Tomasz Laczny, Henrik Strömberg and Jens Soneryd won the 2020 BUP Book Award!
The finalists of the first edition of the BUP Book Award were announced exactly a week ago. The jury selected twenty projects with the greatest publishing potential. From this group, BLOW UP PRESS publishers have chosen two that will be published in the form of books. They are Erna - Helena - Anja by Tomasz Laczny and The Compost. A Manifesto by the artistic duo Henrik Strömberg & Jens Soneryd.
Tomasz Laczny’s Erna - Helena - Anja deals with the notion of loss and absence. Unfolding the dream-like stream of memories the project deals with ghosts and traces which reality leaves behind. It is an intimate research of the relationship between love, war, and death but also of the isolation of people in the face of historical events.
“My grandmother was German living on the border between Poland and Germany before WWII,” - one can read in the project description. - “She fell in love with a Polish guy. It was towards the end of WWII. It was forbidden. Both of them could be killed if that would be discovered or at least they would be publicly humiliated and punished. Moreover, she got pregnant and was hiding her pregnancy for many months.
After the war, like many other civilians, she was imprisoned in the camp for Germans. She gave birth to my mother but, because of her poor conditions, was not able to raise her and had to give her away. The European borders have been moved after WWII by the decision of a few key political figures and all Germans have been ordered to be expelled (the largest forced migration in history). My grandmother hoping to be reunited with her daughter decided to stay and gained Polish nationality. But still for her (as ex-German) life in Poland was extremely difficult. She lived in the shadow of guilt and memories of what happened in Poland during WWII. All her family has been expelled. And it took many years for her to be with her daughter together again.”
"Although based on the author’s family experience, this project has a very universal connotation," says Grzegorz Kosmala of BLOW UP PRESS. - "The story is told through a variety of means. We find here photographs, also archival, graphics and comics. Despite such diverse means, the whole is very coherent and is an excellent starting point for creating a visually inspiring story, which is like a mirror of our time."
In turn, the project of Henrik Strömberg and Jens Soneryd iThe Compost. A Manifesto is an attempt to use the notion of the compost as a tool to explore photography as a medium, with the aim to disclose hitherto overlooked or rejected potential usages.
Both artists started to cooperate on this project in 2016. The book will be thus a natural development of further studies on the compost and development of the thoughts outlined in the manifesto. “The project deals with topics such as growth and decay, memory and forgetting, permanence and change, the desiring gaze and the detached gaze. It also reflects on technologies for understanding, such as writing and photography. These are powerful technologies developed as aides for making visible, mapping, preserving, fixing, organising and governing. In short, they are powerful tools for keeping, controlling and preserving. ‘The Compost. A manifesto' explores if and how these technologies also can be applied in opposition to their intended usages, if they can also be deployed to un-learn what we have learned from them?
‘The Compost. A Manifesto’ questions the predominant technocratic Cartesian view on nature as something–separate from society or culture – to be measured, predicted and controlled. It challenges the very notion that control is a desirable achievement. Instead of trying to control and to govern artistic or natural processes, the book encourages us to join these very processes, to become part of them, or simply to acknowledge that we already are part of them despite that we most often pretend not to be,” - one can read in the project description.
"Of all the finalists, the Strömberg and Soneryd project caught our attention in terms of substance and visual value," - says Aneta Kowalczyk of BLOW UP PRESS. - "Thoughtful, undermining the current status quo and trying to give it a new-old meaning. This is an uncompromising and courageous approach. For us it is also important that we find here original and pure form of photography that makes us realise how beautiful the medium it is."
Both awarded projects will be now published in the form of a book.
"We are not in a hurry," - says Kosmala. - "We want to use the current pandemic situation to prepare and to perfect both book projects. We hope to publish them by the end of this year.“
2020 BUP Book Award shortlist
The goal of BUP Book Award is to promote a photobook as a form of individual artistic expression, to let the artists speak freely about things they consider important and referring to all of us. Within the award, we are looking for unique photo/visual art projects, which are intended to become a book. We are thrilled to announce the finalists for the first edition of BUP Book Award, whose submitted projects were recognised by our jury as the most promising in terms of publishing (in alphabetical order):
- Corine Aalvanger (the Netherlands) - Don’t Mention the War
- Parisa Aminolahi (the Netherlands) - Tehran Diary
- Sara Bennett (USA) - Inside & Out: Portraits of Women with Life Sentences
- Betty Bogaert (Canada) - The Howling Mountain
- Carlos Chavarría (USA) - Façade
- Anna Galí (Spain) - Time on Quaaludes and Red Wine
- Jakob Ganslmeier (the Netherlands) - Haut, Stein: Inscription in Human Bodies and Architecture
- Thomas Gauthier (France) - Entre-deux
- Michael Honegger (France) - The Need to Know
- Tomasz Laczny (United Kingdom) - Erna - Helena - Anja
- Duy Phuong Le Nguyen (Vietnam) - Mirages
- Marco Marzocchi (Italy) - Fragile
- Annalisa Natali Murri (Italy) - A Respectable Family: The Murri Affair
- Maksym Rudnik (Poland) - Neon Bible
- Ioanna Sakellaraki (Belgium) - The Truth Is in the Soil
- Miriam Stanke (Germany) - And the Mountain Said to Munzur: You, River of My Tears
- Henrik Strömberg, Jens Soneryd (Germany) - The Compost. A Manifesto
- Junya Suzuki (Japan) - An Aesthetic of Everyday Life
- Michael Swann (United Kingdom) - Noema
- Farshid Tighehsaz (Iran) - From Labyrinth: Living with Anonymous Apprehensions
From this group, our publishers have to choose now the one whose project will become a real book. We will know the 2020 BUP Book Award winner on April 14! Stay tuned!
Corine Aalvanger (the Netherlands) - Don’t Mention the War
Parisa Aminolahi (the Netherlands) - Tehran Diary
Sara Bennett (USA) - Inside & Out: Portraits of Women with Life Sentences
Betty Bogaert (Canada) - The Howling Mountain
Carlos Chavarría (USA) - Façade
Anna Galí (Spain) - Time on Quaaludes and Red Wine
Jakob Ganslmeier (the Netherlands) - Haut, Stein: Inscription in Human Bodies and Architecture
Thomas Gauthier (France) - Entre-deux
Michael Honegger (France) - The Need to Know
Tomasz Laczny (United Kingdom) - Erna - Helena - Anja
Duy Phuong Le Nguyen (Vietnam) - Mirages
Marco Marzocchi (Italy) - Fragile
Annalisa Natali Murri (Italy) - A Respectable Family: The Murri Affair
Maksym Rudnik (Poland) - Neon Bible
Ioanna Sakellaraki (Belgium) - The Truth Is in the Soil
Miriam Stanke (Germany) - And the Mountain Said to Munzur: You, River of My Tears
Henrik Strömberg, Jens Soneryd (Germany) - The Compost. A Manifesto
Junya Suzuki (Japan) - An Aesthetic of Everyday Life
Michael Swann (United Kingdom) - Noema
Farshid Tighehsaz (Iran) - From Labyrinth: Living with Anonymous Apprehensions
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