Virtual Contemporary Artists’ Book Conference 2021


Books on Places & Books From Places. An Unbalanced Equation


Time: 26 February 2021

Organizer: Center for Book Arts, New York, USA


Artist’s Book Conference on “Books on Places & Books From Places. An Unbalanced Equation” was part of the “2021 Contemporary Artists’ Book Conference” in conjunction with “Printed Matter’s Virtual Art Book Fair”.

Always nice to attend artist’s book exhibitions and conferences where you can learn something. And I registered for few presentations and talks. The “2021 Contemporary Artists’ Book Conference” was organised by not-for-profit organisation “Center for Book Arts”, founded in 1974, conjunction with “Printed Matter’s Virtual Art Book Fair”.

More or less, it was theoretical presentations at the conference on photo books. Photo albums about certain countries, created by photo artists from outside those countries. And albums, printed in other countries. So what? This is a natural situation with poor countries. So where is the problem? Probably just that some countries live at the expense of others… So who cares where the book is printed? Or who was photo artist, from certain country or outside the country? The conception and quality of the publication / album is far more important than who published it, if we talk about book or photo book.

But I am very sorry, I was looking to hear how it is connected with an artist’s books? I didn’t hear the answer, I didn’t hear any one word about artist’s book at all…

But if we look on artist’s books, we have to say we have “photo artist’s books”, and in America also are many artists, who create photo artist’s books. Such artist’s books are totally different from photo albums, printed in poor country or in rich…

And if we would take Cuba that the rapporteur talked about, it is perfectly normal that there are no printing houses, no paper, no people there who would like or be able to buy a photo album with images of their beautiful country. Somebody maybe forgot about U.S. embargo agains Cuba…

Photo artist’s book of Catherine Kirkpatrick “The winter site”, 2008. USA

Photo artist’s book of Lene Bennike “Infinite movements” 2015. Denmark

Photo artist’s book of Anka Schmidt “Love is / isn’t just a feeling” 2008. Poland

So, here we show few photo artist’s books from the “Artist’s Book Triennial Vilnius”. The first was created by Catherine Kirkpatrick from USA. Photographs printed on handmade Kahdi paper in digital way, book has accordion style binding with two covers. Another artist’s book, created by artist from Denmark Lene Bennike, use photogravure. It was printed from plates with ink on Hahnemühle paper. Also, accordion style binding with one double cover. The third artist’s book by Anka Schmidt from Poland, created using photos printed on transparent Plexiglas in color. So all of them are different and created and printed in different ways, and all of them – an artist’s books, but not photo albums.

Prof. Kestutis Vasiliunas


© Artist’s Book Creators, 2021



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