6 BOOKS SELECTED BY ANOUK KRUITHOF

By Anouk Kruithof | Intro: Teresa de Andrés. November 2, 2012

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For Anouk Kruithof photography is a starting point for infinite possibilities, a catalyst enzyme of processes that laminate the layers of reality. A colour and black and white paper. A collapse.

Anouk is, above all, a room filled with books. A wall turned paper, a paper turned door. She is books with birthday surprises, black holes, impossible positions; books that drill walls.

Anouk Kruithof is from Dordrecht, Holland, and lives in New York where she works frenetically. We want this list with 6 of her favourite titles to become our excuse to recommend every single one of her own books.


It Must Be A Camera | Nico Krebs & Taiyo Onorato

As Long As It Photographs | It Must be A Camera
Nico Krebs & Taiyo Onorato 
Selfpublished
 

Taiyo and Nico are camera freaks. Finally they transformed their obscure camera fetish in an amazing large format duo publication. The first part/book is full of photos of crazy camera's they probably all (?) build themselves. There is the televisioncamera, the suitcasecamera, the tortoisecamera, the rockcamera, the bookcamera, the macbookprocamera, some largeformat-nerd-camerahouses where you can stand in and 3 camera-mans with a soul, whatever that may mean. Kids growing up with the idea only an iPhone makes photos would instantly faint when seeing these variety of cameras. 
The second part/book is full of wonderful, romantic, mysterious thoughtful photos how you know them from the Swiss artist duo. The photos are suggesting to me that you will get those photos when you go out with the cameras which you'll see in the first part/book. You can browse through the two publications synchronically and you'll see the connections: for example: ‘animal-animal’. The tortoisecamera would photograph a colourful parrot which is smashed against a tree in a European forest. Maybe because it was lost and did not recognize this kind of tree, because they are not the same as the ones which grown in the rainforest where he is used to hang out? With Taiyo and Nico it is all very logical.
But... there is something very disturbing placed in the first publication: 2 spreads/4 pages of screenshots of conversations on eBay, where they have put ads to sell the crazy cameras. It is an unusual conceptual interruption, which breaks the flow of the beautiful photographs, but which is idea & content sublime. In my opinion it is a pity those 4 pages are where they are: Why are those pages not in black&white? Or for example wrapped around the outside? In another format/paper? Placed in the back? Or for example loose as leaflet a poster? 
But... what you'll find on those 4 pages is rather hilarious though. Potential eBay-buyers comment on the ads with questions like: ‘Is the camera waterproof? And if so till what depth? (I guess this is about the tortoisecamera...)
Does a camera has a soul? Every camera has a soul!’ Taiyo and Nico are replying 'over serious' on all the questions till the moment one potential buyer completely freaks out against them, when finding out the cameras are useless. towards Taiyo: ‘You fucking wank stain. I piss in your ugly mothers fucking mouth you cunt. bye bye bye you dumb silly fuck.’ Towards Nico: ‘Hey Nico, you fucking cock sucker...your mother is a filthy cock sucking whore and more...’ What is happening on the net? What is happening in this book? What are we looking at? Is this real or unreal? I dig the book strongly anyway and that's where it is about.

 

 



Dirk Braeckman
Dirk Braeckman
Roma Publications
 

Dirk Braeckman creates a very darkish enclosed and isolated as well as sensitive, mystical world with his photographs. This big book has the perfect size, amount of pages and is simply designed. The typography is excellent (like all the books from Roma Publications). The whole book is nearly printed in black and white. Page after page you feel like you are endless browsing through long beautiful grey days. But then there are some yellow colored photographs which are feeling like if the sun was shining through the pages. Just a tiny little bit. The book is a like a wonderful sexy composition. It is tasteful spicy visual food just as the song Redlights from Salem is that for the ears.


