Books received #20 (photobooks) Monday, 8.00am, 13 June 2016
Daniel Boetker-Smith reviews ‘Body of Work’ for photo-eye, Book of the Week.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
“Today Radiohead released their first new song in years. I’d set aside the afternoon especially to write this review of Bruce Connew’s newest publication ‘Body of Work’, with no idea that the quintet from Oxford who have crafted the soundtrack of my adult life would inadvertently tell me how to read and understand Connew’s book.
‘Street Spirit (Fade Out).’ I can remember the lurid lines: ‘Cracked eggs dead birds / scream as they fight for life / I can feel death / can see its beady eyes.’ These words have been etched into my psyche since I first heard them in 1995. Hearing these lines again today after a number of years it seems that nothing can more accurately describe Bruce Connew’s new book. Connew has been around, making books, since the late 80s, and he is somewhat of a national treasure in New Zealand; a prolific, smart and eminently generous artist. But he’s never made a work like this before, and I’m not sure he ever should or could again. This is his ‘Heart of Darkness’.
... available at these splendid bookshops
Bruce Connew, Auckland (FREE SHIPPING)
PhotoQ Bookshop, Amsterdam
PhotoBookStore, UK (VIDEO PREVIEW)
Le Bal Books, Paris
Family Books, Los Angeles
Ampersand, Portland, US
Librairie 7L, Paris
L’Ascenseur Végétal, Bordeaux
Café Lehmitz Photobooks, Cologne
Tipi Bookshop, Brussels
Unity Books, Wellington
‘Body of Work’ was published and signed during Paris Photo 2015, first at Le Bal, November 12, and again, Friday 13, at Café Lehmitz Photobooks aboard Polycopies, just before an awful madness came upon Paris ...
... a terrific 2016 New Year’s tweet
Christer Ek ... ‘who needs another photo blog’ ... an excerpt
How to start talking about this book? Perhaps noting that this book is one of the weirdest that I have seen recently. In 2014, when Bruce went round the publishers, the answer was quite unanimous: this book cannot be published… too strong. What a strange answer! It is true that many publishers have become very cautious and unwilling to take any risks, despite the fact that it is their role. Some even ask photographers to participate in the production of their book through crowdfunding campaigns. We are far from a Robert Delpire who, against all American reluctance and with a resolutely avant garde editorial approach, published “Les Américains” by Robert Frank and “New York” by William Klein.