Ruben Lundgren’s Favorite Book from 2019

Inventions (1915–1938) by Luce Lebart.   Published by RVB Books.

A highlight for me at the Rencontres d'Arles this year was the exhibition The Saga of Invention, From the Gas Mask to the Washing Machine. The catalogue of the show, published by RVB books, handles the archival materials in a very clean and visual way. Who can't enjoy the simple beauty of a taxi equipped with an anti-crushing device or a nice set of cloud projection disks from 1928? They are beautiful analogue reminders of innovative times. It's funny that now we are able to see these photos (besides their striking visual rigour) as moving, almost adorable and extremely funny. It makes me wonder how the historians a hundred years from now will look at our digital age with photographs of Nokia phones, video cassettes, and people at ATM machines.

Ruben Lundgren is a Dutch photographer and curator based in Beijing. Published works include Empty Bottles (2007), The Chinese Photobook (2015), and the recent Me Nu on Chinese archival food photography. www.rubenlundgren.com