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Céline Ravier : [Auto] Edition photographique, enquête sur une mutation


Son nom : Céline Ravier. Elle vient d’écrire un livre remarquable, intitulé :

[AUTO]ÉDITION PHOTOGRAPHIQUE. Enquête sur une mutation.

Le livre est publié chez l’éditeur Arnaud Bizalion.

Nous publions en quatre fois les principaux thèmes de l’ouvrage, voici le dernier episode.


What future form for the book of photography?

Photography is the easiest thing in the world but also the most difficult: it is very easy to transform in one afternoon a corpus of images into a book with a contemporary and original look, but it will have no soul, no message, no real substance. – Martin Parr

The boom in self-publishing and micro-publishing in general has resulted in the proliferation of photo books in a market that has become saturated. Faced with this exponential number of books, the photographers interviewed during this survey had an identical opinion as to the future form of the photo book and its future on the market. The trend, for them, seems to converge towards a more « confidential » dimension: more limited editions, smaller formats, signed and numbered works and higher prices. Particular attention is given to the quality of the object delivered in order to be able to sell it to selected customers. In addition to the speculative aspect, this desire to move towards lightness also responds to the storage and logistical constraints faced by self-reliant photographers.

While digital support is essential everywhere, other forms of photographic work are however being written: hybridization, connected paper, ebook, digital editors, augmented reality… However, these few digital evolutions linked to photography publishing do not grow so easily. Since the 19th century, books have remained the major vector for the spreading of photography, and it is impossible today to think about photography without thinking of a printed book, whether it takes the form of a modest fanzine for enthusiasts or an art object for collectors.

From this current state of affairs, we can put forward some lines of reflection on the future: how will the book adapt to survive in a changing and saturated niche market? What could the photographic publishing sector look like tomorrow, taking into account the development of the various points raised: the public, funding, self-publishing?

For the moment, we are only witnesses to the vast transformation of the photographic publishing micro-world which is currently taking place before our eyes.

Céline Ravier


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