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THE PHOTOBOOKMUSEUM in Carlswerk, Cologne

“Markus Schaden knows the world and the world knows Markus Schaden”. The opening of The PhotoBookMuseum opening in Cologne on Thursday 19th August – day of the 175th anniversary of the invention of photography – was indeed international.


Thanks to all his collaborations with festivals and institutions around the (photo) world, to a great team and to important sponsors and “friends”, Markus Schaden (Schaden.com Foundation) created Europe’s first museum devoted to photography books with a first and fundamental step from August 19th to October 3rd, 2014 in Cologne.


Around 30 exhibitions can be seen now in an old Carlswerk warehouse of 5,000 square meters – formerly a cable factory – together with a full program of artists talks and workshops (19-24 August and 16-21 September). Some were organized in collaboration with institutions and festivals: Fachhochschule Dortmund, Lichtblick School, Internationale Photoszene Köln, Fotobookfestival Kassel

The installations are teaching a lot about photo books but also in general about photography and about staging. In this “photo book museum” there is indeed less books than what we could imagine. Photo series which became famous after their publication in the last sixty years are deconstructed by the photographers and/or the art direction of The PBM to be shown in a new form, in 3-D or on the walls. Here are some beautiful examples:

“Cafe Lehmitz” (1967-1970) by Anders Peterson used as a set up for the Museum’s bar





A very precise and efficient layout on the wall for the strong project “Archives” by the chinese photographer Jiang Jian.




The project “La Brea Matrix” developed by Schaden.com - Six art photographers from Germany invited to Los Angeles as part for an artist-in-residence program in 2009 and 2010 to search for photographic points of reference to the iconic picture by Stephen Shore - is presented through newspaper articles and a terrific photo studio.




The German photographer Hans-Jürgen Raabe has been invited to present his ongoing project  ”990 Faces”: 990 human faces from 33 places of the world. Huge personal inventory of the 21st decades! The first ten books corresponding to the first ten series (Myanmar, Lourdes, Oktoberfest, Marrakech, 5th Avenue, Documenta 13, Bosphorus, Eiffel Tower, Brandenburger Gate, Papua New Guinea) are exhibited together with a slideshow showing the “Faces 001-390″.





A discovery for me: the series “Metropol Yesili” by the turkisch photographer Ali Taptik. Green growing through the concrete of the city and the metal of the container.




“Paloma al Aire” a gem book by Ricardo Cases about a colorful intriguing Spanish ritual. Exciting installation inside an industrial cage.




“The Pigs” by Carlos Spottorno: a book which said a lot about the financial crisis in Europa and about which we talked a lot in the photo world in 2013. Mise an abyme inside the office/container.




A beautiful series of illustrated books made by Dominique Darbois about the children of the world, published Fernand Nathan in Paris from 1952 to 1978. Let’s draw on the walls.




In the basement of the Carlswerk/PBM are presented huge black and white prints of Chargesheimer’s photographs taken in Cologne at 5.30 am. The installation reconstitutes the exhibition curated by Fritz Gruber for the Photokina in 1970, year of publication of the book “Köln 5 Uhr 30″.

The Photoszene Köln organized a photo contest in the last weeks asking the inhabitants of Cologne to photograph the city at 5.30 am in 2014. More than 100 images were selected for a slide show.




The Fotobookfestival Kassel is hosted this year at The PhotoBookMuseum and presents the books applying for the Dummy Award 2014 (Jury: Cristina De Middel, Deanne Templeton, Todd Hido, Carlos Spottorno, Manik Katyal, Ben Füglister and Richard Reisen) and the books nominated for the Best Book of the Year 2014 (winner decided by public vote) as well as a retrospective of the Best Books of the past Kassel festivals’ years. The winners will be announced at The PBM on the 23rd of August.



After the 3rd of october, The PhotoBookMuseum will become an online platform before traveling around the world. Carlswerk edition is temporary… Enjoy it and “Long live The PhotoBookMuseum”!

The PhotoBookMuseum at the Carlswerk
Schanzenstraße 6-20
51063 Cologne-Mülheim
19 August to 3 Oktober 2014
10 am – 6 pm (Mondays closed)
Entrance Fee: DayPass 10 € (reduced 5 €), All-Time-Pass 120 €, Photokina-Week-Pass 60 €

All images: The PhotoBookMuseum © Eva Gravayat

WORLD WIDE ORDER by Julian Röder

Julian Röder is a German photographer (born 1981) who is based in Berlin and a member of the collective photo agency OSTKREUZ after having previously been an apprentice of the agency at the age of 16. The book World Wide Order presents four of his works made during the last 13 years on several continents: The Summits (2001-2008), World of Warfare (2011), Human Resources (2007-2009), Mission and Task (2012-2013). 