 



Trash Humpers
Harmony Korine
JPR/Ringier
 

There is no-one making art, films and books like Harmony Korine. What's the point about all this? There is no point, it's art. Trash Humpers is based on the photographic research for Korine's latest directorial project of the same name. Released on lo-fi VHS, the movie follows a gang of miscreants who roam the streets of Nashville, molesting garbage bins and causing random mayhem. Harmony Korine's work is harsh and definitely not for everyone, the best is to use his own words stolen from the internet: ‘It's an ode to vandalism and the creativity of the destructive force. Sometimes there's a real beauty to blowing things up, to smashing and burning. It could be almost as enlightening as the building of an object.’ The book contains photos which are taken while shooting this film, but also naive colorful paintings, parts of texts, which describe the gang of miscreants as: 

Trash Humpers are peeping toms.
They have a sexual compulsion that requires them to hump trash cans and telephone poles and other inanimate objects.
They always drink wine. 
They tap dance in parking lots.
They eat the baby. 

While browsing through the book you’ll get to know the characters. But what I really like about the book is the way it is produced. Some photos in colour, some in black and white. Some on glossy paper, some on mat, some photos on neon green stickersheets and some on the bag of this sheets, some photos on blue paper, which are reminding you of the inside of industrial packaging. Some of this type of surface, which could be easily called trash (for example the back of a stickersheet, which rips the photo apart once you are taking the sticker away...) are used to present the photographs. The photographs are treated in a luxury way as well as if they are shit. This book is radical!


 



Photos From Japan And From My Archive
Paulien Oltheten
NAI uitgevers
 

I find Pauline Oltheten's work somewhat awkward and at the same time thoughtful and smart. I think it is fresh, sincere, funny and Dutch. This book shows typical unique Paulien Oltheten observations made on the streets (mostly in Japan).
Her distortions of the public domain. You'll get to see physical and psychological connections made through framing gestures and situations of people 
how Paulien wants you to see them. This is reinforced by the associative photo combinations she makes, while placing the pictures in this book. She also comments on this human encounters and manifestations with texts as:

Maybe what one does with socks is culturally defined.
Is she caressing the lamppost or not? Make a close up and show the difference.
Make up a theory about reality and what we get to see of it.

The textual comments certainly lead you away from looking at the pictures, but Pauline's writing is as interesting as her photographs are. It's a strong book and feels strangely enough innocent, which is unbelievable in this time.


 



People in Trouble Laughing Pushed to the Ground
Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin
MACK
 

196 round framed black and white (detail) photographs out of the ‘The Belfast Exposed Archive’, which are showing the a local perspective of ‘the Troubles’ in Northern Ireland in the eighties. The selected photos out of this photo archive were marked with yellow round stickers by the archivists and editors which are unknown. Bloomberg and Chanarin removed this stickers and are showing the surface underneath the stickers, which was hidden for years. That is why the photos are shaped circles. You can also call it objective framing. In this solid book they describe the 196 photos in simple short sentences and they are lined up in the back of the book. It is just a pity they did not add a little CD with the recording of them reading this sentences, because this conceptual photo-journalism duo has a beautiful voice. I heard them reading this sentences and therefore I know it would have had more impact when listening to read sentences with a headphone, while flipping through the book. One thing should be mentioned as well: The colour of the cover of this book is outrageous and the wonderful ‘Baldessari-look-like’ photos in the back are very esthetic as well. Good to know is that those pictures are actually 'traces' made by the public, because this archive was open during some time. The artists are describing this photos as ‘the gestures of those who wished to remain anonymous’ which is simply so beautiful that I want to end with this.

 

 



In Almost Every Picture #9
Erik Kessels
Kesselskramer Publishing
 

Erik Kessels, the Dutch advertising guru and frenetic obsessive found photography collector has made already 9 issues of his book series In Almost Every Picture. In this book series you'll see a collection of found footage photographs with the ‘same but different’ feeling. Number 9 presents a peculiar story of one family’s attempts to photograph its black dog. ‘Attempts’ because due to their camera conditions and their lack of photography skills in almost every picture the dog is only a vague black blob. Only on the last 2 photos the dog's expression becomes a tiny little bit to the surface because those photographs are desperately overexposed. Besides the fact that the photos are super funny because you'll for example see people caressing black holes... It also make you think about the charm of analogue photography. In the short text at the end of this book Christian Bunyan describes it in this way: ‘Before the digital age, before cameras that could solve any problem from red-eye to world hunger, there was the 20th century, a time when photographers actually had to take photos themselves. Among other things, this included finding sufficient light for your subject.’



 

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