Bernd & Hilla Becher Basic Forms of industrial buildings

I am a photography major and have been interning at Fall Line for a little over two months now. I find it very comforting and familiar after years of working hands on with photography that I get to unwind surrounded by photo books of the very artists I learned about in school. The Becher’s especially seemed to have followed me throughout my journey in the photo program, often hearing about them in photo history to taking my own photos inspired by them, and now I find their photo book at Fall Line Press. It feels like fate that I get to present them to you. – Portia, Fall Line Press intern

The book tells the history of Bernd and Hilla Becher, German conceptual photographers that worked as a duo, and how they became two of the most influential artists of our time. Spending a life time documenting industrial structures in Europe and later the US, their work is rooted in the history of engineering and architecture, but it also set the standards of presenting industry as an object of art.

Their work was featured in the now legendary exhibition “New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-altered Landscape” which presented standpoints on the issue of industry’s imprint on landscape and culture.

The remainder of the book showcases 61 photographs of subjects like water towers, cooling towers, blast furnaces, kilns, grain elevators and many more structures in this very distinctive and recognizable style – black and white duo-tone photographs with the buildings isolated from the rest of the world, centered, filling the picture plane, as if they were scientific studies or portraits. The lighting is diffused so one may only focus on the clean and precise lines, geometric shapes, curves, textures, and linear planes.

They are known for presenting their photographs in a grid like pattern into typologies, however, for me getting to sit with each individual image is the real treat. How they glorified the order and beauty of modern industrial forms, devoid of humans, is admirable, and with every page, I feel transported to a bygone era.

Their work can be found in many collections all over, such as MOMA, the Guggenheim, The Tate, and much more, or enjoyed within this excellent book in the Fall Line Press reading room.

 

Birthday Club at 3 Cent Farm

 Image of the Shop Barn at 3 Cent Farm by Bill Yates

Image of the Shop Barn at 3 Cent Farm by Bill Yates

The Birthday Club, a group of feminist artists, will be in residence at 3 Cent Farm to work on a new collaborative project.  Since meeting at the Yale MFA program in the late 1980’s, the photographers Marion Belanger, Mary Berridge, Ann Burke Daly, Laura Letinsky, Tanya Marcuse, and Jennette Williams have been in close dialogue --getting together to critique work in progress, and giving photographs as birthday presents. The group has exchanged 125 gift photographs.  Last April Jennette passed away. Making new work together seems the most powerful and positive path forward.

 
 Image of 3 Cent Farm bedroom by Tanya Marcuse

Image of 3 Cent Farm bedroom by Tanya Marcuse

 Image of 3 Cent Farm Outbuilding by Tanya Marcuse

Image of 3 Cent Farm Outbuilding by Tanya Marcuse

British Interns Visit North Carolina

Perhaps the best thing about interning at Fall Line is the people you end up meeting along the way. Our UK interns’ last weekend was spent visiting Rob Amberg and his wife Leslie at their amazing place in the smoky mountains, near Marshall, North Carolina. 

We originally met Rob at the workshop back in September, and he invited us to stay - an offer we really wanted to take up before we left. We shared many laughs, rambled in the woods (or tripped through the woods in Jess’s case), met a great person called Cedric who makes large format cameras, and ate delicious food out of heavy clay bowls.

Another highlight included making bricks at the old jailhouse art project in Marshall, dancing in a barn dance, and taking part in a cake walk. (For international readers - a cake walk is quite literally, a walk to win a cake. A musical chairs game of sorts.)

All in all, it’s been such a highlight and a great way to end an amazing couple of months. Oh, and if you ever meet Leslie - make sure to ask about her encounter with a particularly aggressive rooster. You won’t be disappointed. 

Read more about the workshop
Read more about Cedric

Follow us on Instagram: Rob, Leslie, Jess, James, Rory, Bill, Gaëlle

Dave Anderson, “ONE BLOCK”

I am the new intern who was recently promoted to master “art hanger!” My passion for photography started back when I was in junior high school. That was the first time I got my own film camera. I have always been a visual person more than a person of words ever since I was small. That is what really drew me to want to intern at Fall Line Press. Being surrounded by great photobooks and photography everyday when coming to this reading room is like being in heaven to me.  — Elena, Fall Line Press intern

When I came into the reading room this morning, one book in particular caught my eye. Hurricane Irma had just blown through Florida and Georgia and this was the first day to be able to get out and about and back the reading room.

This book focuses on a single New Orleans block from 2006 to 2010 as it undergoes a transformation after Hurricane Katrina. Although the cameraman built this book around the houses on a physical block, when I started flipping the pages what popped off the pages were the people whose lives were dramatically affected by the damage wrecked on their homes.

The community that existed before and after the storm, the desire to have their homes returned back to how they were previously, but more importantly the resilience they demonstrate as they cling to hope through their journey to build back their lives.

