The Momento Pro Australian and New Zealand Photobook of the Year Awards 2016 finalist books travelled to the Vienna Photo Book Festival as their first international showcase.
The Vienna Photo Book Festival included international and high-profile talks and presentations, showcasing photo books and prints from all corners of the globe. A visual feast of compelling printed photography was enjoyed by fans, experts, collectors, publishers, and the curious public across two event-filled days.
It was the festival’s fifth annual event, and boasted over 100 table displays of everything from prints, to booksellers of new and antiquarian books, student groups, and educational institutions. It also, equally significantly, provided the first international showcase of the ANZ Photobook of the Year Award 2016 finalist books.
Both the Australian Photobook of the Year Awards 2016 and its New Zealand counterpart, presented by Momento Pro, support excellence and innovation in photo book creation, and showcase the work of Antipodean photo artists to local and international audiences. The Australian Photobook of the Year award was won by Melbourne-based photo artist Katrin Koenning, Bangladeshi photographer Sarker Protick, and French publisher Chose Commune, with their collaborative project and photo book Astres Noir. The title of New Zealand Photobook of the Year was shared between two photographers at very different stages of their career — with established architectural photographer and lecturer Simon Devitt’s Rannoch, and recent Massey University photography graduate, Evangeline Davis’ Touchy — each of which tell a unique story through the established and enduring photographic genre of portraiture.
Self-publisher and commentator on photobooks, Doug Spowart, accompanied the photo books to the event, where he was also invited to present on the activity and innovation of the Antipodean photo book community —all of which were met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction. It confirmed that just as we perform to a high calibre in various sporting and scientific pursuits, Australasia punches far above its weight, and stands up to its Northern Hemisphere counterparts in the arts.
“We received many statements from viewers complimenting the quality of our books,” Doug said of the reaction.
“The award-winning books, Touchy, Rannoch, and Astres Noirs were popular, however people did stand at the table, pick up books, and look through them all!”
Iconic British documentary photographer, photojournalist, and photobook collector, Martin Parr, was one of many who applauded the Antipodean photobooks. For the last decade, Martin’s made it his quest to position the book centre stage within photographic culture, and with an extraordinary collection of nearly 12,000 photo books that occupy his Bristol home, it’s safe to say he’s seen a fair few.
The 2017 New Zealand Photo Book of the Year Awards are open for entries on Friday, September 1, with $10,000 in prizes from Momento Pro on offer to assist finalists to produce and promote their publications.
Visit photobookoftheyear.co.nz to find out more.