With the year coming to is end, now is a good time to review the best photography books release this year. It wasn’t an easy task to recommend to best ones; there are really so many good books out there. Here are out top 5 books picks for 2016. Enjoy!
Provoke: Between Protest and Performance (Steidl)
This is the detailed overview of the Provoke movement, which unfolded from the protest colored turbulences in Japan, during the late 1960s. Its focus is not just on the famous proto-zine which included disturbing images of photographers like Takuma Nakahiri and Daido Moriyama, together with writers like Takahiki Okada. It’s also about the about the whole social context that carried it all. For anyone who is into Japanese photography and photobook making, this would be the real adventure.
Discordia by Moises Saman and Daria Birang (self-published)
Discordia by Moises Saman is one strange take on photo journalism, a piece which can be placed somewhere between art and reportage. It includes some long sequences of images that go well with the linear narrative of this genre, containing some interesting passages of prose as well. Initiated in the Middle East, this work emerged from the 4 years shooting for Magnum during the Arab spring. The other face of this artwork is the usage of photo-collages made by the co-author Daria Birang, the Dutch-Iranian artist. This mix displays the repetitiveness of street protests, including actions like running away, stone throwing and kicking tear gas canisters, which are isolated. This is the book that explains these modern turbulent times very well.
ZZYZX by Gregory Halpern (MACK)
Gregory Halpern was working on ZZYZX project for 6 years. The part of it was traveling to various locations in California, which he randomly picked, using Google Maps. This project, named after a village in the area of the Mojave desert in San Bernardino County, California, aims to study the sense of unreality that visitors can often find in Los Angeles. Chris Killip, the veteran documentary photographer, shared his thoughts with public, saying that Halpern had significantly fractured “the sanctified cliched reverence” of traditional landscape photography in the United States.
Astres Noirs by Katrin Koennig and Sarker Protick (Chose Commune)
This is a strange visual discourse between two photographers who live and work thousands of kilometers apart but, managing to make one entity together. Sarker Protick is from Bangladesh, while Katrin Koennig lives in Australia, originally from Germany. The common tools of their work is using the mobile phone to explore the sky and the earth, watching stars, light rays, shadows, water falling and small details on the road. The style of these images is grainy and dark, but also luminous at the same time. This is the right thing for those who love collaboration and close observation.
In the Beginning by Diane Arbus (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
This is the catalog of the exhibition at the Met in New York. It is like a chronicle of early years of Diane Arbus, as a wandering street photographer. It displays very well her ability to spot the eccentric and the grotesque. With circus performers from Coney Island and Times Square, she also shows the sadness of the city in these images of passing children and adults.