In the making: ANALYSING WORK TODAY: COMPANY PHOTOBOOK COLLECTIONS
On the recommendation of Erik Kessels and invited by the artistic director of Foto Industria Bologna, François Hébel, I am curating an exhibition on company photobooks to be shown at the Bologna Pinacoteca from 3-20 Octobre 2013. For more information on this premiere that explores the relationship between professional photography and the corporate world, see the press communique by Les Rencontres de la Photographie Arles. Let me share with you some more details on our contribution to the event, which, I believe, is the world’s first exhibition showing 120 company photobooks from the Netherlands and across the borders, from early and classic examples to a more hybrid type of company photobook that has emerged today.
ANALYSING WORK TODAY: Company Photobooks Collections consists of five categories. ‘For CEO’s Only’ is a selection of international company photobooks from the private collection of professional photographer Bart Sorgedrager, based in Amsterdam. Research assistant Clara Jankowski (MA Master Photographic Studies, Leiden University) has compiled a bibliography and captions for this particular selection of company photobooks and is presented in the exhibition as FOR CEO’S ONLY (alluding to the title of a company photobook by Richard Avedon for M&A Group in New York). The second category ANALYSING WORK TODAY extends the genre to the present-day, and is based on the research and book selection I made for Schaden_cahier 001 (2010). This selection of seminal company photobooks and daring annual reports is compiled from the private collections of Hans Gremmen, Erik Kessels, Bart Sorgedrager and Mirelle Thijsen/IPhoR.
Three other categories of photobooks are on display in Bologna, focussing on the heydays of this genre in the Netherlands: HIGHLIGHTS: COMPANY PHOTOBOOKS FROM POST-WAR HOLLAND; WHAT WE MAKE: DUTCH GRAPHIC INDUSTRIES and DUTCH MEDICAL CARE ENVIRONMENTS: THEN AND NOW.
The photobooks for these categories have been selected from the private collection of Jan Wingender, which will be acquired this year by the Netherlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam. This selection is supplemented with a few publications from the Netherlands Fotomuseum. Designer and craftsman Niall Watson is currently making special book panels set on reclining ‘book stands’. The book panels seem to be suspended in the window cases. For the press release announcing the exhibit, see: FOTOINDUSTRIA BOLOGNA_ENG