TROLLEYOLOGY: The penultimate thought of Gigi Giannuzzi

By Cristina Álvarez Cañas. May 16, 2013

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Gigi Giannuzzi was one of the most intrepid and courageous independent photography book editors of this century, a principle that we should always keep in mind. This time last year, he was still immersed in all the intrigues of the wonderful publishing house he had founded in London in 2001, Trolley Books – an essential reference point, just as he was himself, for artists and photographers specialising in documentary reports. Unfortunately, his death on 24 December 2012 from a sudden and unstoppable pancreatic cancer diagnosed in the summer of 2012 saddened the entire photography community both in London and around the world.

Giannuzzi’s illness left him with just a few months to oversee the first big retrospective of Trolley Books: Trolleyology, now in the home straight of publication, and which has also launched a campaign to involve Internet users by means of a crowdfunding platform. Hannah Watson, the current head of Trolley Books, would like the upcoming launch – planned for the 28th May in Venice, Giannuzzi’s birthplace – to give those who have followed the steps of the publishing house and its mentor over the last twelve years an opportunity to be part of the project and get something back.

Giannuzzi’s vision was not to refract nostalgia or create a sentimental homage: it was to be a book containing a wealth of unpublished material by the photographers whom he edited and in whom he believed. And so it is. This meticulous retrospective, of which only 1,500 copies will be published in a luxury hardback edition designed by Fruitmachine, brings to light never-before-seen images, interviews, letters and collaborations from photographers such as Nan Goldin, Alixandra Fazzina and Robin Maddock as well as artists such as Paul Fryer, Sarah Lucas and Henry Hudson. Many names and many friends feature on this extensive list. The historian Barry Miles has written the introduction, for example, while the directors of the Serpetine Gallery in London, Julia Peyton-Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist, are personally dedicating the prologue to the legacy and daring of Giannuzzi himself.

But nobody sums up the late editor better than New York photographer Stanley Greene. "Trolley is rock and roll! Trolley is excitement, Trolley is living dreams, making dreams real, Trolley is everything we want in books you have to feel it and experience it. It's like a person having a baby except when this baby comes out it's kicking and clawing and ready to rip the world up, that’s what Trolley Books are, they force people to think, they are thinking books".

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