Let's Talk!

Photobook receptions: yesterday, today and in times of the pandemic

Which meaning a photobook develops depends largely on its recipients. Their critical view determines the social relevance and how a book is interpreted – based on the time and context. The potential of photobooks to have an impact, open up new perspectives and leave a mark in our cultural memory can only unfold through the eyes of their readers. Hence the history of the photobook is always the story of its reception as well.

The first series of our Lets Talk! Sessions examines the relationship between readers and the photobook not only in historical perspectives, but also aims to shed light on the current situation during the global Corona crisis.

What are the reasons for the popularity of a book? Which effects can the reception of a photobook have on the work of the respective photographer? These are some of the questions we are investigating. We will also discuss the relevance of reception within photobook research and the impact of online communication on the distribution and reception of photobooks. Last but not least, we explore the role of photobooks in society as a whole, particularly during the current pandemic.

How do photographers, designers and the publishing industry experience the Corona crisis? Which projects on the pandemic and its social consequences emerge and are already being published in books? Has the production of photobooks become even more precarious or are there surprising success stories?

We will adress these issues with photobook practitioners and the public. The talks are an offer to take stock, network and maybe an opportunity to develop new ideas for the photobook in times of the pandemic.

Session #1

Adam`s Apple from Paz Errázuriz
with Luis Weinstein and guest, hosted by Markus Schaden

June 24, 2021  20:00 (MESZ)

Session #2

Under the radar
On the reception history in photobook research with the Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen

June 30, 2021  20:00 (MESZ)

Session #3

Fresh Air: PBM.Radio on Tour
We talk to passers-by in Cologne about photography and photobooks in time of Corona

September 16, 2021  20:00 (MESZ)  

Session #4

Pandemic Photobook
The photobook during the Corona crisis, global conference call 

September 23, 2021  20:00 (MESZ)

Photo: Hans Aarsman, Spread from Hollandse Taferelen, Amsterdam 1989