On the weekend of May 2-3 2020 there was a weekend of major photobook activities planned for the PHOTO 2020 International Photo Festival in Melbourne.
A significant component of the event: A seminal selection of 52 Australian and New Zealand Photobooks* from the State Library of Victoria’s collection was to be made available for public viewing.
On Sunday May 3 international photobook guru Martin Parr was to team up with local photobook aficionado Doug Spowart in a public Q&A session. Of particular interest were their methodologies and considerations for reviewing photobooks. Among other questions it was proposed that they respond to the contentious issues of ‘What validates a book for it to be considered eligible to be included in a canon of photobooks?’ and ‘How such curated selections can energise the recognition for photobooks?’
It was planned that the panel interviewers and contributors to the discussion would be renown writer and Photojournalism Now publisher Alison Stieven-Taylor and would also include the celebrated New Zealand photobook maker and Massey University lecturer David Cook.
An additional event to add to the PHOTO 2020 Photobook Weekend was a major Photobook Fair that would include major publishers, significant photobook makers, a showing of the ANZ Photobook Awards, photobook manufacturers and POD suppliers, workshops and info sessions.
However the COVID-19 pandemic was to change all that …
The PHOTO2020 event, retitled as PHOTO2021 is being rescheduled with the new dates of 18 February – 7 March 2021.
Thank you to founder and Artistic Director Elias Redstone and Producer Rachel Ciesla from the PHOTO 2020 team and Des Cowley from the State Library of Victoria for their effort sto bring this project into fruition. And we look forward to being part of the rescheduled dates…
Keep up to date with PHOTO 2021
The PHOTO 2021 team have been posting video interviews with a diverse group of international photographers and artists – Check them out…
*52 Antipodean Photobooks: A beginning for a canon of the ANZ photobook
In 2019 the Tate Library received a selection of 52 photographically illustrated books from the Australian and New Zealand region. The books were curated by Australian photobook aficionado Dr Doug Spowart and were specially chosen to extend the Antipodean photobook presence within Martin Parr’s 12.5K photobook donation to the Tate in 2017.
Doug Spowart’s Tate commission came as a result of his meeting with Martin Parr at the 2017 Vienna Photobook Festival. Parr attended Spowart’s lecture on the Antipodean photobook at the Festival and saw examples of the 2016 ANZ Photobook of the Year Awards.
In early 2018 Spowart met with Parr at the State Library of Victoria and shared with him a selection of the photobooks that had been curated for proposed Tate purchase.
While interest in the photobook has resulted in publications and scholarship from every major country in the world the same has not been the case for the Antipodean photobooks. Spowart sees the PHOTO 2020/2021 event as being an opportunity to celebrate ANZ photobooks and bring recognition to the local contemporary and historical publications. To this end Doug Spowart has published a blog entitled The Antipodean Photobook and a FACEBOOK page The Photobook in Australia and New Zealand and an INSTAGRAM account @antipodeanphotobooks.
We look forward to PHOTO 2021: 18 February – 7 March 2021