The purpose of the INFOCUS Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photobooks is to explore the range of ways that artists are using newly available commercial technologies to self-publish photobooks in order to express themselves.
Photography’s history is inextricably linked to the book, starting with examples from the dawn of photographic technology, such as Anna Atkins’ handmade Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions (1843) or William Henry Fox Talbot’s serial Pencil of Nature (1844). Throughout much of the twentieth century, photographers who wanted to present their work in book form worked with established publishers who often provided editing, design, and distribution, and who oversaw the printing and binding process. Now, in the early years of the twenty-first century, photographers are using new printing technologies and internet-based services to self-publish high quality photobooks, with a new degree of involvement and control. The photographic book is experiencing a renaissance.
Earlier this year, Phoenix Art Museum called on photographers to send examples of their self-published photobooks. The jury, made up of seven industry professionals, reviewed the hundreds of submissions that came in. This exhibition represents the books they chose as the best examples of the wide range of photobooks being produced today. The books are presented in the gallery on tables for easy viewing. We encourage you to handle them gently and leave them in good condition for other visitors.
For more information visit the INFOCUS website. Share your experience with the hashtag #phxphotobooks.
This exhibition was organized by the Phoenix Art Museum; INFOCUS, the Photography Support Organization of Phoenix Art Museum; and the Center for Creative Photography, and was inspired by the Cleveland Museum of Art’s exhibition DIY: Photographers & Books on view August 11-December 30, 2012.