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A book exploring an intricate relationship between photography and failure
A book exploring an intricate relationship between photography and failure
A book exploring an intricate relationship between photography and failure
135 backers pledged £5,941 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Too Good To Be Photographed

£5,941

135

THE PROJECT

From its inception, photography was connected with the idea of scientific truthfulness and mechanistic perspective. Instituted within the dual regimes of lens-based instruments and Positivism in the 19th century, photography enjoyed a seemingly privileged relationship with reality. Yet the photographic gaze fails in many ways. Too Good to be Photographed is a project which explores the various sides of photographic failure. On the one hand, it delves into an inability of photography to accurately replicate vision. On the other, there is a larger cultural issue at focus. It relates to our societal investment in photography to truly depict what we see and endow it with an attribute of “truthfulness”. 

From happenstance - one moon instead of coloured snow - and technical failures to...
From happenstance - one moon instead of coloured snow - and technical failures to...

The project deals with a special discrepancy: that moment when photography breaks. When the camera collapses as a mechanical-eye, and when the medium fails as a cultural replicator of our looking. In other words, the project presents photography’s B-sides, failures, non-successes, defeats. Which ultimately leads to questions about our desires of what photography should be and should be able to do. 

...personal attempts and non-successes to...
...personal attempts and non-successes to...

The project results from a series of conversations between curator Paul Paper and over 60 artists over a year's time. The examples gathered can be broadly distinguished into two categories. First are documented “failures” that happened after the fact, that is, after the viewing of a photograph (a sudden realization that this particular image fails to capture some aesthetic or conceptual qualities of the view, or fails to reconnect to the memory of this specific moment, etc). The second group explores the conceptual limitations inherent in the camera and its ability to document.

...conceptual questioning of our vision
...conceptual questioning of our vision

Images by: Inka & Niclas Lindergård (top), Aaron Hegert (middle), Erin O'Keefe (bottom).

THE BOOK

The book will feature more than 150 photographs by 47 artists from 17 countries worldwide: 

Hieronymus Ahrens (DE)
Cassidy Araiza (US)
Roxana Azar (US)
Sergiy Barchuk (US/UKR)
Tine Bek (UK)
Alexander Binder (DE)
Etienne Courtois (BEL)
Paloma Dooley (US)
Yael Eban (ISR)
Jason Fulford (US)
Harry Griffin (US)
Alexander Harding (US)
Aaron Hegert (US)
Mishka Henner (UK)
Sam Hutchinson (UK)
Janna Ireland (US)
Go Itami (JPN)
Tim Johannis (NL)
Cole Kelley (US)
Wawrzyniec Kolbusz (PL)
Paul Kuimet (EE)
Daniel Kukla (US)
Fred Lahache (FR)
Inka & Niclas Lindergård (SE)
Tom Lovelace (UK)
Carlos Lowenstein (US)
Michael Marcelle (US)
Katja Mater (NL)
Lydia Mccarthy (US)
Nich Hance McElroy (US)
Aso Mohammadi (IRN/CH)
Awoiska Van Der Molen (NL)
Ryan L. Moule (UK)
Luke Libera Moore (US)
Erin O’Keefe (US)
Eva O’Leary (US)
Kristina Õllek (EE)
Ke Peng (CHN)
Hanna Putz (AT)
Johan Rosenmunthe (DK)
Margaux Roy (FR)
Erik Schubert (US)
Brea Souders (US)
Javier Torok (AR/US)
Athena Torri (ECU/IT)
Casey James Wilson (US)
Jaclyn Wright (US)

The works in the book are accompanied by four essays written by Roksana Filipowska, Rye Holmboe, Paul Paper, and Jaclyn Wright.

The book is edited by Paul Paper, designed by Indrek Sirkel and published by Lugemik (Tallinn, Estonia).

The book is going to have a handy format of 170 x 240 mm and 320 pages. It is going to be a sewn bound softcover with dust jacket, printed in full colour offset.

When we hit our stretch goal of £7,900 we will increase the format of the book to 215 x 300 mm – slightly larger than A4! This will give us the opportunity to provide more space to the photographs, to print them bigger and also show more detail.

