Tag Archives: Kooiker

Another best books of 2011 list…

I have given up, caved in, admitted defeat. Although the world does not need it, the temptation was just too great, so I have gone ahead and compiled a selection of my favourite books of the year. Instead of giving you a top 10 I decided to humbly borrow the format of the Oscars and select the best books by category (as with the Oscars, my categories are suitably ridiculous). So without further ado, I bring you the the official eyecurious Best Books of 2011.

Best really good book

Enrique Metinides, Series (Kominek)

Most unlikely best book of the year

Yukichi Watabe, A Criminal Investigation (Xavier Barral)

Best self-published book that is too big for most bookshelves

Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs, As long as it photographs / It must be a camera (Self-published)

Best spiral-bound book

Ricardo Cases, Paloma al Aire (Photovision)

Best sold out collectible book that gets damaged very easily

Valerio Spada, Gomorrah Girl (Cross Editions)

Best super-deluxe VIP book with all the trimmings

Naoya Hatakeyama, Ciel Tombé (Super Labo)

Best really weird book

Paul Kooiker, Sunday (William van Zoetendaal)

Best book cover

Takashi Homma, M2 (Gallery 360°)

Best book that I bought in 2011 but wasn’t actually published this year

Tadanori Yokoo, Tokyo Y-junctions (Kokushokankokai)

Best book of outtakes

Rob Hornstra, Safety First (Self-published)

Best book of pictures made using an archaic photographic process

Christian Marclay, Cyanotypes (JRP Ringier)

Best calendar for a good cause

Yuka Amano, Seiji Kumagai, Aya Muto & Hiroshi Nomura, One Year for Japan (Lozen Up)

I will leave you with a final word of advice: the number of best books of 2011 lists that have already popped up is proof that you should NEVER publish a book in December. You’ll be too late for all the best books lists and will be technically ineligible for the best books lists of the following year. You have been warned.


Related posts:

  1. eyecurious books etc.
  2. Photobooks 2011: a view from Japan
  3. Photobooks 2011: And the winner is…

Review: Sunday by Paul Kooiker


Paul Kooiker is on a mission. I don’t know what kind of mission it is, but if you look at the books he has produced you realize he’s on a mission alright. After Crush or Room Service, there now is Sunday, a book of nudes, or maybe more accurately photographs of a nude woman, balancing precariously on a wooden table in a rather unattractive backyard of sorts. (more)

I’m not the biggest fan of dragging out obligatory and thus tiresome references, but there is a big echo of Hans Bellmer and his photographs of self-assembled and rather strange looking dolls. Much has been written about Bellmer (here is an example if you really want to subject yourself to that). Maybe me not knowing enough causes me to be a bit weary of some of the explanations and/or theories. But many just seem to embellish what actually might just have been a somewhat unhealthy idea of sexuality, quite independent of the Surrealist background and of whether or not the Nazis approved of the work (of course, they didn’t).

That’s the problem with references, they don’t necessarily always teach you quite as much as you think. Which is why I’m going to throw in yet another, very different one: Irving Penn’s Nudes. Initially, I looked at Sunday back to front, and the Bellmer reference seemed to make a lot of sense. But looking in the actual direction, and looking at how the sequence mirrors the model’s movements, Bellmer seems like a red herring, to throw us off.

Well, whatever it is, the book of course needs to be seen against the background of photography over the past, let’s say 100 years, with elements of the photographic nude, images of the human body, imaging the human body (in photography almost inevitably men taking photographs of naked women), sexuality, voyeurism thrown into the mix. It’s not obvious where Sunday fits in there. If it was obvious, the book would merely be illustrating a concept (maybe it is, and I am now embellishing?). So I’m not entirely sure what to make of the book, which is good: I’ll have to come back to it.

Sunday, photographs by Paul Kooiker, 84 pages, Van Zoetendaal Gallery, 2011