After selling the first box of book at last Thursday's exhibition opening, we now have a fresh box of 'The Shops'. You can come in and see the accompanying exhibition of Peter Black's photographs and buy a book for $40.00.
Following the official book launches, 'The Shops' was the week's number 1 seller at Unity Books, Auckland, and number two in the Wellington Unity Books shop on Willis St.
I don't intend this as a review, but I took the book home to read last Tuesday afternoon, while on earthquake leave. Steve Braunias kicks things off with an 18-page, stand-alone piece of autobiographical writing that does not talk directly to the photographs at all - a refreshing change from the usual photo book formula - but it sets one thinking back and creates a certain perspective, a unique viewpoint, from which to approach the 44 photographs that follow. If it takes you 10 minutes to read the text, try taking 20 minutes reading the photos and see where you end up. In other words, this is not a flick-through book, but one to spend some proper time with, and to revisit many times over in the future.
Also; twice, I was in on conversations in which some very design-conscious photographers declared the cover of 'The Shops' to be the best cover of any photo book ever. This may have been fueled by a few glasses of wine, and some rather nice cheese, but I'm inclined for now to agree.
Also showing at Photospace Gallery, in the room adjoining 'The Shops' exhibition, is a suite of photographs by Mary Macpherson selected from her latest book 'Medical Daydreams', (a limited edition of 20 hand-stichbound copies). There may still be a few copies available, which can be purchased directly from Mary via her website. The elegant, Spencer Levine-designed volume also contains a poem by Mary.
Both exhibitions, as well as 'Partial Loss' an exhibition by Cathy Tuato'o Ross and Ellen Smith, run till 28th November 2016.
'The Shops' will be available for sale indefinitely; see the Photospace Gallery books page.
Peter Black interview with Kim Hill, Radio NZ 5th Nov. 2016
Photography Matters II