Julian Röder photographs very different topics but he always focuses on the political, social and economic relationships in our world. He also approaches his various projects with strongly different aesthetics. This position is physically translated in the book where the series and texts are printed on different papers or with different kinds of ink. Interviewed by Matthias Flügge, the photographer explains « I do not want to limit myself to one specific photographic form, instead I seek to expand aesthetic range in a way that is appropriate to each particular topic. »

The first series presented in the book is The Summits, which deals with the protests that took place during the G8 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK and USA) summits in Genoa, Evian, Geneva, Thessaloniki, Gleneagles, Heiligendamm, Hokkaido and Sapporo from 2001 to 2008. Julian Röder first travelled to the 27th G8 in Genoa in 2001 with friends to photograph but also to take part in the protest. His images showing both riots and quiet moments always reveal a sort of distance despite his personal engagement.



The Summits (2001-2008)

Röder manages to shape his position and his photographic technic very well: by pretending being outside when he is inside (The Summits), by making fun of an event when he is accredited as an official journalist for the largest weapons fair in Dubai (World of Warfare), by slightly retouching his images to give his thesis more power (Human Resources), or by exceptionally using the codes of advertising photography (Mission and Task). Very exciting.


World of Warfare (2011)


Human Resources (2007-2009)


IMG_2976_bdMission and Task (2012-2013)

The book World Wide Order also provides the reader very interesting texts written by several authors about the works: Sean O’ Toole, Elisabeth Giers and Kolja Reichert. An interview of Julian Röder by Matthias Flügge is also published and explains a lot about the position of the photographer. To the question « so you beat the system by a process of affiliation. Isn’t that a dangerous strategy that could be potentially misunderstood? », Röder answers: « Definitely. That is why the contextualization with my other work is so important. You only really understand the works in association with the others. »

His work is currently presented together with Robert Capa’s photographs in the exhibition CC – Classic Contemporary: Julian Röder & Robert Capa at the Kunsthalle Erfurt until the 28th of September 2014.

Photographs © Julian Röder

“World Wide Order” Julian Röder
Published by Hatje Cantz, 2014
Texts by Julian Röder, Matthias Flügge, Elisabeth Giers, Sean O’Toole, Kolja Reichert
Graphic design by Maria M. Koehn
German, English
132 pp., 74 ills., 24.80 x 31.60 cm, hardcover
ISBN 978-3-7757-3855-2
35 EUR


HIDDEN ISLAM by Nicoló Degiorgis


This book was published and first presented at the Milan Image Art Fair in May 2014. The very young publishing house Rorhof did a short marathon of photo festivals in Europe including Bristol, Vienna and Arles before being awarded for the Rencontres d’Arles’ Author Book Award on July 12th, 2014. What a quick and successful journey for a self-financed and self-produced book! The photographer of the published work Hidden Islam, Nicoló Degiorgis, indeed cofounded the publishing house Rorhof with Eleanora Matteazzi only four months before in March 2014.


On the cover of the book titled Hidden Islam you can read the subtitle « Islamic makeshift places of worship in North East Italy, 2009-2013 » as well as a list of eight categories: Warehouses, Shop, Supermarket, Apartment, Stadium, Gym, Garage, Disco. These elements are already crucial information to introduce the subject of the book but the reader is still free to grasp the whole thing step by step inside, thanks to the great design of the book.

Hidden Islam is indeed made of 45 gatefolds. Turning the pages one after the other in the traditional way, you can sees black and white photographs of houses and buildings taken from the street. You can’t see anybody but only closed spaces that seem uninhabited.






In a second time or in a parallel time, the gatefolds can be open to discover the second part of the photo series – intimate color photographs taken inside the spaces when Muslims are praying on Fridays – as well as an introduction text and a detailed map of North East Italy pointing out all the places visited by Nicoló Degiorgis from 2009 to 2013.






The text, signed by the famous English photographer, curator and collector Martin Parr says: “Consider these facts. In Italy the right to worship, without discrimination, is enshrined within the constitution. There are 1.35 million Muslims in Italy and yet, officially, only eight mosques in the whole country. Despite being the second largest religion after Catholicism, Islam is still not formally recognized by the state.”

Nicoló Degiorgis didn’t choose an easy subject and we can imagine the time and energy needed to achieve this very well documented project. The work in progress is by the way well described by Caitlin S. Hu on THE STATE.

The photographer – next to his commissioned works for the photo agency Contrasto – is a researcher on immigration issues at the University of Trieste, teaches photography inside the prison of Bolzano and cofounded an association that develops projects to raise social awareness (Zona). He writes that “his primary motivation is to observe how marginalized and minority communities carve out a sustainable environment for themselves”. Well done. How much is still to be learnt about the social situation in European democracies?

Some photographs of Hidden Islam are currently part of the group-show « PUBLISH/CURATE » at TJ Boulting in London. Looking forward to see an exhibition of the whole project, certainly in 2015!

All images © Nicoló Degiorgis

“Hidden Islam”
Rorhof, 2014, Italy
Author: Nicoló Degiorgis
Introduction: Martin Parr
Editing: Nicoló Degiorgis and Martin Parr
Design: Nicoló Degiorgis and Walter Hutton
Format: 90 pages / 45 gatefolds, hardcover, 16x24cm
ISBN: 9788890981708

First edition of 1000, Publication date: May 2014. SOLD OUT.
Second edition (Italy €37 ; EU €42 ; Worldwide €47). Shipping starts on September 1st 2014.


