Review by Kristin Dittrich •
As a contributing Editor for Photobook Journal, I usually focus on reviewing contemporary photobooks published in Europe. In May 2022 I had the opportunity to be in New York City (this event was held May 21st and 22nd) concurrent with the first “Photobook Fest“, which is sponsored by the International Center for Photography (ICP).
This photobook event was held in parallel with the AIPAD Photo Show, sponsored by the Association of International Photography Art Dealers. AIPAD represents the most important photography fair in the art trade in America. It is quite rare in Europe that events that take place in parallel are also communicated together. The synergy effect is enormous and extremely congenial. The ticket for the AIPAD Art Fair was also valid for the Photobook Art Fair and brought all visitors of both events together. May this good and strong alliance be maintained during the next years.
The focus of the Photobook Fest were about 40 photobook publishers, mostly coming together from the United States and Canada. The event was so beautiful selected. There was a wide range of photo books that you could talk to: from the entire small Independent one-person publisher to the big players in the industry.
In the beautiful light-flooded rooms of the International Center for Photography (a place where learning and studying must be very nice), the team of the ICP did an incredible job to make the event an unforgettable experience. I have rarely felt so welcome as I did by the ICP team. The friendliness of all the staff will remain very much in my memory. Their efforts to make me feel comfortable and at ease were tremendous.
I noticed that some publishers were no longer there in person, but were sending through their distributors. Unfortunately, these distributions could not really provide sufficient information for my questions about a photobook or the photographer.
Overall, the atmosphere of the Photobook Fest was very emotional. After a two year break due to COVIDD, the publishers, artists and photobook buyers were in close personal contact again for the first time. If the fair was not perceived through the eyes but through the ears, it would be comparable to a sympathetic humming bee colony in its honeycomb.
Last month I reviewed Anthoula Lelekidis’s Fragments, some of that book review featured below that I acquired during this event and more selected photobooks from the ICP Photobook Fest will be reviewed here later
Kristin Dittrich is a contributing editor and Art Critic, Mentor, and Director of the Shift School for Contemporary Photography.
Articles and photographs published in the PhotoBook Journal may not be reproduced without the permission of the PhotoBook Journal staff and the photographer(s). All images, texts, and designs are copyright of the authors and publishers.