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Monday, 28 May 2012

Ori Gersht: Artist Book

Photoworks have commissioned these videos as part of their collaboration with Israeli-born artist, Ori Gersht. Here we are given an intimate behind-the-scenes look at Artist Book and his recent exhibition, This Storm is What We Call Progress, held at the Imperial War MuseumArtist Book was reviewed, somewhat disparagingly, in the latest issue of 1000 Words. The main crux of the writers argument pointed towards how the images perform (or fail to) in book format compared to experiencing the work as an exhibition. Not a new bone of contention by any means but obviously a noteworthy one since Ori Gerhst is both a highly accomplished and mindful artist, somebody from whom you would expect a more discerning approach to such an adaptation. As a piece of visual communication Artist Book is sloppy and ill-considered. Certain design decisions in relation to the book’s scale and size undersell his photography regardless of any "intimate/fetishistic object" PR spin that is put on it. Yes the production is impeccable, yes it offers a glimpse into Gerhst’s well of inspiration and yes the stories he narrates are undeniably emotive and beautifully shot but the simple fact remains; the project doesn’t translate well across mediums. It is therefore useful to remember that while the photobook market is booming the printed page is not always the best outlet for a photographer’s ideas. Artist Book is a case in point.