Tag Archives: Grand Palais

Call For Entries | The Paris Photo – Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards

Paris Photo and Aperture Foundation have joined forces to launch two new photobook awards in 2012, celebrating the book’s contribution to the evolving narrative of photography. Entries will be accepted from July 15 through September 10, 2012. A pre-selected shortlist of thirty titles will be profiled in The PhotoBook Review; exhibited at Paris Photo at the Grand Palais and at Aperture Gallery in New York; and tour to other venues, to be determined. Winners will be revealed on November 14, 2012, Paris Photo opening day.

FEATURING TWO PRIZE CATEGORIES


First PhotoBook
A $10,000 prize will be awarded to the photographer/artist whose first photobook is deemed by an independent jury to be best of the year.

PhotoBook of the Year
PhotoBook of the Year will be awarded to the photographer/artist, and publisher responsible, whose book is deemed by an independent jury to be the best of the year.


THE JURY


The awards will be judged in two stages. An initial jury will meet in New York to select the shortlisted entries in both categories. Jurors will include Phillip BlockJulien FrydmanChris BootLesley A. Martin, and James Wellford. The final winners will be decided by a separate jury that will meet in Paris before Paris Photo begins, including Els BarentsRoxana MarcociEdward Robinson, and Thomas Seelig.

The preselection of thirty books will be announced mid-September and showcased on both the Paris Photo and Aperture Foundation websites.

THE AWARDS CEREMONY AT PARIS PHOTO: NOVEMBER 14, 2012

The top award-winners in each category will be selected in Paris by a jury at the beginning of the fair. The winners will be announced during the opening day, on November 14, 2012. The winning photographer for the First PhotoBook category will receive a $10,000 prize.

THE PHOTOBOOK REVIEW

The third issue of The PhotoBook Review, published by Aperture, will be launched at Paris Photo, and will present the thirty preselected books.

EXHIBITION OF THE PHOTOBOOKS

The thirty shortlisted books will be displayed during Paris Photo at the Grand Palais in the publishers’ dedicated space. After Paris Photo, the exhibition will travel to Aperture Gallery in New York, and to other venues to be determined.

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This is not a review: Paris Photo 2011

Paris is still recovering from the busiest week of the year on the photography calendar with the 2011 edition of Paris Photo which was held at the Grand Palais from 10-13 November and the many other events that pop up around it (Offprint, Nofound, Fotofever). In recent years Paris Photo has established itself as the most important photography art fair in Europe (maybe even in the world?) and this was a turning point for the fair. For it’s 15th birthday, Paris Photo gave itself a pretty big present in the form of a move from the not-exactly-shabby Caroussel du Louvre, which did suffer from a lack of space, air, seating and natural light, to the Grand Palais which has all of those in spades. The relocation was deemed controversial by some, as people were attached to the Caroussel du Louvre which had housed Paris Photo since its inception. There was also some concern that the size of the Grand Palais space would lead to a more impersonal, bloated fair that would lose the strong identity that Paris Photo had created for itself.

Now that the dust has settled, it is difficult to find many dissenters on the big move. The Grand Palais is pretty much unbeatable as a space for housing a fair, particularly given the amount of natural light that pours in through the several-storey-high glass roof (sunny days can be a bit problematic but if they can find a way to guarantee cloud cover, you will not find better light for looking at photographs). The fair has increased in size with 117 galleries, 27 more than in 2010, and 18 publishers, but the airier premises make it feel less crowded and, if you put your mind to it, it is possible to find enough space to spend time looking at photographs without jostling for space with other visitors. The gallery newcomers included Pace/MacGill, Gagosian, Fraenkel and Marian Goodman, which gave a heavyweight feel to proceedings. Gagosian, who apparently doesn’t really do art fairs, had a interesting quirk to his booth: a closet-sized “private viewing room”, presumably so that the unseemly practice of paying for art would not have to take place in public.

Installation of Ed van der Elsken's Love on the Left Bank

One of the biggest improvements of the fair was the space devoted to photo-books, something that had been a point of contention in recent years. Although there was no increase in the number of participating publishers and book dealers, their booths were far bigger (the Steidl booth must have tripled in size) and this seemed to be a particularly busy section of the fair. There was also a great installation by Markus Schaden of Ed Van der Elsken’s wonderful Love on the Left Bank. The installation, a kind of exploded book, gave a great sense of the process of putting a book together. And finally the Paris Photo book prize was launched to reward “a reference photographic book that has marked the past 15 years” (editor’s note: the English translation of the Paris Photo website leaves a lot to be desired). Paul Graham’s A Shimmer of Possibility was the deserved winner.

