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Photobooks of 2017 / End of Year Roundup

Overlapse has had a terrific year making photobooks and setting them free into the wild!

A highlight for us was rounding up at Polycopies in Paris, where we met some visionary publishers and connected with wonderful new friends from around the world. The directors Sebastian and Laurent curate and organise a rocking annual event (this year covered in live video by The New York Times). It was an incredible experience and we hope to see you there in 2018!

December brought surprises with the annual, semi-notorious ‘end of year’ lists, highlighting some of the ‘best’ photobooks released 2017 according to critics, collectors, booksellers, curators, photographers and more. Although loads of great photobooks are inevitably overlooked and under-seen, it’s been exciting to discover that two of our publications have been particularly noteworthy. We want to share our successes with all of our supporters, so if you’re interested do check out the links below to read what selectors had to say (writing thoughtfully about their choices in many cases) and discover some excellent books published in 2017:

Beyond Drifting by Mandy Barker:
* Ten Best Photography Books of 2017, Smithsonian Magazine
* Photo-eye Best Books of 2017, selected by Laura M. André, Photo-eye Book Division Manager
* Photo-eye Best Books of 2017, selected by Sara Terry, Publisher & Guggenheim Fellow
* Photobookstore Magazine Photobooks of 2017, selected by David Solo, Collector
* Photobookstore Magazine Photobooks of 2017, selected by 10×10 Photobooks Team
* Photobook Phenomenon Choice of 2017, selected by Bint photoBooks, Collector
* Selected Photobooks of 2017, Women Photograph
* Artist Edition highlighted by David Solo and Hyperallergic

Laura M. André on Beyond Drifting: “This conceptually rich photobook is the sleeper of the year. Think Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species meets Anna Atkins’ Cyanotypes of British Algae. From the faded and stained cover to the facsimile pages of creased, mold spotted, bleed-through paper, Mandy Barker’s brilliantly conceived, designed, and executed faux-Victorian photobook deftly addresses the contemporary, global environmental crisis of plastic ocean debris… This book is a knockout!”

The Disappearance of Joseph Plummer by Amani Willett:
* Photo-eye Best Books of 2017, selected by Aline Smithson, Editor in Chief of LENSCRATCH
* Really Good Photobooks Published in 2017, selected by Humble Arts Foundation NY
* Favorite Photobooks of 2017, selected by Suzanne Révy and Elin Spring
* PDN Editors’ Pick, 2017 Gift Guide

Aline Smithson on The Disappearance of Joseph Plummer: “It’s incredibly difficult to speak to a Best Book, but I am a longtime fan of how Amani Willett tells stories… Presented as surreal and cinematic storytelling, The Disappearance of Joseph Plummer is the perfect combination of nightmares and daydreams, beautifully mysterious and intriguing, in the style of all good novels.”

We’ll end 2017 with A MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone who has looked at our books this year, to all who made a purchase, and to those of you who helped spread the word about our photographers/artists and publications in media, social networks and in real life! We couldn’t do all this work without your support, and the experiences of 2017 have energised us – we’re bubbling with anticipation to show you our upcoming projects in 2018.

All best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Further reading:
See Photobookstore Magazine’s Photobooks of 2017 – All lists
See Photo-eye’s Best Books of 2017 – Full list
See the ‘Meta-list’ of Favourite Photobooks of 2017 – Compiled by Viory Schellekens

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Visit Overlapse at Polycopies 2017!

This year Overlapse will have a table at Polycopies – the photobook fair on a boat that runs during Paris Photo! About 45 independent photobook publishers are participating, and it’s guaranteed to be a lively event packed with amazing books to discover.

Just a 10-minute walk from the Grand Palais (Paris Photo), and moored on the Seine west of Musée d’Orsay, is the Concorde Atlantique boat featuring Polycopies!

We will be in the hull (lower level) from Thursday to Saturday, doing book signings with Mandy Barker and Marina Vitaglione, and offering up some special surprises!

