top of page

PhotoBook Journal

Many thanks to PhotoBook Journal with selections from Gerhard Clausing, Douglas Stockdale and their team of Contributing Editors on books that explore the theme of Identity.

Breathing Space: Iranian Women Photographers, edited by Anahita Ghabain Etehadieh

Publisher: Thames & Hudson, London and New York City; © 2023

Review by Gerhard Clausing

In this increasingly divided world of ours the pressure to conform can at times be overwhelming. We have all been subject to attempts by others to define our behavior, attempts to delineate strict definitions for us to follow that match the preferences of members of another group. Women in some societies are especially the target of this disturbing phenomenon.

It is refreshing to see this photobook of visually expressed opinions by 23 women photographers from the country of Iran. As the editor, Anahita Ghabaian Etehadieh, says in the preface, “Iranian women are fighting for their rights with courage and determination. No less remarkable is the support of Iranian men, who believe that they cannot be truly free unless women are also free. The people of Iran now know that gender equality is the only basis for real progress.”

Use this link to read the rest of the review,  additional images and information.


© Thames & Hudson, 2023


© Kostis Argyriadis, 2023

DD/MM/YYYY by Kostis Argyriadis

Publisher: Self-Published; © 2023

Review by Gerhard Clausing

To interpret the trivialities of everyday life is not an easy task, but it is an interesting challenge. In contemplating such subjects, personal recollections that are stored in each person’s memory will be applied to what is seen, and some cultural understanding may also come in handy. Thus the work of Kostis Argyriadis, as collected in this very interesting photobook from Greece, is a pleasant surprise for me, the viewer, and should  be interesting for you as well.

Argyriadis uses a variety of techniques to stimulate our curiosity: his dreamworld photographs exhibit selected sharpness and unsharpness, motion blur, subdued lighting, camera shake, long exposures, to name just a few of his techniques.  Use this link to read the rest of the review,  additional images and information


Anxious Pleasures, by Amy Elkins

Publisher: Kris Graves Projects, New York, NY, © 2022

Review by Douglas Stockdale

During the initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic with the immediate requirement to shelter in place many of us were probably wondering what we were to do, when is this going to end, how am I going to be impacted this, on and on and on. Many, like Amy Elkins, were placed into a state of total self-isolation; “I found myself in a 340 sq ft apartment in a Bay-area neighborhood that was emptying by the day”.

Most of us found ourselves dealing with these unusual circumstances as best we could. For Elkins, she personified her situation in a manner that was conducive with her artistic background; she initiated an artistic project using the artist materials found close at hand. That was a small desktop printer, transparency inkjet film and some cyanotype pre-coated material that only required a tray of water to process the prints. As she states “(My) approach is series-based, steeped in research and oscillates between formal, conceptual and documentary” frequently including aspects of portraiture. And she had a willing subject during this period of isolation; herself.


 Use this link to read the rest of the review, for additional images and information

© Amy Elkins, 2022


© Henry Schulz, 2023

People Things by Henry Schulz

Publisher: Buchkunst Berlin, Germany

Review by Gerhard Clausing

The most extraordinary photobooks are those that have a grip on you and become very personal as you spend more time with them. Henry Schulz’s book is precisely that kind of a project. In 61 images he presents assemblages of human elements that cut through time and space.

Even though they look like it, these are by no means ordinary landscapes or cityscapes or even a mixture of the two categories. We are looking at monochrome evidence of human things that evoke a variety of associations. One would need to invent a new term for this kind of image, such as thingscapes. Unlike some of his predecessors, Schulz has managed to present us with a conceptual typology, a more cohesive series of images that challenge us to think about who we might be and who we might have been.

Use the link to read the rest of the review, additional images and information.


© Maria Sturm

You Don't Look Native To Me by Maria Sturm

Publisher: Void, Athens, Greece

Review by Unmai M. Arokiasamy and Matt Schneider

Outsiders have long struggled to make sense of a Lumbee Indigeneity that does not conform to colonial imaginations of Nativeness. It is against this backdrop that You Don’t Look Native to Me, by Maria Sturm, explores Lumbee culture and their long struggle for tribal recognition – a difficult task, to be sure. How does anyone, but especially an outsider, represent and situate modern Lumbee identity, and how does one do this while recognizing the long and continued history of U.S. colonialism? Can a photobook, such as Sturm’s, give voice to Indigenous groups, like the Lumbee People, while reckoning with the many ways Indigenous voices have been and continue to be silenced in the place now known as the United States?

As a Lumbee person from Robeson County (Arokiasamy) and a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (Schneider), we were a bit wary of You Don’t Look Native to Me when we first encountered it.

Use this link to read the rest of the review, view additional images and information


© Sky Wilson, 2023

Neighbors by Sky Wilson

Publisher:  Palm Studios, London, U.K.

Review by Gerhard Clausing

Portland, Oregon, is one of my favorite cities and has remained so, even as it is in transition, as many other cities are as well.  My recollections are that it has the  largest bookstore in the world, and that it is full of interesting people, many of whom have a special appreciation of the arts.

It is hard to document a place in a single photobook and not be accused of distortion. Sky Wilson, being a newcomer to Portland, has a special talent for being a non-intrusive discoverer of people and places. He has a knack for making ordinary everyday life worthy of being remembered.

The photographs in this book are all monochrome. For the most part, they are marked by lower contrast, matching Wilson’s non-intrusive investigative approach that also mirrors some of the weather in Portland, where the light is not always super-bright and contrasty.

Use this link to read the rest of the review, view additional images and information

bottom of page