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Threefold: Selections from the Indie Photobook Library
Curated by Larissa Leclair, Shane Lavalette, and George Slade
September 13 – November 12, 2011
Reception: Wednesday, September 21, 6:30 – 8 pm
When you think about photographs, when you imagine them in context, realized in some physical form, how do you see them? Some see them in print portfolio boxes, some see them on computer screens, others see them matted and framed, hanging on walls. Though for nearly as long as there have been photographs, they have appeared in fixed sequences, pasted, printed directly, or reproduced in ink on pages bound together in some fashion – in other words, as books. Whether pocket-sized or table-sized, photographically-illustrated books have long served as an important showcase for the medium.
In the 1960s, Ed Ruscha and other artists utilized inexpensive printing facilities to create photobooks outside of mainstream publishing houses. These independent publications acted as art objects on their own terms and, from typeface to binding to printing quality, reflected the concerns of their makers. These artist books often employed photography in conceptual ways, as an extension of the anonymous, mechanical processes of publishing.
In the last decade various technologies have enabled artists to publish not only small editions of a book, but individual volumes when needed. Now, instead of a few books being made in large quantities, many books are being made in small quantities. The Indie Photobook Library (iPL), founded by Larissa Leclair in 2010, is committed to cataloging and preserving examples of the multitude of books that may never find their way into conventional library catalogues because of their modesty, or because they were often created by individual artists whose practice doesn’t include conventional distribution.
Threefold reflects the idiosyncratic interests of three curators — Shane Lavalette, Larissa Leclair, and George Slade — each adopting a unique focal point in an attempt to represent a remarkable moment in contemporary independent publishing.
View the gallery guide >>
View the Virtual Tour on Flickr >>
Click to read the press release >>
Read the review in The Boston Globe >>