The Fall Line reading room has gigantic windows that allow in soft sunshine that reflect off the plain white walls. With your favorite coffee in hand, you will no doubt be able to gently flip through the pages of this book and walk away with the sense you just made a whole block of new friends.

Rob Amberg's "Little Worlds"

As a writer, storyteller, and unapologetic inquisitor, it has been a real treat inviting myself into the throes of the Fall Line Press circle. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Rob Amberg and sneaking a peek of his upcoming exhibition upon installation. Per Bill's request, I'll share some of my quick thoughts with you here.

- Kate Douds, Editor, Tulia Magazine

  

Meandering through Rob Amberg's photos, I'm consumed by the same feeling I have when visiting family in rural West Virginia -- yes, I am from out of town, but I am not an outsider.

To fall into the role of voyeur while documenting bucolic life would be an easy slip, but Amberg's photographs of these Carolina natives feel less like Rear Window and more akin to the interior observations of a lunch guest. Like the Madison County locals who comprise his subjects, I, too, can relax as I move from image to image, trusting his presence and gaze.

Portraits hold a level of intimacy similar to those of Diane Arbus -- understanding but not editorializing. These images are not emotionally manipulative or overly sentimental, like so many representations of the South can be. These are indiscriminate, quiet considerations of what simply is, has been, and will soon be.

This documentation of life in Appalachia simultaneously teases us with hints of narrative (Why did they get that tattoo? Who is that woman?) and calms us with a sense of belonging and shared experience. Dotted with elegant metaphors for tradition and the passing of time, Amberg's new exhibition and imminent third book, Little Worlds, is saturated by a mastery of composition.  

 

Yuichi Tanizawa, “Because I was young”

I recently started interning with Fall Line, and this past week I spent an afternoon indulging in the collection of photo books here in the reading room. This book stood out to me because of its focus on how our relationship with the world around us can be altered over time. For me, these images are about exploration, expansion, and re-connection with something lost: a former self who is available to connect with the world without inhibition.
— Melanie, Fall Line Press intern

Tanizawa’s book is filled with colorful images of people and landscapes. Some of his images are of a single human interacting with space, often reflecting upon it or expanding into it, while his other images are of landscapes without a human presence. He opens his book by writing about the purity of our youth and his longing to clear the boundaries between us and “the world”, boundaries that he believes are set in place and maintained by our daily responsibilities and socialization by society. He suggests that perhaps we are most connected, and in a sense, wisest, at our birth.  His writings and photographs aim to explore how it is that we can reconnect with a former, purer, self as we continue to age and participate in a society that may impose certain restrictions on us.  

Want to see more of Tanizawa’s images? Come spend an afternoon in our reading room to view his book and other photobooks. We also have a number of new and used books available for purchase in our bookstore and online.

FL 50 - Juror Pick from Elliot

unremarkable by Ruth Adams

 

I was immediately drawn to Ruth Adams' unremarkable for its understated size and long pages bearing nothing but clean, single rows of Polaroid self portraits. It's an emotional and personal experience to read this book and see the progress of the stark portraits day after day as Adams endures all of milestones of cancer treatment. With nothing but portraits on the page, Adams' pain, defeat, hope, tedium, joy, and sense of humor are inescapable. After seeing a photograph of an installation view of these photos hanging on a gallery wall, I was curious to hear more about the project of turning this into a photobook. Here is Ruth Adams talking a little bit about unremarkable.

 - Elliot McNally, Special Collections Librarian, ACA Library, SCAD Atlanta

 

Elliot: It was interesting to see the date range of this project. What brought you to turn this series into a book 10 years later in 2012?

In the life of a cancer survivor there are different milestones. For most types of cancer, 5-years out of treatment marks the point where the chance of recurrence goes way down. For me, 10 years out of treatment was one step further, it was the point where I got "divorced" from my oncologist, i.e. my chance of recurrence was so low that I no longer needed to be followed by a Lymphoma specialist. I was considered - Cured! 

That milestone coincided with a movie/photo exhibition that I helped to bring to the University of Kentucky Hospital, another cancer project 'Not as I Pictured' done by my good friend and photographer, John Kaplan. The confluence of all of that helped to convince the hospital to invest in making a small run of books that we could give out to cancer patients and caregivers at the exhibition.

Elliot: This project works so well in book format. It transforms it into such an intimate and captivating experience for the reader, and is so different from the installation view that seems so overwhelming to take in all at once. Intellectually I knew what the outcome would be at the end of the story, but I was so engrossed by the range of emotion and empowerment as the series progressed linearly. I was overcome with excitement and relief when your hair started growing back, and I don't think I would've had the same experience seeing it on the wall. Could you talk a little bit about how and why you chose this long format, size, paper, etc. for the book?

