Photobooks have been with us almost since the start of photography, but with the ease of self-publishing, and I think with galleries closed and other outcomes of the Pandemic we have recently seen a massive increase in the number of photobooks being made. Making a photobook is for everyone.
We are also seeing more engagement with the photobook as an entity, where all aspects add to the overall experience. This is where the photobook becomes an event and is not simply seen as a vessel to present images.
In an article he wrote for the online ‘Photocollective’, Matt Dunne suggests that when making a book the potential author asks two questions 1) ‘What makes this book a unique expression of the work?’ and 2) “why does this work need to be a book?” They are very good questions to ask of ourselves. I’ve put a link to Matt’s article at the bottom of this blog post.
In his article, Matt also links to a selection of books and one that really stands out for me is ‘Banana Spider Bite’ by Jordan Madge. Jordan’s digital, perfect bound book was printed on an Indigo Press. He floods his 74 pages with black ink, which for me sets the scene of where the story takes place, or maybe put another way I think the black is symbolic of a feeling of place in the photo book authors mind.
The book is printed on 100gsm paper stock and uses an embossed softcover with flaps. His first print run of 50, priced at $65.00 has sold out. Selling out is good news for Jordan Madge but bad news for me as I would love a copy. The book was published by Badnewsbooks.
The books content is described on Badnewspress as follows:
“Banana Spider Bite documents a migration to a foreign country that was inspired by romantic gesture. Made up of photographs of Madge’s partner, Whitney, and their new urban surroundings, Banana Spider Bite juxtaposes small moments of intimacy with an anonymous city environment. Night flowers and fruit are illuminated in the glow of the camera’s flash bulb, the urban landscape becomes otherworldly in the gleam of street lights, Banana Spider Bite is a dreamlike exploration on the twin complexities of love and understanding of place”.
Since it is sold out, the nearest I can get to experiencing the book is on a youtube flipping page book video (shown above), and what I experience is a feeling of being a spectator of the experience of Jordan and Madge as they share their first moments towards understanding the new place they have moved to. The book works for me.
Live life and best regards