Working process with Laura Toots and Indrek Sirkel of Lugemik
Working process with Laura Toots and Indrek Sirkel of Lugemik

REWARDS

In addition to the book itself, rewards will include a PDF of the book's essays, a set of 8 postcards printed with the book, last seven copies of the out of print publication Contemporary Photography by Paul Paper, and last but not least – four different special editions of photographs featured in Too Good To Be Photographed by Aso Mohamaddi (Kurdistan/Switzerland), Johan Rosenmunthe (Denmark), Katja Mater (Netherlands), and Kristina Õllek (Estonia) which all are going to be framed in custom-made frames designed and produced by the Tallinn-based furniture designer Kaisa Sööt! Take a look at some examples of her work here.

Rewards in production - furniture designer Kaisa Sööt making unique hand-made frames (assembled from re-fitted classic lacquered Soviet furniture) for print rewards
Rewards in production - furniture designer Kaisa Sööt making unique hand-made frames (assembled from re-fitted classic lacquered Soviet furniture) for print rewards

You can choose one of these prints as rewards:

 

Reward for A Very Generous Person #1: Aso Mohammadi, giclée print, 30 x 20 cm
Reward for A Very Generous Person #1: Aso Mohammadi, giclée print, 30 x 20 cm

"It’s too blurry that’s why I can’t use it.”

 

Reward for A Very Generous Person #2: Johan Rosenmunthe, giclée print, 20 x 25 cm
Reward for A Very Generous Person #2: Johan Rosenmunthe, giclée print, 20 x 25 cm

"This photograph is part of a series which disappointed because it did not live up to the memory of what I thought was captured in the frame. It doesn't show the depth and 3-dimensionality of the place, as I thought I saw through the viewfinder."

Reward for A Very Generous Person #3: Katja Mater, C-print, 25.5 x 20 cm
Reward for A Very Generous Person #3: Katja Mater, C-print, 25.5 x 20 cm

"My photographs deal with the perception of two dimensional images in three dimensional space, and the tension between them in one image. Some images are partly a technical failure, but also a bit of deliberate failure, where I shoot with a second camera anamorphic images that intently fall out of shape. And some images are more about the limitations of the medium itself. So not really failure of the medium, but error of our expectation of it."

 

Reward for A Very Generous Person #4: Kristina Õllek, giclée print, 29 x 20 cm
Reward for A Very Generous Person #4: Kristina Õllek, giclée print, 29 x 20 cm

"The failure of photography is affected by the final selection and decision made by the author. Within the constant image making, especially in the era of digital photography, there is a tendency to always make too many images, images that are made just in case. This leads to a situation when these "just-in-case" images become unused leftovers, gaining the status of failed. This is one of such images, which has been waiting to be used." 

OUR HISTORY

Too Good to be Photographed is developed by curator and artist Paul Paper in collaboration with independent art publisher Lugemik.

Paul Paper is an artist and independent curator. His project Blog Re-blog reflects the challenges of curating photography in a network-empowered culture, and was presented at Austin Center for Photography in 2014. His most recent project This is It/Now is a photographic exhibition that took place on Snapchat. It utilized the ephemeral platform to touch on the issues of changing materiality and temporality of photographic images. The show aimed to extend boundaries of exhibiting spaces and reflect on the changing definitions of physicality and mutability.

Paul Paper is working with books since 2006 and has published 11 titles. His publications are held in various collections including the MoMA library, Met Museum library, Design Museum Denmark, Clark Art Institute, Joan Flasch Collection, Oslo National Academy of the Arts.

Watch a talk and presentation of Paper's work at The Deep Splash.

Lugemik is an independent publishing initiative based in Tallinn, Estonia, founded in 2010 by graphic designer Indrek Sirkel and artist Anu Vahtra. Lugemik publishes small editions of books and other printed matter, working closely together with artists, writers, designers, printers in every step of the publishing process. In 2013 Lugemik opened a bookshop on the premises on Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM), and is currently working on opening its second location in collaboration with Tallinn Art Hall. In 2015 Lugemik was joined by the curator and artist Laura Toots for extended activities with artists beyond publishing projects.

