęcka-Milach

Books Ania Nałęcka-Milach: 2016 Best Books Ania Nałęcka-Milach Selects Reconstrucción, Wolfgang, and Provisional Arrangement as the Best Books of 2016
Ania Nałęcka-Milach
Ania Nałęcka-Milach born 1977, is a book designer (alias Tapir Book Design) and a collaborator with Sputnik Photos collective. She has designed or co-designed Die Mauer ist Weg!The Winners7 RoomsStand ByDistant Place, and many other critically acclaimed photobooks. 

ReconstrucciónBy Rosana SimonassiChaco, 2016.
Photographs by Rosana Simonassi
To get to know Rosana Simonassi’s project you have to touch dirt. You must put your fingers straight into the wound. Staring.

No room for dodging here. The artist does not dodge anything either. She puts herself into the positions of brutally killed women, in self-portraits recreating cover-story photos of famous murder scenes. So we have to confront two facts. First, as a society we keep allowing aggression towards the defenseless to happen and second, we violate the victims again by displaying images of their dead bodies – preferably naked ones. Whether dead or alive, the female body is a playground and sometimes it is a battle-field. It very rarely belongs to the woman herself.

Thanks to Verónica Fieiras’ mindful design, Reconstrucción brings back a dignity that has been taken away. It lets the images fade away peacefully.

Of course, the Japanese binding allows you to peek in and see the images clearly. But will you? Or rather will you let Elizabeth Short, Regina Lisso, Nancy Spungen, Alicia Muniz, Abigail Anne Folguer, and Larisa Tkachanko rest in peace? In both cases, the dirt will stick to your fingers.

It is worth mentioning that this book is one of the earliest publications by Chaco, a new venture by Verónica Fieiras (previously of RIOT Books), who is known for her commitment to stories that really matter.

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WolfgangBy David Fathi
Skinnerboox, 2016.
Photographs by David Fathi
As the story of David Fathi’s new book evolves the reader is forced to discover more and more information. The narrative may remind you of a sequence of equations, but one in which the variables seem to keep changing their places and getting blurry. You may also find the book to be a collection of jokes or paradoxes which may lead to very serious conclusions– as Zen koans do.

You may discover that the manipulations by David go far beyond the images and quotes. They may appear not to be manipulations at all, but rather sneak-peeks. So, if you ever tried to understand quantum physics, this might give you a better chance of understanding it. So you better hold on to your chair ‘cause the matter may start to feel less solid… Probably.

With the help of the brilliant designer Ramon Pez, David Fathi did a great job.

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Provisional ArrangementBy Martin Kollar
Mack, 2016.
Provisional Arrangement
Photographs by Martin Kollar
Personally, I admire artists not for their ability to create, but for their ability to observe. Artists can look at exactly the same reality that I do, but they notice so much more, by stepping one step back, having a bit different view angle, or by just being more aware. Martin Kollar is a perfect example of such an artist.

To me, Provisional Arrangement is a collection of all details of reality that I might have failed to notice on my own. Maybe occurring when I blinked and had my eyes shut for a fraction of second. These details were attentively gathered and given back to me in book form.

Kollar's work is sometimes described as "funny". I would describe it as "precious". Both words have meaning out of the ordinary. The later express my gratitude.

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