Winners of the 2020 PhotoBook Awards Announced
New York — Paris Photo and Aperture Foundation, in partnership with DELPIRE & CO, are pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. Living Trust by Buck Ellison (Loose Joints Publishing, Marseille, France) is the winner of $10,000 and the First PhotoBook award. Woman Go No’Gree by Gloria Oyarzabal (Editorial RM, Barcelona, and Images Vevey, Switzerland) is the winner of PhotoBook of the Year. The selection for Photography Catalogue of the Year is Imagining Everyday Life: Engagements with Vernacular Photography, edited by Tina M. Campt, Marianne Hirsch, Gil Hochberg, and Brian Wallis (Walther Collection, New York, and Steidl, Göttingen, Germany). A Jurors’ Special Mention for First PhotoBook goes to LIKE by Ryan Debolski (Gnomic Book, Brooklyn).
An exhibition of the thirty-five books shortlisted for the 2020 PhotoBook Awards, as well installations drawn from Issue 018 of The PhotoBook Review—guest edited by artist, scholar, and pioneer photo historian Dr. Deborah Willis, and with a focus on cultural histories in relation to the Black body, women, and gender—is hosted by DELPIRE & CO bookshop (13 rue de l’Abbaye, 75006 Paris), open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
A weekend of online conversations with artists and publishers from this year’s shortlist, as well as members of the jury, in discussions of their work and the critical role of photobooks, will take place on December 5 and 6, 2020. Registrations are open at delpireandco.com/prix-du-livre-photobook-review-conversations-en-ligne.
Living Trust by Buck Ellison (Loose Joints Publishing, Marseille, France), winner of the First PhotoBook Award, was praised for its investigation of the visual language of privilege. Taken together, the series in the book offer a sustained, almost anthropological examination of the ways whiteness and privilege are both recapitulated and broadcast. “Living Trust emerged in our conversations as something that focuses really well on what many take for granted,” shortlist juror Oluremi C. Onabanjo commented. “The book is carefully shaped in relation to the subject, in its form as much as in the artist’s approach to white privilege—a very contemporary subject—and addressed with very personal writing,” concluded Nicolas Poillot, who served as part of the final jury.
In Woman Go No’Gree by Gloria Oyarzabal (Editorial RM, Barcelona, and Images Vevey, Switzerland), winner of PhotoBook of the Year, the artist explores colonialism and white feminism in West Africa through the use of found imagery, archives, and her own photography. “Both substance and form of the book are compelling. The artist advances an excellent dialogue around deconstructing the idea of the gaze and ‘the other,’” states final juror Damarice Amao. “The layout and the intelligent, inventive—even destabilizing—graphic design serve her purpose very well.” In this beautifully and thoughtfully crafted book, Oyarzabal challenges the viewer to engage with their own biases and assumptions.
Imagining Everyday Life: Engagements with Vernacular Photography, edited by Tina M. Campt, Marianne Hirsch, Gil Hochberg, and Brian Wallis (Walther Collection, New York, and Steidl, Göttingen, Germany), winner of Photography Catalogue of the Year, “provides a multifaceted snapshot of thought around the problematics of vernacular photography” and is “an essential reconsideration of the topic,” according to shortlist juror Joshua Chuang. Final juror Lucy Conticello added, “The heft and the depth of the research, its striking and insightful contributions sourced from a great number of archives and collections, and fantastic reproductions make this a reference book on vernacular photography that will be around for a long time.”
Finally, LIKE by Ryan Debolski (Gnomic Book, Brooklyn), nominated as the Jurors’ Special Mention for First PhotoBook, explores the experiences and relationships of migrant workers in Oman. But rather than focusing on the defining public image of poor working conditions, Debolski depicts men finding agency and connection to the landscape of the beach and companionship in each other—they are as playful as they are introspective. “The position this work takes is very singular,” juror Stéphanie Solinas affirms, “a book on migrant workers in Oman, where we find a great presence of bodies with a form of sensuality where we expected to find brick walls and deserts. The weave between text and image, bodies and architecture offers a new, unexpected entry into the topic.”
A final jury in Paris selected this year’s winners. The jury included Damarice Amao (Centre Pompidou), Lucy Conticello (M le magazine du Monde), Laurel Parker (Laurel Parker Book), Nicolas Poillot (creative director and image consultant), and Stéphanie Solinas (artist).
This year’s shortlist selection was made by a jury comprising Joshua Chuang (New York Public Library), Lesley A. Martin (Aperture Foundation), Sarah Meister (Museum of Modern Art), Susan Meiselas (photographer, Magnum Foundation), and Oluremi C. Onabanjo (independent curator and historian).