Tique | art paper asks eight questions to an international art book publisher about its motivation, practice and role today. This week: Blackbook Publications.
What motivated you to start publishing?
I’ve always been very interesting in objects and what happens when you transfer images and artworks to different materials. So I worked with clothes, collectors plates and artists books. When I made my first “real” book I had a friend in the same situation, and we didn’t have much knowledge in the field of publishing, so we decided to do it together. For us this is not only a platform for sharing our work, but also a collaborative project, a collective of some sort, where we can share knowledge and learn from each other.
How would you describe your role in the creation of a publication?
Our project has become more and more of a collective. That means we do not engage very much in each others work. Every artist who’s connected to us is very interested in photography as printed matter so it’s key that we don’t interfere to much in their work. Their books are artistic objects that should correspond with the artists work and his or hers original intentions. We support each other, but we don’t interfere.
What do you look for in a project?
We are all connected to each other trough a common view on art photography and an interest in working with the books as both a method and a medium to enhance our work and evolve as artists.
What advice would you give to anyone planning to make a publication?
Just do it! Don’t think to much about the details. Even if you can’t afford a more expensive printing process than xerox or don’t have money to make an edition larger than ten copies, do the book anyway. Every part of the book, even low budget paper, is a carrier of a story about you as an artist and the conditions it was made under.
What do you consider to be your biggest challenge?
Money and distribution is always the biggest challenge. There is a lot of books being made in the world.
As a lot specialised (art)bookstores are disappearing, is it harder to present the publications to a wide audience? Are you using new channels to reach them?
The best channels are festivals, fairs and during exhibitions. We sell online of course but meeting the audience is always good. And surprisingly enough, photobooks sell good in book fairs not specialized in only photo books, because of less competition I guess.
What do you find the most rewarding?
As artists we use our books as a method to understand our work better. Many of us are more interested in the printed matter than in exhibitions, so it’s the same feeling as making a good piece, but unlike the exhibition the books life is much longer and continue to find its audience in the most unexpected ways.
What does the future hold?
We are working more and more with exbitions now. We recently had exhibitions at Centrum för Fotografi and Supermarket Art Fair in Stockholm. And we will continue to work more and more with this.
Soon we will also release publications from some of Swedens most exciting artists like Lotta Törnroth, Rikard Laving, Casia Bromberg and Simon Berg. So we are really looking forward to that.