Start at 5:30 am
The opening of the expo will take place on the best of all possible days: the 175th anni- versary of the invention of photography. It will begin on Tuesday, 19 August 2014, early in the morning with an event in which everyone in Cologne who is awake at 5:30 am will hopefully participate. They will be asked to use a digital camera or cell phone to take a picture of Cologne. Preferably in an urban setting. The images they make will be shown that evening on the expo grounds. The organ- izers hope that together these images will present a multi-faceted portrait of the city. “Chargesheimer-Reloaded”
The event is inspired by the famous photo- book Köln 5 Uhr 30 by the Cologne photo- grapher Chargesheimer (1924–1971). In 1970 he documented the deserted streets and squares of Cologne at 5:30 am. That same year, he was invited to show this work at Photokina. He made extra-large prints of his photographs and created a special design for the exhibition.
On the occasion of The_PBM expo, this legendary exhibition will be faithfully recon- structed on the basis of photographs and other documentation. How did Chargesheimer approach this task? How did he present his book on walls? And what can The_PBM learn from him that will benefit future exhibitions?
The world in photobooks
Over 25 exhibitions will illustrate the wide variety of styles and contents of photobooks from around the world. Of these, one group will be historical overviews. Erik Kessels from the Netherlands, for example, will concentrate on the history of private photo albums, while Martin Parr from Britain will present a collec- tion of important photobooks on the subject of protest. The other exhibitions will show work of Hans-Jürgen Raabe, Jiang Jian, Dominique Darbois, Gerry Badger and Martin Parr.
Another group of exhibitions will focus on outstanding examples of current photobooks. These will include works such as PIGS by Carlos Spottorno, the winner of the 2013 Kassel Photobook Award. In his photobook this Spanish photographer examines the ef- fects of the recession on southern European countries. The design of this ironical and criti- cal publication is based on the magazine The Economist from Britain. Other photobooks that will be shown are by Christina de Middel, Oliver Sieber, Stephen Gill, David Alan Harvey, Ricardo Cases, Deanne & Ed Templeton, Ali Taptik, Carolyn Drake, Todd Hido and Andrea Diefenbach.
Martin Parr and Gerry Badger’s compendia The Photobook: A History I + II triggered a collection boom between the years 2004 and 2006. Reference objects became collector fetishes. Some photobooks were suddenly unaffordable. But speculators can be found in almost every market, whether industry, prop- erty or art. Collecting for its own sake or for financial reasons is, however, something that The_PBM has absolutely no intention of pro- moting. For this very reason, it has no plans to acquire a collection of its own or to make specific photobook acquisitions.
Instead, collectors will be invited to work together with the curators of the museum to present their collections to a broad audience. The collections chosen will be dedicated to photobook-related themes. Cäcilia and Walter Zöller, for example, collect publications by Daido Moriyama, one of the most important Japanese photographers of the post-war era. To date, these two collectors have acquired over 70 photobooks by Moriyama. Oliver Klobes and Oliver Tielsch from Cologne are skateboarders and publishers of Monster Skateboard Magazine, and their collection reflects their interests. Bernd Detsch collects photobooks by and about the painter and photographer Ed Ruscha.