Read an article about Lugemik by Ott Kagovere in Estonian Art 1/2016.

Lugemik Bookshop in Tallinn
Lugemik Bookshop in Tallinn

 

Risks and challenges

Balancing a publication project with over 40 artists and writers included is never a straightforward task. Luckily, the team – the editor and curator Paul Paper and the designers and publishers Lugemik – have a long-running experience of delivering successful publications. We do everything to achieve the highest printing quality possible and deliver the project on schedule!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $6

    PDF of the TGTBP's essays

    A designed PDF with 4 of the book's essays on failure as it relates to visual culture and photography, written by Roksana Filipowska, Rye Holmboe, Paul Paper, and Jaclyn Wright.

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    Pledge £25 or more About $31

    Early Bird TGTBP

    Be one of the first to get a copy of the book + one of the postcards printed with the book!

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    Pledge £45 or more About $56

    NEW! Portfolio review with Paul Paper

    A one-on-one portfolio review - conducted via Skype (minimum 20 minutes long) at a time of your convenience - with Paul Paper! Show your photographic work/series and get professional feedback.

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    Pledge £48 or more About $60

    Two Early Birds TGTBP

    Catch two of the early birds with the same stone! Two copies of the book + two of the postcards printed with the book!

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    Pledge £65 or more About $81

    Signed copy of TGTBP

    Signed copy of the book + your name printed in it + the whole set of 8 postcards printed with the book.

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    Pledge £120 or more About $150

    Book + OOP "Contemporary Photography"

    BOOK BUNDLE! Signed copy of the book + Your name printed in it + the whole set of 8 postcards printed with the book + a copy of an out of print "Contemporary Photography" publication by Paul Paper. Signed by the author and delivered to the post by the author's mom – gentle packing guaranteed! LIMITED!

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    Pledge £170 or more About $212

    NEW! Unique frame for your image

    Furniture designer Kaisa Sööt will make a unique hand-made frame - same style as TGTBP prints - for your image! Just send your photo, which will be printed professionally in Tallinn (giclee print, A4 size), and framed in refitted Soviet classic furniture.

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    Pledge £250 or more About $312

    NEW! Publication project consultation

    Professional consultation to help you prepare a book! You will get a live (via Skype) feedback session and an opportunity to get additional comments via email on your publication project with curator and editor Paul Paper. This feedback will help you establish where you stand with your project, choose and prepare material, give consultation on how to make edit of images, and give printing tips! Can be tailored to suit/meet your needs.

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    Pledge £300 or more About $374

    A Very Generous Person #1

    Signed copy of the book + Your name printed in it + whole set of 8 postcards printed with the book + a limited edition print by ASO MOHAMMADI, one of the artists participating in the book (giclée print, 30 x 20 cm), framed in a custom-made frame by furniture designer Kaisa Sööt.

    Edition size: 5 + 2 AP

    A true generosity for generosity!

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    Pledge £300 or more About $374

    A Very Generous Person #2

    Signed copy of the book + Your name printed in it + whole set of 8 postcards printed with the book + a limited edition print by JOHAN ROSENMUNTHE, one of the artists participating in the book (giclée print, 20 x 25 cm), framed in a custom-made frame by furniture designer Kaisa Sööt.

    Edition size: 5 + 2 AP

    A true generosity for generosity!

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    Pledge £300 or more About $374

    A Very Generous Person #3

    Signed copy of the book + Your name printed in it + whole set of 8 postcards printed with the book + a limited edition print by KATJA MATER, one of the artists participating in the book (C-print, 25.5 x 20 cm), framed in a custom-made frame by furniture designer Kaisa Sööt.

    Edition size: 10 + 2 AP

    A true generosity for generosity!

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    Pledge £300 or more About $374

    A Very Generous Person #4

    Signed copy of the book + Your name printed in it + whole set of 8 postcards printed with the book + a limited edition print by KRISTINA ÕLLEK, one of the artists participating in the book (giclée print, 29 x 20 cm), framed in a custom-made frame by furniture designer Kaisa Sööt.

    Edition size: 5 + 2 AP

    A true generosity for generosity!

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Funding period

- (30 days)