First, I would like to say thank you for expressing your experience of the book. It is so wonderful to hear how people respond to the unremarkable journey.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, as a visual person, I immediately looked for images that would show me the journey that I was going to go through. Unfortunately, most photo essays about cancer do not have a happy ending. So one of the driving forces behind unremarkable was to show the journey back to health, as I was planning on making it through. The goal for me in creating the book was to make it something that was easily digestible by someone waiting in a doctor's office, chemo suite or waiting room, so the size had to be small. I felt like the repetition of images was necessary to show the relationship between the days and the subtle changes that happen over time so I picked 7 per page, representing a week (although as there are days missing the weeks aren't "real").

Elliot: I think this is such a great example of a "democratic multiple." Do you feel like this project as a book has been able to reach a wider audience beyond the gallery installation? What has the reaction from the community been like? 

The reaction to the book has been overwhelmingly positive but the print run for this book was very small so distribution was not very wide. My goal for this book was, and still is, to get it into cancer centers all around the country. But I would like it to be for free, so I hope to someday be able to raise money for a larger print run and distribution, etc.

Elliot: Are you hooked on the book? Is book making a part of your larger art practice? 

I have produced several handmade artist books over my career and absolutely love the practice of bookmaking. I have more recently started creating more traditional photo monographs using online publishing software and love being able to have a finished piece to share once I feel a project has reached a conclusion. My own practice fluctuates from 19th century printing, like Platinum/Palladium to cell phone imagery, so different projects make sense as different types of books. But the short answer, yes, I believe I will always continue the practice of creating a linear journey through my images by using the book format.

Elliot: What are you currently working on?

After cancer, one tends to take a close look at one's life (and art practice) and I was no exception. Most of my artwork since unremarkable has been based around the overarching ideas of Awareness, Presence, and Meditation. The series 'Meditating: Eye's Wide' stems from my struggle to stay Present to my experiences while also attempting to make imagery. 'The Mythology of Mushrooms' is my homage to one of the most ephemeral and yet most powerful plants on earth, and my tactic for slowing myself down and Noticing while walking in the woods (or my backyard). And 'That's the Ohm' is my endeavor to stay connected to the Present by photographing the immeasurable beauty capturable through my car's moonroof.

To view more work by Ruth Adams please visit her website

 

Interns Wanted

Live in Atlanta? Love photography? Books? Or better yet photobooks? We're looking for you!

We're gearing up for some big releases this fall. And need some extra helping hands. 

Things you could be asked to do:

  • order fulfillment
  • social media and website updates
  • inventory management
  • event prep

What we expect from you:

  • reliable (if you say you're coming in, know we're counting on you)
  • self starter
  • 10 hour a week commitment mostly from our space in the Virginia Highlands

If you're interested, please email the Managing Editor - Meghan Walter at meghan@falllinepress.com. Please tell her your favorite book and/or photobook, why you're interested in Fall Line Press, and attach a resume if you have one. 

 

 

FL 50 - Juror Pick from Teresa

Messages, Visions and Dreams by Mark Caceres

I am a big fan of accordion fold books and am always on the lookout for ones that take advantage of this structure to tell their story. Messages, Visions, and Dreams by Mark Caceres is a terrific example utilizing strong, shadowy images printed in a super-deep black on both sides of the page (a must). Read on to find out more about Mark’s process and inspiration for creating this textless photobook.  

-Teresa Burk, Head Librarian, ACA Library, SCAD Atlanta

Teresa: Tell me a little about the project, was it always conceived as a book? Print process, paper choice, editioned?

One day I drove by a small church near my home and noticed members of the congregation outside dressed in long white vestments which reminded me of African religious practices I had seen in Brazil. I introduced myself to the pastor and asked if I could photograph during the services. I photographed periodically at the weekly Sabbath services during 2014 and 2015. Initially, I had no idea how the project would develop and I certainly did not have any clear conception of presenting the work in book form. I only knew that I wanted to make images that were not grounded in the reality of the events taking place in the church. In other words, I tried to steer clear of a traditional photojournalistic narrative. As the project evolved, I focused on this question: How do we find meaning in the chaos of life when rational thought does not provide answers? The title Messages, Visions and Dreams came from the name of the part of the Sabbath service in which members of the congregation recount dreams or visions for the pastor to interpret.

Only in 2016 did I begin to think seriously about creating a book after having some brief conversations with David Carol and Eliot Dudik at the Slow Exposures Festival.

The printing choices were made pragmatically. I wanted the print quality to be similar to my inkjet prints with very deep blacks and an ethereal quality in the images, so I chose a double sided matte paper stock from Red River Paper and printed the panels myself on an Epson photo printer. Since the book is essentially still a maquette, it is not currently editioned.

Teresa: How did you decide on the accordion format? Was it challenging to print? Anything you would do differently?

