INVITATION from the desk of IPhoR for June 16 2012, 12.00 AM- until 18.00 PM
Herewith I like to invite you for a Company Photobook Salon & Sale on Saturday June 16 at my office along the Ertskade in Amsterdam. We will open the doors to the garden and serve espresso and mint tea with tramezzini, filled dates and Turkish Delight. We will make a display of seminal company photobooks, annual reports and derivations of the genre, with an emphasis on photoboooks published by graphic industries in the Netherlands. Several mint copies of my reference book Het bedrijfsfotoboek 1945-1965. Professionalisering van fotografen in Nederland (2002) will be for sale. As well as the self-published dissertation Humanistische Fotografie en het geluk van de alledaagsheid. het Nederlandse bedrijfsfotoboek (2000). Titles included in Schaden_cahier 001 (2010) will be displayed. Anyone interested in making a bid on the integral collection company photobooks is welcome!
Company photobooks were published in small press runs, were usually not sold in bookshops but circulated within a closed circuit of potential clients, contacts, staff and friends of the company. For a new generation of post war photographers, however they were a significant source of income.
Captains of industry expected rethorical images of industrial growth and people working in functional buildings, even of employees relaxing after work. The furniture factories of Bruynzeel and the Menko textile manufacturers, the Hoogovens steel furnaces, the mines of Limburg and the Dutch National Railways were presented as pleasant working environments. A lot of seminal Dutch company photobooks were published by Meijer N.V. in Wormerveer. Politically left-wing GKf-members, idealists such as Carel Blazer, Eva Besnyo and Cas Oorthuys made company photobooks. They accepted assignments from capitalists, business men. Their attitude was an ambivalent one, prompted on the one hand by an ideology of making an artist’s statement and on the other by the need of a new generation of photographers and designers to make a living.
The post-war company photobook has made way for an artist’s book documenting contemporary corporate cultures, the decline of industrial sectors, automation, globalisation, neo-capitalism and the network society. The Table of Power (1996) by Jacqueline Hassink, mensenstroom (1997) by Bart Sorgedrager, as well as the anual reports by JRP|Ringier and Migros are illustrative of the evolution of the genre.