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What Once Was A Home

What Once Was Home

What Once Was Home

Peter Granser set off in search of traces of the town of Gruorn on the Swabian Alb, which was forcibly evacuated between 1937 and 1939. His limited edition Was einem Heimat war – What once was a home (800 copies, german and english, ISBN 978-3-9814530-2-7, roughly $35) documents the eventful history of a landscape that was used for over 100 years as a training ground for the armed forces and is thus closely associated with German military history. In 2005, the terrain, still strongly contaminated with projectiles and unexploded ordnance, was declared a biosphere reserve.

The illustrated book What once was a home is composed of several parts. Black and white photographs of the landscape, showing the scars and relics from the period of military use are confronted with a typology of anti-tank ammunition, bullets and grenades. The book includes a five-part panorama as Leporello.

Hand Sewn Linen Notebook

Hand Sewn Linen Notebook

This hand sewn linen notebooks ($15) by CLAYTanner Goods contain 48 graph paper pages, and are chock full of handy tidbits of information, ranging from conversion tables to animal tracks to common knots and ties. We think you’ll find them useful, or at the very least, amusing. They measure 5.5” x 3.5”.

In The American West – Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon

The Claxton Projects website is a curated selection of contemporary and vintage photography books from the Claxton Projects library. One of their last acqusitions is Richard Avedon’s In The American West.

“Richard Avedon had built his career on the portrayal of the glamorous and greats of fashion and celebrity, when in 1979 (with the assistance of an Amon Carter Museum grant), Avedon turned his camera onto the ordinary and overlooked. In The American West is the result of five years spent in thirteen states photographing a desperate and despondent cast of farmers, truckers, factory workers, drifters, criminals and gamblers.  Avedon’s clinical, machine-like approach to capturing his downbeat specimens gives these portraits a mug shot quality, a gallery of have-nots, a bold antithesis to the lacquered world he crafted so successfully in his fashion imagery,” writes Tom Claxton.

A Happy Balance

Rupa Design - novum Magazine

Rupa Design - novum Magazine

Rupa Design - novum Magazine

A HAPPY BALANCE: “If you were to sum up what Rupa is all about in one word, that word would be ‘balance’. A balance between the two fields of activity of classic graphic design and design for the new (and very new) media, a balance between commissioned work and their own developments, and not least a healthy work-life balance … Balance is clearly their secret to success, all of course under the watchful and beneficial eye of those fortune-bringing cranes”, writes Bettina Schulz from novum about Rupa Design.

Dream City by Anoek Steketee and Eefje Blankevoort

Dream City

“If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”– Dolly Parton, Dollywood, United States

Anoek Steketee and Eefje Blankevoort are saying about their latest amusement parks Dream City (Kehrer Verlag, ISBN 978-3-86828-248-1, €40) project: “During a trip through Iraqi-Kurdistan in 2006, we found ourselves in the amusement park in Duhok, an unexciting town near the border with Turkey and Syria. Reports of attacks, kidnappings and sectarian violence filled the newspapers on a daily basis. Meanwhile, we ate ice cream, rode on the Ferris wheel and talked to the park’s diverse visitors. In the park’s pleasant but equally surreal surroundings, visitors talked frankly about their daily lives, their fears, hopes and dreams for the future. Kurds, Arabs and American soldiers, Christians and Muslims, Shiites and Sunnis; segments of the Iraqi population that were submerged in a deadly struggle outside the gates, amiably rubbed shoulders in “Dream City.”

This visit has been the starting point of a journey along the world of amusement parks in diverse places in the world. With their sparkling lights, fairy-tale scenery and perfectly maintained gardens, the parks derive their value from the universal and timeless human need to escape from daily reality in a com- munal constructed space, surrounded by a fence. It became apparent to the authors that an amusement park is more than just a place to have fun; it often also plays a highly symbolic role in a society. Behind the subject’s innocent, light-hearted exterior lurks a darker, staged core, which raises questions about the way different realities can exist next to each other.

Although the cultural, sociological and political context of each place differs greatly, the parks’ uniform appearance forms the universally recognisable backdrop. With their sparkling lights, fairy-tale scenery and perfectly maintained gardens, the parks all derive their value from the universal and timeless human need to escape from daily reality in a communal constructed space, surrounded by a fence.

