Indie Photo Books Ad Infinitum at Offprint Paris
“book look book” by Jörg Koopmann: Never has a book been more at home in its place of sale: Koopman made these photographs at book fairs last year (including 2010’s Offprint). Self-published by Koopmann’s Book With a Beard.
I photographed Koopmann’s companion, who was photographing me while I looked at a book of photographs of people looking at books of photographs. Deep recursions.
“Born in Brennen*” is another Koopmann Book With a Beard from 2009, this one spanning several projects and geographical areas. The photos depict, quietly, how a climate of military conflict colors and subtly transforms our immediate surroundings.
“Manitoba” by Tobias Zielony: Published by Spector Books. Berlin-based Zielony is a dedicated documenter of teenagers, and this brand new book (and corresponding exhibition in Frankfurt) focuses on gangs of Native American teens in Winnipeg.
“Volume 1, 9/2011” by Peter Langer: Another Berlin-based photographer turns his lens on rampant public use of cellphones, mostly in New York. It’s the first in a series of photographs taken in America, published by Nightworks Berlin.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU/LANG ZAL ZE LEVEN” by Anouk Kruithof: A Dutch photographer spent a residency in a psychiatric hospital helping patients celebrate their birthdays. She then assembled this handmade book along with them.
“The Dad Project” by Briony Campbell: An incredibly intimate portrait of the artist’s father’s losing battle with cancer. Part of a four-part series of small softcover editions, POV FEMALE LONDON, published by Oodee.
“easyJet” by Sophie Jung: Another self-printed affair on Epson inkjet paper and stapled, the photos document a series of EasyJet flights between Basel and Amsterdam made during a long-distance relationship of the artist’s.
“The Mother Road” by Hans Gremmen: Also published by FW: Books in the Netherlands, Gremmen’s is the most novel Google Street View project I’ve seen. Each image taken on Route 66 (151,000 in all) is combined into a five-hour timelapse DVD.
“Beyond Borders” by Frederic Lezmi: Lezmi’s book, a sort of travelogue searching for the border between Europe and the Orient, is beautifully designed and produced by Germany’s White Press as an 11-meter-long accordion fold-out, like a tourist map.
“Master and Everyone” by André Principe: A book of portraits by the Portuguese Principe, some taken while in Tokyo filming a documentary on the Japanese photographic masters. Here: Nobuyoshi Araki at karaoke. Published by Pierre von Kleist.
Errata Editions: Jeffrey Ladd was here with his praised series of “books on books,” which reprint rare and out-of-print photo books in a new form with added essays, notes and annotations. Ladd also maintains the excellent photo book blog 5B4.
“Self Publish Be Naughty”: A new edition from the U.K’s “Self Publish Be Happy,” SPBN features 122 photographs by 75 artists who responded to the organization’s call for “naughty” submissions. A unique binding with a detachable elastic band can turn each page into a poster.
“Mom & Dad” by Terry Richardson: Published by London’s Mörel, who’ve handled other big names like Ryan McGinley, focuses in on the (in)famous editorial and fashion photographer’s parents, who each get their own volume in this set.
“Acrobatic Squad” by Thomas Mailender: Mailender is a bit of a prankster, so it’s only natural that this slim paper volume of 2004 photographs would have an element of fun. That fun comes via the amazing Préfecture de Police de Paris’s special acrobatic team.
“Toppushoppu” by Miho Miyachi: Among the more esoteric little zines was this edition of 18 images shot entirely in the discount clothing retailer’s shops. Published by Jane & Jeremy.

Offprint Paris, in its second year running as an unofficial companion event to Paris Photo, is a large exhibition of independent photo book publishers, designers and distributors from around the world. On my last day in town, I stopped by for what I thought would be a quick browse but ended up staying for hours—the volume of interesting things to see was truly staggering. Over 60 independent publishers, distributors and designers of everything from self-printed zines in extremely limited editions to beautiful large-format monographs and rare first editions.

In an interview by Marc Feustel with Offprint founder and organizer Yannick Bouillis (read it here on Marc’s excellent eyecurious blog), Bouillis says that he is drawn to photo books “because the experimentation and innovation of the avant-garde in photography has always taken place through publications.” The range of independent works Bouillis has gathered under one roof via the exhibitors he has hand-selected would certainly be a testament to that.

Check out the gallery above for a look at some of the books that interested me at Offprint. Most are recently published, but some have been around for a bit. It is in no way definitive, and in no way a “best of” selection, which frankly would have been impossible!

More from Paris Photo here.

John Mahoney is the Web Editor of American Photo_. He also mans the_ American Photo_ Twitter account, Facebook page and Tumblr blog. Feel free to say hello._