Andrew Bush wall at M+B gallery

I guess at this point that I should say something about the photography itself. With a fair the size of Paris Photo I’m convinced that every visitor has a different experience and it is impossible not to find things both to love and to hate. My overall impression was of a strong year with a fairly diverse selection of material, whereas sometimes it can feel like the same pictures pop up on every booth. I don’t think Paris Photo is the place to see the cutting edge of contemporary photography, although there is always something hiding around a corner if you look hard enough, but rather a venue for great vintage work and a cross-section of what is ‘hot’ right now.

Sigmar Polke at Springer & Winckler Kunsthandel

Some brief personal highlights from the fair include San Francisco-based Fraenkel‘s booth, which was an achingly (overly?) tasteful mix of Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Robert Adams, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Richard Misrach, Edward Weston and others; LA gallery M+B‘s wall of Andrew Bush vector portraits of drivers in their cars; an exquisite 3×3 grid of late 1970s miniature Peter Downsbrough cityscapes at the excellent Cologne-based Thomas Zander booth; and Berlin-based Springer & Winckler Kunsthandel‘s booth devoted entirely to photographs by the recently deceased German artist Sigmar Polke. The fair has also maintained the guest country/region format from previous years and this year it was Africa that had the place of honour. This is a hit and miss exercise, but I thought Africa was well represented, and although Malick Sidibe turned up absolutely everywhere, there was a fairly diverse selection of material on show. A few personal favourites were a Michael Subotzky prison yard panorama at the South African Goodman Gallery (not to be confused with Marian), Nigerian artist J.D. Okhai Ojeikere’s typological hairstyle portraits which appeared in several places, and a Michael Wolf Real Fake Art clin d’oeil to Malick Sidibe at 51 Fine Art from Antwerp.

Michael Wolf at 51 Fine Art

Another innovation of the fair was to host exhibitions of both public (ICP, Tate Modern and Musée de l’Elysée) and private (Artur Walther, J.P. Morgan and Giorgio Armani) collections, a pretty simple idea that makes a lot of sense in the context of an art fair. Thankfully the exhibitions went beyond the “here’s some stuff we bought this year” format and were generally well-curated and/or insightful.

J.D. Okhai Ojeikere from the Artur Walther collection

The only big question mark over the success of Paris Photo 2011 has to be a commercial one. These new premises must involve a pretty significant price increase and I wonder whether the less established galleries will have made sufficient sales to compensate for the cost of a Grand Palais booth, particularly in the current turbulent economic context. With FIAC taking place just a handful of days beforehand, and a growing number of contemporary art galleries present at Paris Photo there is also a question of how these two fairs will coexist. I hope the outcome is a positive one because this edition of Paris Photo certainly felt like the best yet.

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Paris Photo 2011 Spotlights Sub-Saharan Africa

With its grand new setting in the Grand Palais, nearly 120 exhibiting galleries, and tens of thousands of expected visitors, Paris Photo has secured its place as the n’est plus ultra of photography fairs.

That hasn’t kept its new director, Julien Frydman, from having even greater ambitions for the 15th anniversary of the annual event, which begins today and runs through Nov. 13. “It’s about getting out of the ghetto,” says Frydman, the former chief of Magnum Photos in the French capital, who notes that until recently, documentary photography has languished as a sideshow in the history of art. “We want to make sure this photo fair is among the best art fairs of the world.”

Paris Photo 2011 certainly has a lot going for it already. This year, the theme of Sub-Saharan Africa will be marked by a display of portraits from the private trove of German collector Artur Walther and a special exhibition of up-and-coming young African talent. Visitors will be treated to a vast array of images from the continent, from Malick Sidebé’s celebration of Malian pop culture in the 1969′s to Richard Mosse’s pink-hued portraits of modern Congo.

In addition to its usual swarm of galleries, this year’s fair will feature a suite of new attractions intended to up its global profile. Frydman hopes the new Paris Photo Platform, a discussion forum, will debunk the notion of documentary photography as an insular art form. Led by art historian Chantal Pontbriant, the Platform will feature “thinkers, artists, art critics—but not the usual suspects,” he promises. To bring alive this dialogue between photography and other genres, storied curator André Magnin will bring together paintings and photographs by artists such as Yinka Shonibare and Seydou Keïta.

Another new feature, “Recent acquisitions,” uncovers how museums collect their artworks, from the Tate Modern’s focus on the oeuvre of Daido Moriyama to the Musée de l’Elysée’s acquisition of the Charlie Chaplin estate.

In time, Frydman hopes that his innovations will “skyrocket the fair into the top 10” art fairs in the world. It’s important to him, however, that it doesn’t lose its heart along the way. “What I wanted to keep is the conviviality,” he says, noting the fair’s ambiance of friendship and shared passion. “That’s something to keep as a treasure.”

Paris Photo runs through Nov. 13 in the French capital. Read more about it here.

Sonia van Gilder Cooke is a reporter in TIME’s London bureau. Follow her on Twitter at @svangildercooke.