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PHOTO-EYE BEST BOOKS 2018
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David Campany's favorite book from 2018

Photographs shot from the ground of passengers looking out from the windows of planes in the air. But a book isn’t its description. These are remarkable and surprisingly moving photographs by David Rothenberg, full of alienation, pathos and good humor. They are complemented on the page by an elegant text by Gideon Jacobs. The design is succinct and unobtrusive; the printing is gorgeous but unflashy. Seems perfect to me.


David Campany’s many books include A Handful of Dust, Walker Evans - the magazine work, and The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip. They’re all exhibitions too. davidcampany.com

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David Campany's favorite book from 2018

Mark Sealy's Decolonising the Camera: Photography in Racial Time (Lawrence & Wishart, 2019) is a valuable contribution to the study of colonialism and its consequences for the visual conceptualizations of race. In recent years, photo criticism has become quite bloated, with writings far longer than they need be, or awkwardly rhetorical in their desperate pursuit for the ear-catching concept. By contrast, Sealy's research, thinking and writing are fine examples of what used to be called practical criticism. He is led by very detailed engagement with historical case studies — from photojournalism and art practice — and he draws his conclusions from them. It's such a refreshing change from theorists searching for examples to suit their theories. Sealy puts all his efforts into clarity of argument, and the results are compelling.


David Campany is a curator and writer. His latest book, On Photographs, is published next year. He is the curator of the 2020 Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie, Germany.