Workshop aftermath: Metz (May, 1-3)

It’s somewhat unfair that, once finished, the workshop’s amazing process of photobook making where many great book projects are born (and not all happen to reach its audience or to be published at all) falls into oblivion. So, let’s shed some light on the process and its result, dummies. Will that probably help some of the dummies go real? We do hope so.

This time Calin Kruse / dienacht Publishing photobook workshop was held within the Festival Photographie Mon Amour in Metz in the North of France with three participants from France and Germany and three dummies featuring fragile youth, cat shows, and compelling life experiences.

"Best of Best" is the title awarded to the cat performing best among all classes of competitors at cat shows. In the project one can observe cats’ and their owners’ relations and reactions against the backdrop of the preparation, assessment process, award ceremony etc. The dummy is 18x24 cm, hardcover with full-size picture and pink glitter ribbon over the spine. The intention was to highlight the overall exaggerated festive and unsettling atmosphere of the shows resembling beauty contests. The layout is based on individual full spread or smaller images which in their mass are self-explanatory with a brief text given at the end. The sequence follows the general logic of the shows with solo portraits and details intermissions. Swiss binding offers stable look outside and spacious open spine binding inside that also allows spreads open completely flat so one can see the whole of the picture.

"Il est déjà demain" (It’s already tomorrow) is a subtle narration about the coming-of-age, when the childhood stays behind and the adulthood is still to come. The pictures are taken off the Northern coast of France. Solo and group portraits of teenagers in a variety of moods alternate with serene and somewhat austere landscape of Northern France. The design seeks to highlight the subtlety and fragility of the topic with the use of transparent paper for soft cover and for landscape pictures within the book. These landscape pictures are unbound and can be moved within the dummy to enrich or pause the narration.

This "Untitled" dummy is a story of multiple experiences, encounters and impressions from around the world made as an iconic Moleskine-like notebook. This dummy is the first in the series. The pictures are printed on checked paper to resemble notebook’s pages with handwritten notes from the photographer’s diary below some of the images. The viewer might also want to add some notes themselves. Hand-made relaxed approach is highlighted by pictures cut out with different margins and attached to the page with transparent tape as though making brief notes while travelling. Hardcover held by an elastic strap.

Join us next time for Calin Kruse / dienacht Publishing photobook workshop:

Also in workshop

Blog topic where we share the making of dummies at Calin Kruse / dienacht Publishing photobook workshops.

In September 2015, I was honoured to run a photobook workshop at the Goethe Institute in Lagos, Nigeria. Here are the dummies, pictures and a slideshow.

Dummies made at dienacht Publishing workshops in Metz at the festival Photographie mon Amour and in Leipzig.