From Polaroid to Impossible

From Polaroid to Impossible

Collages, trendy arrangements and the famous white Polaroid frame. From Polaroid to Impossible is the latest Hatje Cantz (ISBN 978-3-7757-3221-5, €39.80) publication showcasing The Westlicht collection of marvellous and famous polaroids.

While the world evaporates into the digital, the anachronistic Polaroid snapshot dominates media and advertising. The recent sale of the photography collection owned by Polaroid’s inventor Edwin Land to the Viennese photography museum WestLicht marks an art-market trend toward the analog. Even digital photography is trying to imitate the analog “Polaroid-Look”. iPhoneography apps like PIXS-IT are famous examples in the digital trend going analog.

Beginning in the sixties, Polaroid supplied artists around the world, from Ansel Adams to Andy Warhol, with each one of the imperium’s latest products. In return, 4,400 works by 800 photographers found their way into the company’s International Collection at their European headquarters near Frankfurt am Main. In 2008, when the last instant film factory was rescued from demolition by the company Impossible, the founder’s commitment to collecting could be carried on as well.

The names one can find among the Polaroid artists range from landscape master photographer Ansel Adams to doyens of Pop Art such as Andy Warhol. Varying artistic concepts, collages and opulent arrangements cover genres from fashion to architecture, and represent an animated narration of the Zeitgeist of the intervening decades. The images were made with a wide range of Polaroid cameras, materials and films and they are a vivid documentation of the development of this ground-breaking invention. For the two pieces shown in the exhibition Andy Warhol chose the Integral film with its famous thin white frame. Together with the easy-to-handle camera, this was the film that triggered the instant photography hype for the general public. (via get addicted to …)

German Design Award Nominee: Weltstücke – World Trip Goodies

German Design Award Nominee: Weltstücke - World Trip Goodies

We’re proud to announce, that after receiving the iF label for outstanding design in the field of communication, Rupa Media and Rupa Design have been awarded with an German Design Award Nominee 2012 in the category communication design for the entry WELTSTÜCKE – World Trip Goodies (ISBN: 978-3-940393-08-1, 24,90 EUR – order the book here at Amazon de/com.

The award of awards

The 2012 German Design Award is the award of awards and the award of award-winners. A reward for outstanding work. Only works that are both pioneering and marketable, and indeed have already proved that they are fit for market, are short-listed. The competition aims to identify, present, and reward innovative and international design trends. In other words, design that differentiates. In this light, participating is something for the crème de la crème.

About the book WELTSTÜCKE – World Trip Goodies

Who did not ever bring home any nice or less nice souvenirs from his or her travels – authentic, valuable objects that can only be found aside those common inrushes of tourists? Things like culinary delights or the typical useless presents, which are nevertheless of a high personal value. It’s because the memorabilia gets its emotional importance from the connotation of unforgettable moments and experiences that have been made along the way, and in this way it’s able to revive those holiday pleasures during our daily routine – independent of its material value, aesthetic quality or exclusiveness of purchase.

“When I travel, I feel truly free and enjoy every moment of my freedom to travel. Travelling with light luggage and high spirits, I feel the pleasant tingle of anticipation in the knowledge that I will encounter an amazing blend of cultures. To be able to immerse myself in other ways of life and to, once again, experience the full consciousness of my five senses is an inconceivably great gift that I donʼt want to unwrap all at once. The deeper I delve into the gift box, the more I want to find. To me, travelling is like visiting a school of life – and I dread the school holidays. The more I get to see, the more I become a global observer with an eye for the strange and extraordinary.” – Thomas Kalak

Thomas Kalak as well is a dedicated and – regarding his global exhibits – systematic collector of memorabilia from all over the world. Now he presents his special passion for the first time in form of a personal selection. The “Weltstücke” are presenting in a diversified way that one can keep his and her precious travel memories in all sorts of things, and theyʼre delivering an amusing insight into the diversity and also the absurdity of our souvenir culture.

Thomas Kalak
Thomas Kalakʼs background is located back in the early eighties of the Münster Skater scene. He lives in Munich and is working on book and exhibition projects.

