In conjunction with their 2012 Small Works National Competition, Soho Photo Gallery will present a guest exhibition curated by Aperture Foundation on the art of making small books. The opening reception is this Thurday, February 9 to celebrate The Art of Small Books, in which we explore the intimacy gained from a journal-sized format.
Like novels or short-story collections, these books are meant for the reader to interact with, not simply to be viewed or put on display. Several included in this show take their form as a result of the artist coming to the table with a concept that hinges on the ability of the finished work to “pass” as—or at least refer to—something other than your typical coffee-table book: Christian Marclay’s Shuffle, which takes on the guise of a deck of cards; Takashi Homma’s Tokyo, the form of which gives a nod to the Penguin Classic pocket-size novel; Stanley Greene’s Black Passport, with its rounded corners and reference to the classic travel document. Even Martin and Munoz’s Travelers is kept within the confines of typical snow-globe scale.
The traditional publishing logic about smaller-size books has tended to revolve around practicality and affordability. So while there is much to be gained from trading the larger reproduction size of an over-sized book for a smaller-scale presentation, photographers who are accustomed to working with large-sized prints can be especially loathe to give up on scale as a way of presenting their work. What this exhibitions aims to show is that small can be beautiful, too.
February 8–March 3, 2012
Soho Photo Gallery
15 White Street
New York, NY 10013