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FOURTHWALL BOOKS

At the end of July I attended a talk with Fourthwall Books, a small, independent art book publisher based in Johannesburg. I’ve been following their work for a few years and have been loving what they have been releasing.

I was very excited to finally hear about all their adventures in the realm of local art publishing, especially how they choose and curate the books, what the supply and demand is like, and all the nitty gritty’s involved in a business like this.

Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, director and editor, led the talk, focusing on the aesthetics and logistics of Fourthwall Books. Through a slideshow, and with physical copies present, she went through select releases and gave a run down of each project.

I was fascinated with each book having its own unique journey, and how the publisher is particularly drawn to projects that are significant in their own way – less commercial, and often stemming from a strong narrative aspect or background story.

 

SELECT RELEASES:

 

Footprints

Photographs by Andrew Tshabangu
Edited and with an introduction by Thembinkosi Goniwe
Preface by Mongane Wally Serote
Essays by Michael Godby, Ashraf Jamal, Neelika M. Jayawardane, Bronwyn Law-Viljoen, Hlonipha Mokoena, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Simon Njami
Hard cover, Duotone, 204 pages, 260 x 240 mm
Published in 2017, ISBN: 978-0-9947009-2-6

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Hanging on a Wire

Photographs by Sophia Klaase
Foreword by Zoë Wicomb, with essays by Rick Rohde, Virginia MacKenny, Timm Hoffman, Ben Cousins and Siona O’Connell
Hard cover, Full colour, 180 pages, 250 × 210 mm
Published in 2016, ISBN 978-0-9922404-3-1

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Hââbré, The Last Generation

Photographs by Joana Choumali, with an essay by Azu Nwagbogu
Hard cover, cloth bound, Full colour, 128 pages
Published in 2016, ISBN 978-0-9922404-9-3

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Commonplace

by Tamsyn Adams and Sophie Feyder
Hard cover, Full colour, 204 pages, 254 × 216 mm
Published 2016, ISBN 978-0-9922263-8-1

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Sometimes I make money one day of the week

by Lisa King, with an essay by Sean Christie
Hard cover, Full colour, 92 pages
Published 2015, ISBN 978-0-9870429-5-8

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Hotel Yeoville

by Terry Kurgan
Hard cover, Full colour, 256 pages, 250 × 215 mm
Published 2013, ISBN 978-0-9869850-9-6

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Milnerton Market: Die Plek van Verligting

Photographs by David Southwood
With essays by Ivan Vladislavić, Ivor Powell and Michael Godby
Hard cover, Full colour, 120 pages, 254 × 216 mm
Published 2011, ISBN 978-0-9869850-7-2

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Wake Up, This is Joburg (Series)

Photographs by Mark Lewis, Words by Tanya Zack
Soft cover, Full colour, +- 40 pages, 254 × 195 mm
Published from 2014-2017 (8 out of 10 released)

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Fourthwall Books was established in Johannesburg in 2010 by designer Oliver Barstow and writer and editor Bronwyn Law-Viljoen. Back then we had one simple goal in mind: to publish visual books that we ourselves would like to own; books that were out of the ordinary—provocative, experimental, well designed, interesting to read, pleasing to hold and look at. We’re still pursuing that goal, though perhaps with a little more clarity than before and also having learned a few important things about books along the way. In 2015 Oliver moved on to new things in Amsterdam, Carla Saunders came on board as our designer and artist and writer Terry Kurgan joined Fourthwall Books as a co-director and editor.

In these first six years of our existence, we have published 33 books and won five prestigious awards: the 2010 Jane Jacobs Best Urban Book Award (New York) for Writing the City into Being;the 2011 Antalis Book Design Award for Fire Walker; the 2015 Jan Rabie Rapport Prize for Non-Fiction for Nagmusiek; the 2015 Kyknet Rapport Prize for Fiction for Nagmusiek; and most prestigiously of all, the 2016 Eugene Marais prize for Nagmusiek.

 

Purchase books via their website, or from independent bookstores including Clarke’s Bookshop in Cape Town, and Love Books, David Krut Bookstores and Bridge books in Johannesburg. You can also pick up copies from their offices in Parkview and at some Exclusive Books branches. Check out their catalogue for a full list of releases.

Note: Stocks are very limited, and many have since been sold out.
*Not all photographs were shot on 35mm*

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TOUCH | a category that will focus on photo books and zines.

Backchat Boys

Backchat Boys is a collective of photographers who shoot exclusively on 35mm film in South East Asia, predominantly around Hong Kong.

The collective features South African photographers Duran Levinson, Gideon de Kock and Dustin Holmes. They have released two volumes that focus on street and documentary photography.

