Arles puts photography books in pride of place. This is why we're publishing today a portrait of Manfred Heiting by Jeff Dunas. Manfred is the world's foremost photography book collector, with several thousand volumes carefully ordered in a sublime Malibu property designed especially to house his collection. For the first time ever, Manfred has agreed to be interviewed. Here it is in black and white!. Manfred Heiting can be accused of a lot of things – he’s brilliant, autocratic at times, has his opinions to be sure. That being said – he’s taken the time to learn and understand the subjects upon which he is arguably expert. He is currently obsessed with learning as much as humanly possible about the arcane genre of photo-books, documenting them all in infinite detail, and preserving this mass of ephemera in data bases that will be available as reference for future scholars. He combs the world for the prize books he needs or desires and once at his home / lab, his assistant photographs each book in thorough detail and he then notes all the known data for the book; publisher, copies printed, dates of publication, subsequent editions, versions and permutations, size, printing methods, paper choices, binding, packaging, jackets; essentially every possible criteria and inputs this data into a monolithic collection of information that Manfred delights in referencing – he does it all himself, “not to able to blame others for mistakes.”
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