Beyond Paris Photo – focus on photobooks

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Paris Photo is epic, but beyond the Grand Palais there’s a plethora of other photo-related events in the French capital. For those interested in photobooks there are two essential book fairs – Offprint and Polycopies, both showcasing some of the most interesting new work in photography and beyond; there is also a week-long photo focus at the world-famous Left Bank bookshop Shakespeare & Co.

Organised by Sebastian Hau, former director of Le Bal Books, and Laurent Chardon, photographer, Polycopies is now in its fifth year and has attracted some of the most interesting photobook publishers in the business – including Akina Books, GOST, Ediciones Anomalas, Chose Commune but also many more from further afield.

“We’re happy to have an Asian and Latin-American spotlight, plus newcomers from France, Nordic countries and the UK,” Hau tells BJP. “We see publishers and books as an important contribution to photography today, to the point that the publishers have an equally important role as gallerists in discovering and promoting new work, and rediscovering forgotten work.”

Polycopies will include book signings and events every night, with many of the photographers taking part familiar to regular bjp-online readers – including Jono Rotman, Sebastián Bruno, Giulia Mangione, David Molina Gadea, Guy Martin, Eamonn Doyle, Kazuma Obara, Max Pinckers, Chris Killip, Simone Sapienza, and Martin Toft. Polycopies is held on a boat called the Concorde Atlantique, moored near the Musée d’Orsay on the Left Bank at Port de Solferino, and is open from 07-10 November. Entry to Polycopies is free

All aboard the Concorde Atlantique for Polycopies, image courtesy Sebastian Hau

Fresh from a three-year “incubation period” at LUMA Arles, Offprint has expanded beyond photography to include art and design books as well as photobooks, and is now under the artistic direction of founding director Yannick Bouillis. In its ninth year, it’s now a fixture during Paris Photo at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris. This year it’s attracted about 170 international, independent publishers, including Chopped Liver Press, the Archive of Modern Conflict, Nobody Books, Morel Books, Mack Books, Edition Patrick Frey, Idea Books, Poursuite, RVB Books, Yard Press, and many more.

Offprint will present talks, meetings and workshops throughout its run from 08-11 November, and will also run live broadcasts via *DUUU – on online radio show founded in 2012 by four artists. Offprint charges €5 for an entry pass valid for all five days it’s open, and takes place at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, 14 rue Bonaparte, Paris

How We See – Photobooks by Women, edited by Russet Lederman, Olga Yatskevich, and Michael Lang, published by 10×10 Photobooks

Also of interest to photo-bibliophiles is Photobook Week, organised by Matthieu Nicol, founder of Too Many Pictures creative agency, from 05-09 November at Shakespeare & Co. The celebrated independent bookshop will transform its art room into a photobook shop, and Nicol has invited Federica Chiocchetti, founder of the photo-literary platform the Photocaptionist, to guest-curate series of events around the relationship between text and image.

The planned events include talks by Max Pinckers and Chloe Dewe Matthews on 08 November, plus the Parisian book launch of How We See – Photobooks by Women on 09 November – the latter featuring a discussion by contributors Frédérique Destribats, Iona Fergusson, and 10×10 Photobooks co-founder Russet Lederman, moderated by Chiocchetti, who also contributed to the book. Shakespeare & Co is based at 37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris, which is on the Left Bank.

Diane Smyth

Diane Smyth is a freelance journalist who contributes to publications such as The Guardian, The Observer, The FT Weekend Magazine, Creative Review, The Calvert Journal, Aperture, FOAM, IMA, Aesthetica and Apollo Magazine. Prior to going freelance, she wrote and edited at BJP for 15 years. She has also curated exhibitions for institutions such as The Photographers Gallery and Lianzhou Foto Festival. You can follow her on instagram @dismy