Around a year ago, photographer Joan Fontcuberta wrote at Babelia, El País’ literary supplement: “We’re witnessing a photobook boom. […] And all this takes place while bad omens predict both the end of printed paper and the death of photography.”
Firecracker’s October’s featured photographer, former assistant to Martin Parr or Wolfgang Tilmans and FOAM Magazine photography prize winner Melinda Gibson, seems to be determined to fight both of them: during the last Unseen fair, a brand new event for professionals and photography lovers which takes place in Amsterdam, created live a photobook –yes, a photography book, and yes, on printed paper– with the images of her project “The Photograph as Contemporary Art”.
Melinda Gibson seems to be determined to fight the end of printed paper and the death of photography.
For this project, Melinda constructed around 30 photo-montages by physically dissecting images from the book The Photograph as Contemporary Art by Charlotte Cotton. The images are illustrations of well known photographs such as Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, Juergen Teller, etc. On each one, Melinda combines three images from clearly defined categories (people, landscapes, exteriors & interiors) to create a completely different new work which re-contextualises the former ones and which aims to bring forth questions surrounding the canonization of certain photographers and photographs and the validity of copyright.
The following step was to turn the said project into a book: with the collaboration of Dutch design duo Kummer & Herrman, all collages and their accompanying text were printed as stickers, which Gibson fixes into each book by hand, one by one! Each of them takes the artist around three hours to complete, and during the above mentioned Unseen fair she assembled one in front of the audience as a kind of performance.
Recently, Gibson has been commissioned by Yohji Yamamoto to create a series remixing its entire archive for the 40th anniversary of Y’s.
It seems worthwhile keeping an eye on this restless photographer by checking her own blog.