I chose an accordion format because I wanted one side of images somewhat grounded in reality and the other side more mysterious and surreal. I wanted the viewer to move from a fixed and somewhat recognizable reality and then gradually travel deeper and deeper into the realm of the subconscious.

The printing was challenging in terms of having full bleed images whose borders conform exactly to the creases of the accordion on both sides. Controlling the skew of the paper as it printed was the biggest challenge, but the placement of the seams (each book consists of three long sheets of paper glued together) was also problematic.

The book in its current form will need some tweaking. I may apply a protective spray to the panels to minimize scratching and smudging of the ink and paper and possibly select a different paper stock for the cover since the present paper I’ve used for the cover doesn’t crease cleanly. An elastic band to hold the book flat may also be used.

Teresa: Did you show the book to the congregation? What was their reaction?

 The book is a very recent creation and still a work in progress, so the congregation has not seen it yet. I have, however, given them prints of photos made while working on the project. The prints were received positively, but they were seen primarily as a literal document of church activities.

Teresa: How does this photo book fit into your artistic/photo practice?

Books are my favorite way to view photography, not only because of their tactile quality, but because the artist can control the sequence in which the photos are viewed and create a visual syntax through the pacing and arrangement of the images. The judicious addition of text also can add depth of meaning and context.

Since I am drawn to images that are puzzling and open to multiple interpretations, the design of the photobook gives clues that the viewer can use to create some sort of narrative.

Teresa: Is book making a new direction for you? If so, what would you like pursue next or what are you working on now?

Yes, book making is something new for me and I see this project as a way to present my work more coherently and thoughtfully. The process of editing, designing, sequencing, choosing materials, and construction is endlessly fascinating and gives me a greater appreciation for photography as an art form.

In terms of photo books, I plan to continue refining Messages, Visions and Dreams and then produce a small number of books, perhaps 50. I am also currently working with one of my mentors, noted photographer Jeff Jacobson, on a book with the working title Dreaming America. The book will require a few more years of shooting and will feature color images made throughout the United States. The project will explore themes of politics, race, religion, and nationalism. A short edit can be viewed on my website.

Teresa: What are some photobooks that have influenced you?

Many of the photobooks that have influenced me the most were created by my mentors. Bazan Cuba by Italian photographer Ernesto Bazan is by far the most thought provoking and poetic photographic exploration of life in Cuba after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Chip Simone’s book Chroma presents seductive color images framed in surprising compositional forms. Another book I return to often is Jeff Jacobson’s Melting Point, which presents the state of our world through his mastery of the surreal and the ironic. All of these books have thoughtful sequencing and appealing design which strengthens the impact of the work.

Messages, Visions and Dreams was influenced primarily by three photobooks. The accordion structure of the book owes much to Laura El-Tantawy’s Post-Script. The presentation of enigmatic, monochrome images with deep blacks in Astres Noirs by Katrin Koenning and Sarker Protik was a great inspiration, as was Far Cry by Portuguese photographer Paulo Nozolino.

Forthcoming: ME. Here Now

Fall Line Press is excited to announce its forthcoming release of ME. Here Now with Swiss photographer Corinne Vionnet. 

Eerily seductive, these images reference a number of current hot topics in visual culture: the changing definition and parameters of photography itself; the compulsive taking, archiving, and sharing of images; the outsourcing of memory, surveillance, and the startling number of hours that are spent in isolation and in front of screens of one sort or another, every day.

Taken from Marvin Heiferman's essay "THEM. THERE. THEN." featured in the book

ME. Here Now captures that specific moment when all these people take, with their smartphones, near-identical pictures of what is, paradoxically and for them, a unique experience.

ME. Here Now
30.00

ME. Here Now explores collective memory and how our relationships to space define our perceptions of ourselves and our environment. 

The advent of smartphones has conditioned new reflexes and created a new, unsettling gestural vocabulary that evokes a near-mystical posture. 

A direct reference to the work of Abraham Moles on the philosophy of centrality, ME. Here Now captures the specific moment when tourists take, with their smartphones, near-identical pictures of what is, paradoxically and for them, a unique experience. Beyond the ritual of holiday pictures, these images — often instantly shared — create a new language, as with the certificate of presences by Roland Barthes or with the photograph-trophies by Susan Sontag.

Vionnet's portraits of these nameless individuals, half-concealed behind smartphone screens, also underscore the omnipresence of surveillance in public areas and remind us that all of our wanderings may be photographed. 

Essay by Marvin Heiferman, independent curator and writer organizing projects about photography and visual culture for institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian Institution, International Center of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art, Carnegie Museum of Art, and the New Museum.

Fall Line Press, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-9986490-0-9
Softcover with Singer Binding
Edition of 250 

56 Pages plus 4 Cover Pages
11.8" x 9.4" 

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