Aperture Foundation and Paris Photo are delighted to collaboratively present the fourth annual Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards.In the words of Chris Boot, director of Aperture Foundation, the overwhelming response to the call for entries this year gives testament to the “rude health” of the photobook publishing community. (Apparently, this is a Britishism used to indicate that something is “vigorous and lively.”) With over one thousand entries from more than sixty countries— including the usual suspects from the U.S., UK, Japan, and Western and Northern Europe, but also Armenia, Australia, China, India, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates, among others—the eld has become very competitive indeed. The close study of such a diverse assemblage of publications is by turns sobering, fortifying, and exhilarating. As the recently appointed artistic director of Paris Photo, Christoph Wiesner, states, “We saw a wide range of approaches during the jurying of the shortlist—from the aesthetic to the political. Books are a critical means of disseminating the work of an artist, and of proposing different roles that photography can take.” Each of the thirty- ve books (with one additional special jurors’ mention) o offers its own unique story, told through every decision of its content, form, and design. Each one elucidates yet another facet of the ever-evolving ecosystem of the photobook today. They range from self- published, printed-on- demand books to those funded by Kickstarter campaigns or put out by established publishers. There are books on newsprint; unbound folios; multivolume sets, big and small; spiral-bound notebooks; and jacketed paperbacks. Classically designed volumes sit next to binder-clipped fax paper and hacked e-readers. At least two of the shortlisted books (and many others submitted) were created as final graduation projects, underscoring the increased attention now given to the photobook in university-level photography and design programs. There are, inevitably, some very good books that do not end up on the shortlist. Nonetheless, those that have been selected are truly among the best that photobook publishing has to o er. Aperture and Paris Photo would like to extend our thanks to all the photographers, publishers, designers, and readers who make the PhotoBook Awards one of the highlights of the photobook year.
—Lesley A. Martin
This exhibition is coproduced by Aperture Foundation, New York and Paris Photo.