+ Thank you Bernd Fechner, Eleonora Matteazzi and Nicoló Degiorgis +

EXIT GHOST by Kai Bornhöft

A cover made of real concrete is already a strong start in the discovery of a photo book. The viewer gets first immutable feelings by seeing and touching the material. It’s then step by step that the viewer will grasp Exit Ghost.

Kai Bornhöft_03Kai Bornhöft_05

Inside the object are printed the images -analog black and white photograph- full page. They are slowly revealing the subject of the photo series. Each image tells page after page a bit more about the situation described by the photographer and about his relationship to the visited place.

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a 023

White walls, dark windows and grey shadows are composing the set for human silhouettes and giant palm trees. The strong contrast of the sunlight reveals the heat. People seem to work outside at noon despite the climat. Where is this? If you would like to get a confirmation please see the colophon: « Photographed in Dubai (UAE) between 2006 and 2009 ».

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a 021

Kai Bornhöft travelled several times during three years to Dubai. In all his films he selected 23 photographs to compose the series Exit Ghost. These images are neither proofs nor documents ; they are surviving stones from Dubai. The photographs are symbolic remaining fragments chosen by the artist after encountering a model of life which « doesn’t allow for questions about life by the inhabitant » as he says.

Kai Bornhöft_08

Kai Bornhöft_013
All pictures © Kai Bornhöft

The book Exit Ghost by Kai Bornhöft deals with the subject in a very acurate and exact form. A rare object. It has been published in 2014 by Langhans, a foundation for the archive of Jan Langhans and a gallery for contemporary photography based in Prague. The gallery unfortunately stopped organizing exhibitions in 2011 after eight years but Langhans has now started publishing artist books. Great one!

« Exit Ghost », Kai Bornhöft
PRO Langhans, Prague, 2014
Hardcover with concrete mounted surfaces
48 pages, Tritone, 19 x 26 cm
Edition of 500, 35 Euro


+ Thank you Maria-do-Mar Rêgo, Thorsten Kirchhoff and Kai Bornhöft + 

….setting up ! The Location.


The Location
Photographic Cologne
For years, Cologne has been a German Mecca of photography. It was here that August Sander, Hugo Schmölz, and Chargesheimer worked as did the great pro- moter of photography L. Fritz Gruber. Today Cologne is home to photographers such as Candida Höfer, Boris Becker and Wolfgang Zurborn. The photographic collections of Museum Ludwig and the SK Stiftung Kultur are internationally recognized as are galleries specializing in photography such as Thomas Zander and Priska Pasquer. Cologne’s repu- tation as the capital of photography is, how- ever, based above all on the first and most important photography trade fair in the world: Photokina. Founded in 1950, this trade fair will take place in 2014 parallel to The_PBM expo at the Carlswerk. At the same time,
the photography festival of Internationale Photoszene Köln will begin under new management and with a new concept. The festival will include over 60 exhibitions and events throughout Cologne. One of these is the PhotoBookMuseum expo at the Carlswerk in Cologne-Mülheim.
Expo hall, Carlswerk
This former cable factory and the immediate vicinity are today home to culture, media and entertainment. Venues such as E-Werk and Palladium and the theaters of Schauspiel Köln have helped make this former industrial area, known as Schanzenviertel, one of the liveliest and most diverse parts of right-bank Cologne. The trade fair grounds and the old town are not far away and the Carlswerk can be easily reached by public transportation or car. Visitors require only 15 minutes to travel there from the main station by public trans- portation. Visitors arriving by car will use nearby highway A3.

The_PBM Catalogue Box

SCH14_009 Catalogue Box add SMALL

5-lehmitz-inside-open-a 6-lehmitz-inside-open-b 4-lehmitz-inside-b 3-lehmitz-inside-a33 Publications carry the first Edition of The PhotoBookMuseum in a Container-Lookalike-Box. A tribute to all exhibitions .

Elsken. Moriyama, Meiselas, Harvey, Petersen, Drake, Templeton, Chargesheimer, Sieber, Taptik, Shore, Cases, de Middel, Parr/Badger, Jiang Jian….

Here you see the Cafe Lehmitz catalogue.

The Box will be available at The PhotoBookMuseum and published. by Verlag Kettler in August 2014.

PhotoBookStudies* #18 Anders Petersen Cafe Lehmitz

Café Lehmitz_Plan

3-lehmitz-inside-a 4-lehmitz-inside-b  PhotoBookMuseum - Café Lehmitz - by Daniel Zakharov 001Can you have a beer in a photobook ? Yes you can. In the PhotoBookStudies*#18 we are reconstructing the legendary Reeperbahn pub (in german named ”STEHBIERHALLE”-)  from Anders Petersen’s landmark PhotoBook CAFE LEHMITZ published in 1978. Because of very less informations about the real Lehmitz our architecture team took the book to rebuild half of the LEHMITZ in 1:1 size for The PhotoBookMuseum. In Black & White…for sure . Welcome and Cheers !PhotoBookMuseum - Café Lehmitz - by Daniel Zakharov 022PhotoBookMuseum - Café Lehmitz - by Daniel Zakharov 009PhotoBookMuseum - Café Lehmitz - by Daniel Zakharov 008