Erik KESSELS (ed.), Paul Kooiker (ed.)

Terribly Awesome Photobooks

Newspaper printed Pb., 30 x 37 cm., 64 pp.,
highly illustrated, Ltd. to 1,000 copies.
APE 2013.
ISBN 9789490800093

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review: https://jmcolberg.com/weblog/2013/02/review_terribly_awesome_photobooks_by_erik_kessels_and_paul_kooiker/

"The publication itself is based on actual meet-ups: 'For several years, Paul KOOIKER and Erik KESSELS have organized evenings for friends in which they share the strangest photo books in their collections. The books shown are rarely available in regular shops, but are picked up in thrift stores and from antiquaries. The group’s fascination for these pictorial non-fiction books comes from the need to find images that exist on the fringe of regular commercial photo books.' (quoted from the publisher’s blurb)

The publication comes in newsprint form. The central spread contains a visual overview of the featured books, with basic information (authors, titles, etc.) provided.
There is no additional information given beyond that. Each book is then featured in the form of one example spread across (and centered on) two pages.

To see the full book spread, the viewer has to disassemble 'Terribly Awesome Photobooks'. Alternatively leafing through the publication shows two partial spreads paired up - in itself an interesting way to look at these books, since the combinations are often quite interesting (it’s quite obvious the layout of the publication was carefully planned).
Whether the books in question are terribly awesome or just terrible or awesome, of course, depends on one’s taste.
People will probably find it easy to agree on the fact that KESSELS and KOOIKER managed to unearth quite a few very unusual photobooks (I’m expecting a run on these books now…), some of which are terrible and awesome at the same time. Here’s the thing, though.

Regardless what you think of these books here, 'Terribly Awesome Photobooks' makes it obvious that photobooks needn’t be only thought of the ones published by the usual publishers (Steidl, Aperture, Mack, Hatje Cantz, etc.) or by photographers themselves.
Photography has been used in books for a long time, and there is a huge world of interesting books out there - often surprisingly simple and easy to find, as long as you’re not just looking for what you already know." (© Joerg Colberg, review on 'Conscientious', Feb 14, 2013)

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