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Magnum Book Making Masterclass
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May 20, 2013
by David Alan Harvey
From Henri Cartier-Bresson’s creative partnership with the publisher Robert Delpire, to Alec Soth’s experimental publishing house Little Brown Mushroom, the photobook as a means of expressing a body of work has been a critical preoccupation of Magnum’s membership since the agency’s inception.
At a time when Magnum Photos has completed the rebuilding of its own significant back catalog of photography books under the direction of Martin Parr, a major book collector in his own right, and to coincide with the Magnum AGM in London, Magnum are launching a new masterclass on the art of the photo book in the context of a Print Room exhibition also exploring the subject.
This book making masterclass will provide an exclusive opportunity to edit and construct a bespoke photobook of images by a Magnum photographer, in the presence of that photographer. Mark Power and David Alan Harvey, both of whom have produced numerous publications of their own work, will lead an exclusive group of enthusiasts through this unique book making process.
In partnership with GOST, the new publishing company launched by master designer Stuart Smith & Gordon MacDonald, Magnum’s photographers will host a two-day event celebrating the agency’s time-honoured history with the photobook, and exploring the creative process of this very special entity.
Participants will be given access to an exclusive pool of images selected by their chosen photographer, and using a template crafted by Smith (responsible for titles such as Magnum Contact Sheets, Magnum Magnum and new publications by Mark Power and Elliott Erwitt); will construct a unique publication in collaboration with GOST staff and their Magnum photographer. Each bespoke book will be printed & bound overnight, featuring a specially commissioned silkscreen cover.
Participants will return to the Magnum Print Room the following day for an inspirational schedule of talks and discussions about photography, books and creative processes, led by Magnum photographers and photographic industry specialists. Speakers include: Stuart Smith, Gordon MacDonald, Harry Hardie of Here Press, Philipp Ebling of Fishbar and Magnum photographers David Alan Harvey and Susan Meiselas.
Each bespoke book will be ready to be collected from the Magnum Print Room on Sunday 30th June, signed & annotated by your chosen photographer.
Participation is strictly limited to 15 participants per photographer and one book per person.
Tuesday 25th & Wednesday 26th June
Magnum Print Room, 63 Gee Street, London EC1V 3RS
Cost: £300 (includes one copy of your bespoke book and access to Wednesday symposium)
As a child Mark Power discovered his father's home-made enlarger in the family attic, a contraption consisting of an upturned flowerpot, a domestic light bulb and a simple camera lens.
His interest in photography probably began at this pivotal moment, although he later chose to study painting and drawing instead. He 'became a photographer' (somewhat accidentally) in 1983, and worked in the editorial and charity markets for nearly ten years, before he began teaching in 1992 (Power is currently the Professor of Photography at the University of Brighton).
This move coincided with a shift towards long-term, self-initiated projects, which now sit comfortably alongside a number of large-scale commissions in the industrial sector.
Power's work has been seen in numerous solo and group exhibitions across the world and is in several public and private collections. He has published six books: 'The Shipping Forecast' (1996), 'Superstructure' (2000), 'The Treasury Project' (2002), '26 Different Endings' (2007), 'The Sound of Two Songs' (2010) and 'Mass' (2013).
Mark Power joined Magnum Photos in 2002
David Alan Harvey
Born in San Francisco, David Alan Harvey was raised in Virginia. He discovered photography at the age of 11. Harvey purchased a used Leica with savings from his newspaper route and began photographing his family and neighborhood in 1956.
When he was 20 he lived with and documented the lives of a black family living in Norfolk, Virginia, and the resulting book, Tell It Like It Is, was published in 1966. He was named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association in 1978.
Harvey went on to shoot over forty essays for National Geographic magazine. He has covered stories around the world, including projects on French teenagers, the Berlin Wall, Maya culture, Vietnam, Native Americans, Mexico and Naples, and a recent feature on Nairobi.
He has published two major books, Cuba and Divided Soul, based on his extensive work on the Spanish cultural migration into the Americas, and his book Living Proof (2007) deals with hip-hop culture. His work has been exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Nikon Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Workshops and seminars are an important part of his life.
Harvey is founder and editor of the award-winning Burn magazine and BurnBooks, featuring iconic and emerging photographers in print and online. In 2012 BurnBooks won the Lucie Award for Book Publisher of the Year. Burn is the creator of the Emerging Photographers Award.
His latest book (based on a true story), a photo novella of Rio de Janeiro exploring a new form of visual literacy, won the 2012 Lucie Award, Pictures of the Year Best Photography Book Award and was listed as one of the top ten photo books of the year at Paris Photo 2012 and Best Books of 2012 by The New Yorker.
Harvey joined Magnum as a nominee in 1993 and became a full member in 1997. He lives in NC and NYC
GOST Books is a photography and visual arts publishers founded by Gordon MacDonald and Stuart Smith, and based in London. They recently published Mark Power’s book ‘Mass’ to great acclaim, as well as ‘Chateau Despair’ by Lisa Barnard and ‘Brisees’ by Helen Sear.