Talking Culture Symposium - Photobooks

Talking Culture

Auckland Art Gallery Auditorium • 30 May

11am on Saturday 30 May
Cnr Kitchener and Wellesley Streets
Anita Totha, Dr Doug Spowart, Mindaugas Kavaliauskas, Libby Jeffery & Haru Sameshima

The history of what has come to be known as the “photobook” dates back to the mid 19th C, almost as far back as the time of the official invention of photography itself by Daguerre. “The Pencil of Nature” (1844-46), was a manifesto on the calotype photographic process published by photography’s other pioneer, Henry Fox Talbot. Since then photography has been displayed and disseminated through the printed page, the system of fine art photographic prints on the gallery wall being a later display method. Recently there has been a upsurge in the presence of the photobook, driven by the development of new printing technologies allowing for the publication of smaller numbers of editions and the rise of the internet allowing self-publishing, distribution and sales as well as mounting interest through photobook fairs and festivals and the publication of Martin Parr and Gerry Badger’s three volume “The Photobook: A History”. Today’s speakers will discuss the current rise of the photobook in the local and international photography scene.

Sat 30 May 2015 

11:15am: Anita Totha: Photobooks in New Zealand 
The recent "trend" of photobooks and self-publishing has impacted the international photography world in an enormous way. Anita Totha will talk about Photobook Auckland, photobooks in New Zealand, her latest venture Remote Photobooks and more. She is founder of Photobook Club Auckland, Remote Photobooks and cofounder of Tangent Photography Collective.

12:15pm: Dr Doug Spowart: Encountering a Photobook
In the last 12 months, Doug Spowart would have looked at 5,000 photobooks as a research fellow at the State Library of Queensland, as a judge of photobook awards, as an attendee and presenter at the recent Photobook Melbourne, as a photobook PhD and as a rationalisation of his own extensive photobook library. As a maker, collector and reader Doug Spowart’s presentation will be a blend of both the history and the contemporary development of the photobook. From his position he will discuss the photobook as a creative device for storytelling and how it contributes to the reader’s encounter of the book.

1:45pm: Mindaugas Kavaliauskas, Chief Curator, Kaunas Photo Festival will talk about Lithuania’s place as a boiling pot of lens based art and Europe's “Hong-Kong of book publishing”
While still behind the iron curtain in the 1960’s, the "Lithuanian School of Photography”, a movement borne of a society of art photographers, emerged and inspired the appearance of art galleries and regular photographic publishing projects. Since 1990, in the re-established independent Lithuania, the trend of publishing in photography has boomed through a strong and vibrant photographic community and state of the art printing industry and the artistic variety and technical quality of Lithuanian books have increasingly made the top of photobook lists worldwide.

3pm: Panel
A discussion including:

  • Anita Totha of Remote Photobooks + Tangent Collective
  • Mindaugus Kavaliauskas of Kaunas Photo Festival
  • Haruhiko Sameshima of Rim Books
  • Doug Spowart of the Australian Library of Art

A lively look at the photobook industry to uncover the issues and opportunities that exist for self-publishers in 2015.

Screening in the auditorium foyer throughout the breaks and whole day is a video sequence by Kenji Oyama, from a series of HDD videos on The Japanese Photobook. Direct from the Shashin Symposium; Photography from Japan at the New York Public Library held in April 2015.

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