Photobooks at TCS in 2020

 By John Veldhoen

 

Photobooks at the Camera Store in 2020 were fewer than in previous years. I curtailed purchasing new titles as COVID-19 limited browsing. The physical transfer of photography in our favourite medium, the book, unlimited by surveillance and power, lasting and sensual, was a victim of COVID. The silver lining, if there is any, is that my purchasing focused on local books, and personal passions. I argued years ago in school that publishing is best when it follows a bottom-up model. This year, we had the honour of keeping stock of books made locally that are thrillingly world-class offerings, by young, exceptionally talented, sensitive photographers. So, in that light, this is my favourite list of books that I have published in the last seven years. 

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Aby Warburg’s Lost Atlas of Memory

 By John Veldhoen

 

Let me tell you a story: In 1910 there was a historian named Aby Warburg. He described himself as a “Hamburger at heart, Jew by blood, Florentine in spirit”; He collected an art legacy, assembling thousands of years of human history in photographs, and on postcards produced from throughout Europe. He combined these images on panel boards, looking to devise a way to see how images bleed past eras, and into each other as works of creation. 

He worked to shape a system to observe the themes in art, and how they function psychologically. In essence, an object lives on in culture, it seems to have an afterlife. It continues to speak well after it has disappeared from immediate view. 

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