With over one thousand entries to this years competition from more than sixty countries—including the usual suspects from the U.S., Canada, UK, Japan, and Western and Northern Europe, but also Armenia, Australia, China, India, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates, among others—the field of photography publications has evidently become a very competitive, vital means to disseminate the work of artists. Each of the thirty-five books (with one additional special jurors’ mention) selected for the fourth annual Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards shortlist offers its own unique story, told through every decision of its content, form, and design. Every one elucidates yet another facet of the ever-evolving ecosystem of the photobook today.
This selection of photobooks ranges from self-published, print-on-demand books to those funded by Kickstarter campaigns or put out by established publishers. There are books on newsprint, unbound folios, multi-volume sets, spiral-bound notebooks, and jacketed paper- backs. Classically designed volumes sit next to binder-clipped fax paper and hacked e-readers. At least two of the shortlisted books (and many others submitted) were created as student projects, underscoring the increased attention now given to the photobook in university-level photography and design programs. There are, inevitably, some very good books that do not end up on the shortlist. Nonetheless, those that have been selected are among the best that photobook publishing has to offer. The close study of such a diverse assemblage of publications is by turns sobering, fortifying, and exhilarating.
—Lesley A. Martin
Co-produced by Aperture Foundation and Paris Photo.
You Haven’t Seen Their Faces
Designed by Verónica Fieiras and Daniel Mayrit
Photography Catalogue of the Year
Images of Conviction: The Construction of Visual Evidence
Diane Dufour and Xavier Barral
LE BAL and Éditions Xavier Barral
Designed by Coline Aguetta and Xavier Barral
Photobook of the Year
Archive of Modern Conflict
and RVB Books
Designed by Thomas Mailaender and Rémi Faucheux
Special Jurors’ Mention
Designed by Will Steacy