Shipyards, by photographer Angela Fama.

Laying New Track

These past few months I have found myself fully immersed in the events—support and promotion—of the sport of hockey. And yes, I am aware that I just said “hockey”. 

As many of you know and some may have shared in—my life in Europe revolved almost entirely around fashion, art and books … Oh what beautiful books!

So it might seem strange that here in Calgary my day-to-day concern has been with hockey, the players, their fundraising initiatives and the endless charitable community events that go hand-in-hand with professional sport.

To be fair, Calgary has a lot more to offer than its loyalty to- and passion for the sport of ice hockey. They do have a small yet flourishing art scene as well as an emerging fashion scene in and around the city and as I explore these further I will share in greater detail what the Canadian West has to offer in terms of art and culture.

And although what I began with Ahrens Editions was briefly derailed—the result of a hockey-induced sabbatical—I am back and right on track.

With a new book project in the works I hope to discover more of what Canada and Canadian artists have to offer. One project currently on the table is a developing photographic monograph by artist, Angela Fama. As Angela continues to intimately capture the work- and living spaces of Canadian shipyards we will work together with writers to interweave Angela’s visual storytelling with the projects rich historical narrative.

And while hockey may be the cause of my brief derailment, what this sabbatical has led me to realize, is that more than just publishing and producing I desire to be involved in the cohesive collaboration of a book project from its initial conception to the final stages of printing and on-press.

It was the creative aspect that drew me to publishing photography books—therein lies my passion and the future of Ahrens Editions.

Christoph Gielen: Ciphers catalogue entry via ARTBOOK | D.A.P.

Christoph Gielen: Ciphers catalogue entry via ARTBOOK | D.A.P.

Sneak Peak: New cover design concept for Christoph Gielen’s book “Ciphers”

Sneak Peak: New cover design concept for Christoph Gielen’s book “Ciphers”

(Reblogged from littlebrownmushroom)

Photo Festivals: Whether in NYC or Toronto, spring into festival season this May, there’s no better way to shake off those April showers.

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
Festival Theme: Figure and Ground

A few Festival Highlights:

From April 9th to July 3rd the ROM is showing Canadian photographer Edward Burynsky’s Oil series. Burtynsky’s “images explore the hotly- debated effects of oil extraction, our international dependency on the substance, and with an unflinching eye, Burtynsky presents us with the reality of oil production as its role in our civilization undergoes massive transformation”.

Olga Chagaoutdinova, Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Viviane Sassen and Dayanita Singh at MoCCA. The group exhibition Dynamic Landscape “looks at the confluence of physical and psychological factors that inform our perception of the world we inhabit”.

In transforming Toronto into the photographic mecca for the month of May, work by artists Alex Prager, Pieter Hugo and others will be featured on billboards throughout the city.

And to top it off, Magnum will be offering a series of workshops led by photographers Bruno Barbey, Chien-Chi Chang, Bruce Gilden, David Alan Harvey, Eli Reed, and Larry Towell. From May 9th to the 13th Magnum is holding practice-oriented workshops designed to develop personal photographic growth.

New York Photo Festival
NYPH11: PHOTOGRAPHY NOW: engaged, personal, and vital
From May 11th to 15th in DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY

Festival Highlights:

NYPH11 is divided into two main exhibitions, Hope: Between Dream and Reality curated by Enrico Bossan, and Subjective/Objective curated by Elisabeth Biondi.

One of the festival’s highlights is the New York Photo Awards, which will present the Jury’s Choice Award on May 13th. And good news for photographers, it’s not too late; the NYPA is still accepting submissions until April 25th, so get on it!

But, just wait, it gets even better…  all Award Winners and Honorable Mentions will be featured in an exclusive main floor multimedia exhibition at the POWERHOUSE ARENA for the opening of this year’s festival.

With so many great events happening this May there aren’t enough days in the month, or hours in the day, to see it all. So I’m counting on you - the photo blogging community - to record and review whatever exhibitions you attend and relay your opinions for those of us who aren’t able to make it to TO or NYC this year.

So you’ve published a book… Now what?

With barely enough time to come up for air, I’m hit with the next set of challenges. Like all Firsts in life, this one is no less frightening. Where do I go from here? And no less daunting: What now?

Starting a business, or any new project — whatever it may be — is about maintaining momentum. Juggling multiple tasks while keeping one eye on the present and one in the future.

The best advice I can give to those of you caught in a similar juggling act is to breathe, enjoy each moment and keep your eye on the ball. Embrace the uncertainty. Remember why you started and how far you’ve come. There was always going to be a really ‘shit’ time; just take care not to get stuck in it.

What’s next for me? Well, Mauro D’Agati’s “Less Vegas” deserves to be celebrated. For this I’m arranging a few book signings and events to take place over the summer. Then, next in line is “Ciphers” a book of aerial photographs by Christoph Gielen, which will be published before the years end.

With Ahrens Editions, 2011 marks the beginning of what I hope will become a lifelong adventure of bringing photography projects to the printed page, bound not only into books, but into records of people, places and times past.

The Oddi genuises at work.

The Oddi genuises at work.

Special Icelandic lunch at Gallery Fiskur seafood restaurant.

Special Icelandic lunch at Gallery Fiskur seafood restaurant.

Signing off on one of the A sides. Tomorrow we start printing the B sides.

Signing off on one of the A sides. Tomorrow we start printing the B sides.

On press as the sheets come out.

On press as the sheets come out.