The zines come highly recommended; excellent design and layout with captivating images and very little text. As they say – “All image, no spinach”.

Volume 1 (2016)

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“A poor attempt to capture human nature, love and depravity.” – Unknown

Self-published and printed in Hong Kong. Design by Dustin Holmes.

70 full colour pages, offset print on wood free paper, perfect bound, individually hand numbered. Only 300 copies ever made.

Contributors: Duran LevinsonGideon de Kock, Dustin Holmes

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Volume 2 (2017)

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The sequel contains six contributors with very different outlooks on life in Asia. With a passion for 35mm film, each photographer portrays another layer of the Asian world they have found themselves in.

Equal parts beautiful and equal parts mundane.

Self-published and printed in Hong Kong. Design by Dustin Holmes.

90 full colour pages, offset print on wood free paper, perfect bound, individually hand numbered.

Contributors: Duran LevinsonGideon de Kock, Dustin Holmes, Carl David Jones, Jimi Tsang, Abdela Igmirien

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Officially launched in Hong Kong on Monday 3 July, 2017 with an upcoming launch in Cape Town, TBA*.

Purchase the zines via the photographers online stores.
http://galleryalley.bigcartel.com/

Touch | 001

TOUCH | a new category that will focus on photo books and zines.

Among all the great South African art, design and illustration books lie many excellent photographic publications. Nothing better than seeing images in print.

Here is a small selection. Regrettably, some may no longer be available.

Crossing Strangers by Andile Buka (2015)

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Crossing Strangers marks Johannesburg based photographer Andile Buka‘s first published body of work. The photo book explores the landscape of Johannesburg, the people who both inhabit and fill its city streets. It is a visual reflection of a personal engagement with both the city’s past and current landscape portrayed through the individual encounters one experiences.

Walking the streets of Johannesburg plays a central role in this project. Through these walks I’m presented with spaces that are unfamiliar and unnoticed. Beauty in the mundane is often overlooked and I gravitate towards the people, spaces and the gaps which are left in-between. Johannesburg is full of contradictions, a landscape structured by its past, but continuously built towards it’s future. It is a city interconnected and dependent on its many layers, a place where success, dreams and aspirations can become a reality.” – Andile Buka

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Size: B5
Pages: 52 (25 B&W photographs)
Binding: Hardcover
Publication date: August 2015
Printed and bound in Japan

Shot on film. Includes an essay by Rangoato Hlasane (Co-Founder of Keleketla Media Arts Project) titled ‘Monuments To The Eternal Spaces‘. The book was launched at the Tokyo International Book Fair in Japan.

http://mnkpress.tictail.com/product/crossing-strangers

Towaways by Lani Spice (Series)

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Towaways is a series of group photography zines curated by Lani Spice. Featuring images by some amazing, young local photographers and artists. Partnering up with RVCA South Africa, each edition has a launch with an exhibition and party in Cape Town.

Towaways (2014)

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Featured photographers: Donovyn Le Roux, Leon Bester, Black Koki, Ello Xray Eyez, Melissa Williams, Laura Windvogel, Danielle Clough, John Second, Thys Lotter, Dewald Bruwer, JJ (Jess James) Harris, Andrew Turpin and Lani Spice.

Guest artists at the exhibition: Anke Loots, Adriaan Louw, Justin Poulter, Alexia Webster, Kent Lingenveld, Juliette Raymer, Pauline Raymer, Natalie Pereira, Michael Tymbios, Thomas Pepler, Clinton Theron, Lyndall Maunder and more.

Towaways: Boy Edition (2014)

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Featured photographers: Justin Poulter, Thomas Pepler, Kent Andreasen

Guest artists at the exhibition: Leon Bester, Clinton Theron, Adriaan Louw, Donovyn Le Roux, Jay Dymock.

Towaways: Girls Edition (2015)

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Featured photographers: Anke Loots, Caroline Mackintosh, Melissa Williams.

https://towaways.tumblr.com/

Art Wurld by Russell Grant (2013)

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While looking for an outlet for his photography projects, Durban’s Russell Grant came up with the name Art Wurld for self-published zines. The first issue features work shot on disposable cameras at Splashy Fen Festival in the Underberg, with contributions by Bob Perfect and Skullboy.

More recently, Russell released another photographic zine titled ‘Therapy‘ (2016) shot entirely on his cellphone. “Think of it as a self help book for the dark hearted and chronically depressed.

http://artwurld.tumblr.com/

Got zines? We’d love to feature them.

DEAD TOWN™ | Film-only Photographic Showcase ©2017.