Jessie Bond
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The photobook as event
in The photobook world
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This chapter proposes that the photobook can be considered an event in two ways: first, as a durational experience or ‘dramatic event’, in which photographs are combined to create narrative, or a sense of time unfolding; and second, following Alain Badiou’s understanding of the event as a rupture that proposes a possibility for change, as a proposition that can be acted on, with a longer duration that unfolds over and across time. It analyses different models for how photographs, considered as a slices or fragments of time, can be pieced together to form narrative within Susan Meiselas’s photobook Nicaragua (1981). With the passing of time Nicaragua has become a fixed reference point, in particular playing a significant part in Meiselas’s return to Nicaragua and the creation of Pictures from a Revolution (1991) and Reframing History (2004), which explore the legacies of her photographs. This chapter also considers how the publication of Nicaragua can be seen as an event that has acted through and across time, to explore how the photobook as event may be the start of a process rather than the end result or conclusion.

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The photobook world

Artists’ books and forgotten social objects



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