Anne Golaz on Photobooks and Narratives

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Degree Programme in Photography
Valokuvataiteen koulutusohjelma
The aim of this thesis is to produce a reflection describing my experience and my knowledge of the photo-book medium at this present moment. This experience developed with, and around, the publication of my book Metsästä (Form the Woods, Kehrer - 2012), and the realization of the book itself forms a major part of the thesis. The first chapter of this text comments on the approach used to build Metsästä, the structure of its narrative, and the reasons and methods chosen to create the book. Then the thesis describes the context or sphere of the photo-book medium, its actual functioning and gives specific hints through interviews, which bring another tonality to this reflection. The first interview with Lesley Martin (publisher: Aperture Books and editor: Aperture Photobook Review, USA) outlines a broad picture through different themes and approaches the changes and tendencies of photo-book creation. The second interview with Klaus Kehrer (publisher: Kehrer Verlag, DE) is more technical and oriented towards the publishing system and the market of the photo-book. The last interview with Christian Patterson (photographer, USA) approaches the making of the narrative of his book, Redheaded Peckerwood (Mack, 2011), and his opinions and strategies for book making. The third part of the thesis discusses the narrative constitution from a theoretical point of view, referring to other media. It is a closer look at the definition of narrative, how it works in photography, in a series of images, and in relation to verbal narrative. It examines various notions, including narrativity or tellability, placing them into the perspective of the photo-book medium, and attempting to identify different conditions for a narrative happening. The last chapter proposes that photo-books can be classified according to a more concrete and analytic perspective, establishing a personal methodology with a classification of different types of narrative in photo-books. It leans towards an attempt to identify different narrative modes, different architectures for photo-books, ranging from classical and traditional modes, to experimental and more complexes ones. Finally, the aim of this text is to provide an interesting source of reflections and information for other students, anyone interested in photo-books, and hopefully future photo-book makers.
Parantainen, Jyrki
Thesis advisor
Rexer, Lyle
photo-book, narrative, sequence, Metsästä, publishing, story, book form, interviews
Other note
  • Photobook: Mestästä - From The Woods, Anne Golaz, Kehrer Verlag Hardcover 20 x 24,5 cm 120 pages 54 color ills. English/French ISBN 978-3-86828-331-0 39,90 Euro 2012