Taking into consideration the history of photobook practice, one could argue that most photobooks use the codex conservatively. However, it is possible to find exceptions. The books displayed in this small exhibition demonstrate that for many artists since the early 1960s, the investigation of structure and materiality is a significant element in the production of photobooks.

The Rebellious Photobook will show classic examples of books that question the codex paradigm, such as Every Building on the Sunset Strip by Ed Ruscha, O Livrinho Vermelho do Galo de Barcelos, or Andy Warhol’s Index, but also includes more contemporary publications such as A Head with Wings by Anouk Kruithof, Until Death Do Us Part by Thomas Sauvin and Bees & The Bearable by Chen Zhe. 

However, as the curator insists, it is important to stress that the ‘architectural’ investigation is not meant to override their photographic content. Form and content are equally important and contribute to the overall narrative of the book. These artists and designers want you to think about the importance of a book’s ‘objecthood’ and how its deconstruction reveals new possibilities in the construction of visual and textual narratives in book form.

Andy Warhol’s Index

O Livrinho Vermelho do Galo de Barcelos

Toni Amengual, PAIN