Signing schedule:

Thursday 9th @ 18:30 – Marina Vitaglione
Thursday 9th @ 19:30 – Mandy Barker

Friday 10th @ 16:00 – Mandy Barker

Saturday 11th @ 12:00 – Marina Vitaglione
Saturday 11th @ 14:00 – Mandy Barker

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Concorde Atlantique Boat, moored in the Seine at Port de Solferino, 75007 Paris (MAP)
Nearest Métro: Concorde or Assemblée Nationale

9-11 November 2017
Thursday: 11:00 – 21:00
Friday: 11:00 – 21:00
Saturday: 11:00 – 20:00

Find us:

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Printing The Disappearance of Joseph Plummer

Being a small independent publisher, having two books on press in the same week was a thrilling experience! Even more so given that we were simultaneously printing in two different countries. The Disappearance of Joseph Plummer by Amani Willett was printed over two days last week at optimal media in Germany – while on the second day sheets for Solastalgia started running.

Amani’s unique photobook exploring the lure of the wilderness has the look and feel of a classic fairy tale tome. Internal tip-ins give the finished object an added dimension that leads the viewer deeper into an winding narrative played out in a secluded forest in New Hampshire.

The Disappearance of Joseph Plummer arrives end of September and can be pre-ordered here.

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Solastalgia on press in Italy

Overlapse has had a very busy summer preparing two new books for autumn release!

Marina Vitaglione’s photo/text book Solastalgia was on press in Bolzano, Italy last week – not far from Venice which is the subject of this moving story. Marina and designer Roberta Donatini oversaw the printing process and we’re all quite anxious to get hold of the final work later in September. It is now available for pre-order at a special price of £25 (£3 off until 25 September).

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Interviews + Reviews for Beyond Drifting by Mandy Barker

It’s been a wildly exciting time since Mandy Barker’s first photobook Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals was released 1st May! Mandy has been exhibiting the series non-stop since late March – starting at the FORMAT Festival in Derby, then through May at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (Prix Pictet SPACE). There is still time to see exhibitions at Nature Museum Fryslân (Noorderlicht, Plastic: Fossil to Fossil through June), and until 2 July where Mandy first created the work during a residency – at Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, Cork, Ireland. During the opening weekend of her exhibition at Sirius Arts Centre, Mandy spoke with Roger Overall – recording an audio interview for his Documentary Photographer Podcast.

The originality of Mandy’s approach to exposing an issue of widespread environmental concern has captured the attention of science-focused publications Smithsonian (for an interview and Instagram takeover), New Scientist, Live Science and Wired; The Guardian and The Telegraph Magazine highlighted her work; Creative Review spread the word about the unique book design; and Mandy appeared in photographic publications Photoworks (interview) and BJP. Even The Socialist Worker had fine words to say about her installation at the V&A: “Perhaps the most original work is Mandy Barker’s microscope polemic against pollution.” Perfect!

We are thrilled that Beyond Drifting has been reviewed so thoughtfully by Laura M. André at Photoeye – the go-to online photobook seller in the US. André describes her full experience of the book, and compares Mandy’s approach to Anna Atkins’ 19th century work, writing:

“Now, 170 years after Atkins, another British woman has produced an important photobook that echoes Victorian-era science even as it exposes a contemporary environmental crisis. Mandy Barker’s Beyond Drifting: Imperfectly Known Animals similarly occupies that liminal space where art and science converge, and its impeccable presentation exemplifies how book design can extend content.”

The entire review is well worth a read.

And Lucy Davies wrote a wonderful piece in V&A Magazine (Spring 2017), enthusiastically proclaiming Beyond Drifting ‘an astounding piece of work’ – text below:

A massive thank you to these writers and media – along with others – for sharing stories about Mandy and her phenomenal photographic work! Also thanks to the physical (and online) bookshops stocking Beyond Drifting, including Photobookstore (UK) for featuring it in their Recommended list.

It’s admirable, too, that during this period Mandy found the energy to sail aboard Greenpeace UK’s Beluga Expedition off the western coast of Scotland for a week, searching for more marine plastic debris to photograph (sadly, it wasn’t difficult to find). Follow her on twitter to read all about it!