I'm not usually one to compare apples and oranges, but I had an interesting confrontation today when I looked through my two latest acquisitions (one given, one bought). They both took me to the same beautiful place, though they couldn't be more different in their form, printing quality and lastly, their production costs. From my experience, I am guessing there is somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000.- euro difference in the total production costs for these 2 books. Thats not so interesting. What is interesting, and what is often forgotten, is some books just find the right form they need, others seem to miss the mark. I was equally pleased with each book as each photographer found the form needed to experience the work in the right way.
Wild Prayer - Limited edition signed book/newspaper/pamphlet , 2009
The Gottlund Verlag production of Nicholas Gottland's Wild Prayer is a 16 page newspaper print. It feels like a newspaper and doesn't try to be anything more or less. Surely a few of the images would be easier to read if they were in a high-end duotone print, but thats not its intention. It is an "..experiment with loosing consciousness, the fading effects of light over time..." These pages will fade, and become yellow; rightly so.
not so with...
Strassen und Wege - book, 2009
This Bernhard Fuchs book, from Koenig Books, is at the other end of the scale. It is as about as classic as you can get in its style, materials and a printing quality that probably can't be topped. You know his portraits, you know his cars, these are the trails trodden by those folks, and sped along by those cars. Keeping in his tradition of not wandering too far from his upper-Austrian hometown, Bernhard has collected 53 streets and trails, beautifully composed and quiet.
What is interesting, is that Hassla published a slim version of Strassen und Wege last year, titled Streets and Trails.