This show concentrates on a relatively new publication form, a kind of meta-category called “books on photobooks”, or simply, “books on books”. The genre expanded in the late nineties and first decade of 21st century in the wake of the Horacio Fernández’ exhibition catalogue Fotografía Publica and Andrew Roth’s Book of 101 Books. As Clément Chéroux writes in last year’s PhotoBook Review, it was really  Fotografía Publica that “established a genre”, in terms of page layout and by reproducing double-page spreads from each of the featured books.



Today, “the bibliography of illustrated anthologies on photobooks” includes more than ninety titles. In this exhibition, we showcase works that we find relevant in this context: publications on and about photobooks, with a certain focus, be it geographical, historical or in terms of theme. In this respect, we would like to approach critically a phenomenon of books on books seeing it as a part of the 21st century debate on writing histories of photography. 25 years after the first books on books were published we ought to ask ourselves some fundamental questions about changes in our perception of photography, its politics and geography. What has already been researched, and in what way, and what should be done in the future? Books on books often stick to the “rule” of the genre, yet in some cases, they also break them, in surprising and virtuous ways. Being able to look at dozens of these books together will help us gain new insights into how and maybe even why they were made, to identify trends and tracks, leaders and followers, successful design solutions, and not so great ones. The exhibition will be accompanied by an open discussion with the curators, about these issues, and others that might arise from the exercise.

In the talk Books on Books on Books, Adam Mazur and Moritz Neumüller will discuss on the bibliography of illustrated anthologies on photobooks, and the new genre of publications that started to appear in the late nineties. As these compilations show, photobooks can be categorised with a geographical, historical or theme-related focus, or just in the form of personal Best-of lists. Some of these meta-publications have gone even further in musing about the sense and sensibility of making photobooks: how to make them, or how to use them for political struggles, or to shape society or to boost research, improve photobook market and help collectors?

Books on Books on Books will be displayed at the Architecture School in Aarhus during the festival: 27th-30th of October 2022

The talk between Adam Mazur and Moritz Neumüller takes place in the auditorium at the Architecture School on Friday 28th at 11.30-12.30 – See you there!


Photo Credit
Header: Ararchy Photobook Mania
1: Photobooks Spain 1905-1977
2: Photography between Covers; The Dutch Documentary Photobook after 1945
3: Paris, les livres de photographie
4:Paris, les livres de photographie
5:Paris, les livres de photographie
6: Ararchy Photobook Mania