Weltstücke – World Trip Goodies
ISBN: 978-3-940393-08-1
24,90 EUR
Available via Amazon (de/com)

German Design Award Nominee: Weltstücke - World Trip Goodies

German Design Award Nominee: Weltstücke - World Trip Goodies

Harry Bensons’s Rare and Elusive Photos

Bobby Fischer by Harry Benson

Harry Benson’s rare, exclusive photos of the elusive and controversial chess genius Bobby Fischer taken during the historic World Chess Championship match in Iceland in 1972 are collected by powerHouse Books for the first time, in Bobby Fischer. Benson met Fischer in Argentina, during the qualifiers for the match, and followed him through his training and conditioning in New York, during the many weeks of the match, and was there in the winning moment to document Fischer’s historic victory. Fischer was a known recluse, and Benson was one of the very few people he would talk to throughout these defining moments in his life.

The match, known at the time as the “Match of the Century,” is now generally considered a battle in the Cold War between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Benson’s intimate access to Fischer was not the easiest of tasks to accomplish. Worried about spies and saboteurs, lacking substantial support from the U.S., and seeking deep mental focus, Fischer prized solitude. In fact, Fischer barred the door even when his mother arrived from America. The intimacy of these photographs is testament to Benson’s photojournalistic prowess.

Filled with idiosyncrasies and a complete loner, Fischer is still revered by chess fans around the world and is considered the greatest chess player of all time. Benson’s photos of Fischer give insight into the private world of the man Benson calls “the most complicated and most fascinating person I have ever photographed.” Bobby Fischer is an in-depth look at the champion unlike any the world has ever seen.

Bobby Fischer by Harry Benson

Scottish born photojournalist Harry Benson was the most published photographer in LIFE magazine before it closed and continues to photograph for many major magazines. In 2009, Queen Elizabeth named Benson a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). Benson has had 40 one-man exhibitions of his work in the U.S. and Europe and is the author of 14 books including R.F.K.: A Photographer’s Journal (powerHouse Books, 2008), and Harry Benson: Photographs (powerHouse Books, 2009). Benson lives in New York and Florida with his wife, Gigi, who works with him on his exhibitions and books. Their two daughters live and work in Los Angeles.

Hard Ground by Michael O’Brien

Hard Ground by Michael O'Brien

“Other collections of lost souls (Richard Avedon’s In the American West comes to mind) are different …We meet O’Brien’s people one on one. Their ‘otherness’ is removed. The photographs engender compassion and empathy. If that sounds simple, it is because it is simple. And, as you know, being simple is very, very difficult. Hard Ground is a rare and powerful book.” – John Loengard, Life magazine photographer and picture editor, and one of American Photo magazine’s 100 most influential people in photography

Michael O’Brien got out of his car one day in 1975 and sought the acquaintance of a man named John Madden who lived under an overpass. Their initial contact grew into a friendship that O’Brien chronicled for the Miami News, where he began his career as a staff photographer. O’Brien’s photo essays conveyed empathy for the homeless and the disenfranchised and won two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards. In 2006, O’Brien reconnected with the issue of homelessness and learned the problem has grown exponentially since the 1970s, with as many as 3.5 million adults and children in America experiencing homelessness at some point in any given year.

In Hard Ground, O’Brien joins with renowned singer-songwriter Tom Waits, described by the New York Times as “the poet of outcasts,” to create a portrait of homelessness that impels us to look into the eyes of people who live “on the hard ground” and recognize our common humanity. For Waits, who has spent decades writing about outsiders, this subject is familiar territory. Combining their formidable talents in photography and poetry, O’Brien and Waits have crafted a work in the spirit of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, in which James Agee’s text and Walker Evans’s photographs were “coequal, mutually independent, and fully collaborative” elements. Letting words and images communicate on their own terms, rather than merely illustrate each other, Hard Ground transcends documentary and presents independent, yet powerfully complementary views of the trials of homelessness and the resilience of people who survive on the streets. (via get addicted to …)

Call It Beauty – Collage Artist Able Parris

Collage Artist Able Parris

Designer and collage artist Able Parris just relaunched his Web site. Able Parris is a designer, art director, and illustrator currently working at McKinney. He has worked with clients such as Nike, NFL/Superbowl, Time Out New York, Nationwide Insurance, Golds Gym, EAS, Sherwin-Williams and more. It’s beautiful work. Check it out here.