Photobloc. Central Europe in Photobooks - New album from ICC

The phenomenon of photographic books is closely related to the development of modern visual culture. Throughout the 20th century, publications illustrated with photographs accompanied the most important political and social events, served to popularize knowledge of the world and the expression of new forms of art. What impact did they have on shaping the imaginarium of modern man in Central Europe?

The album is an attempt to create a canon of Central European photobooks and the first such extensive Polish study synthesizing knowledge about them. The book contains essays by the best experts on the subject in Poland - Łukasz Gorczyca and Adam Mazur, a text by Thomas Wiegand analyzing the propaganda use of photobooks in the GDR or a sketch by Adriana Dumitran devoted to one of the most interesting figures of Romanian photography of the 20th century - Hedzie Löffler.

The uniqueness of Central European photobooks lies at the intersection of artistic ambitions and propaganda, great narratives of history and small enclaves of freedom. The books we present tell through the history of the region through photographs, but in themselves they are also documents of changing social relations, political visions and the obligations of photography and art. An important clue is the intriguing, local differences, such as the great Czech school of modernist photography or Polish secondary circulation publications of the 1980s.

The publishing house was established on the occasion of the Fotoblock exhibition. Central Europe in photo books presented at the MCC Gallery from November 22, 2019 to March 1, 2020. The book is available in Polish and English. The author of the graphic design is Kuba Sowiński
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