LARP - The Photobook transports us into the world of Live Action Role Playing (LARP). The players in this book create characters, which, ideally, have the power to blend out the modern world and one’s own social surroundings. Liberated from customary structures, rules and conditions, they immerse themselves and move about in an alien world.
Usually a withdrawn and sometimes even distant scene, the LARP community opend up to German photographer Boris Leist who took these extraordinary portraits over the last three years. Boris describes his project as a very personal journey through space and time as much as through our modern society, in which playing has become a rarity for adults.
Together with the renowned Kehrer Verlag over 160 selected portraits will be published in a high quality photo book, offering a glimpse into an otherwise mostly very secluded community.
In this book you will meet Warriors of Chaos, orcs, dwarfs, gunfighters, streetwalkers, zombies, mutants, Soldiers of the Apocalypse and vampires, just to name a few of the characters shown in the book. LARP developed out of fantasy board games (pen&paper), inspired by films, literature and computer games. At what exact point in time LARP came into existence is not documented. In fact, the community is largely unknown to this day and we’re talking about a community some sixty thousand strong in Germany. In addition, the community extends beyond national borders. There are large communities in Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, the USA and Russia, for example.
Playing games is an important part of life and -, we all used to do play when we were young. And while we were playing, we grew up, we learned, and we developed ourselves. Later, we usually leave it up to actors, the movies, video games, and books to entertain and inspire us, but we are no longer an active part of the play. In our mind we might think about -, how it would be like, if we had supernatural powers to solve some everyday problem, and we transfer ourselves into the film and it‘s characters while we are watching.
The players in “LARP - The Photobook" take a few steps further and create their own character which has whatever characteristics and skills they can imagine and which they are able to perform in a LARP. Having this freedom to be just as you are, to be as you wish you were, or to be someone entirely different than you are is probably the reason, which inspires and motivates most of the players to put so much of themselves, their time, their creativity and money into this.
About three years ago, the idea to take portraits of characters from the Live Action Role Play community came to Boris Leist in the garb of a dwarf. He met this player and was impressed by the high quality of his costume and his passion about the play. At that time for example, the dwarf-player was visiting a welding class, so he could build the metal parts of his armor by himself, while he was an IT employee in "real life".
This leads us to one of the most interesting questions for us looking at LARP from the outside : "Who are these people behind the costumes, masks, and make-up ?" The answer is as simple as it is complex - " All kind of us ! " The players got every imaginable background, all kinds of professions, all kinds of shape. There have been lawyers, doctors, mechanics, dropouts, CEOs, teachers, students, police-officers, men, women and transgender in front of Boris Leist's camera. And the most beautiful fact about it, is that all of this is of no concern in the community. Only the performance of your character, only the Live Action Role Play counts. This is reflected in Boris' photography with all of his portraits showing his great respect and admiration for the players who let him into their lives.
Boris Leist is a German photographer, based in Düsseldorf. His work is always very clear, focused, and highly authentic. Without telling the entire story, his work opens a window to another being, to a different way of living, or to an unknown place, leaving always enough space for the viewer and their imagination and thoughts.
What You get - ... selected Rewards
LARP - The Photobook
- Publisher : Kehrer Verlag
- Size: 245 x 310 mm portrait format
- Language: English
- Paper / Materials: LuxoArt Samt 1.08 vol. / Hardcover
- Essay/Shortstory written by Anja Bagus
There is no book without your support !
Working on this project over years was a lot of pleasure, but besides that it also has cost me already a significant amount of money. Now I really hope You like the project and help me making “LARP - The Photobook" reality. The funding of 12.500 Euros I ask for will cover a part of the cost for pre-press (design, image processing etc.) and production ( printing and binding). The Kehrer Verlag stands for exceptionally high quality, you will get a photobook produced at the highest level of printing and presentation the industry offers. Please have a look at the rewards, buy a signed book, get a limited fine-art print (all special kickstarter deals), and help to make it happen.
This is a all or nothing campaign, only if the full amount of 12.500 Euro is reached, you will get your reward and your money is going to be debited.
Thank you so much, your support is greatly appreciated !
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Risks and challenges
Yes, this is my first book. On the other hand, the Kehrer Verlag is well known as a publisher and has been producing art books since more than 20 Years. Since we are working quite closely together on “LARP - The Photobook", I have no worries that there is any risk we haven't thought of or that we won't find a solution for. The photography is finished, all the necessary information is collected, I own all the copyrights, and have permission from all the selected players to be shown in the book. Everything is prepared very well and we are ready to go on press. It's just the financing we have to manage, so if the crowdfunding is successful, there is actually no mentionable risk left.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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