The Photobook Advent Calendar – Dec 19th

This year, in the true spirit of Christmas, we’re doing the Miniclick Photobook Advent Calendar where we’ll look at a different photobook, newspaper, magazine or ‘zine we like by someone we’ve worked with in the last 12 months, right up until Christmas Day. To view the Advent Calendar picks so far, click here.

Day 19 – December 19th

Clare Strand – Skirts

Wow, we’re up to day 19 on The Great Miniclick Photobook Advent Calendar! Back in August we hosted MacDonaldStrand’s brilliant photo pub quiz, featuring music, play doh and all the usual quiz fun.  My team lost, but I still had fun, so it must have been amazing! Here we look at Clare Strand’s ‘Skirts’ book, from GOST Books…


“This new book by Clare Strand shows in its entirety, and in its original exhibition size, Strand’s acclaimed work Skirts. With an introduction by Philippe Starck, Skirts was launched during the opening week of Rencontres d’Arles 2013 to coincide with Strand’s show as part of this years festival programme.”

In his intro to Clare’s book, Philippe Starck says that “one of arts’ distinctions is to provide maximum emotion using minimum means”, an idea which is being tested to the limit in this body of work – a series of monochrome photographs of tablecloths on different size and shape tables on a dark floor, in front of a dark curtain backdrop. It’d bloody brilliant.

This is the 19th tiny book review I’ve written in 19 days for the advent calendar. Whilst each book has been totally different to the next one, and the previous one, I’ll be honest and say I’m starting to run out of things to write about each one without repeating bits of other writeups. But I will say this – I really, really love this book and I would highly recommend checking out the body of work here. The work is beautiful and leaves enough to the imagination for it to stay with you after you’ve put the publication down. I don’t know if Clare meant this or not, but there’s a cinematic edge the the photos that works really well – specifically a Twin Peaks-esque feel (highlighted in this interview with her here). As a typological study is superb.

The design of the book is meticulous, as ever from GOST. The images are presented in original exhibition size which (rumour has it) has led to people buying two copies and cutting one up to put the photos on the wall. If that’s true, then that’s great to. GOST are really onto something good with their publications. Starck’s intro is as mysterious and enigmatic as the images, and the absence of any other text allows us to use the photos as props or sets in our imagination and play out what might be going on.

It’s a big old hardback book of 24 pages and costs £25 from GOST Books here.

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