Photobook Festivals, Competitions, Fairs

Photobook Festivals/Shows

International Photobook Festival
The Kasseler Fotoforum hosted the first festival dedicated to the photobook in 2008 as part of the Kasseler Fotofrühling. After it had been floating around for some time, as a result of many discussions it became a concrete idea to start a festival that was dedicated to the photobook. Thus the International Photobook Festival was born. The festival has two awards: The International Photobook Award and International Photobook Dummy Award 

Photobook Show is a Brighton-based arts organisation, set up in 2011 by William Sadowski and Kevin Beck to raise the profile of artist-led photobooks, with particular focus on self-published or hand-crafted works. It aims to hold several exhibitions a year, alongside talks and workshops, to promote the visibility of photobooks.

PhotoBook London
PhotoBook London is a regular event all about photo books, hosting a weekend long photo book fair, seminars and book reviewing sessions, all with the intention promoting independently, and self published books.

Photofestivals With Photobook Shows/Awards

C/O Berlin – International Forum For Visual Dialogues: Book Days
Established in 2000 as a cultural institution, C/O Berlin integrates photography with design and architecture. The program of Book Days started in 2011 includes book presentations, screenings, discussions and book signings. Open submissions for Photobook Slam Berlin.

Independent Photography Festival: Photo Book & Zine Fair 
The IPF Photo Book & Zine Fair aims to bring together the enormous and diverse spectrum of photo publications, from high-end, perfect bound coffee table books to $2 B/W, saddle-stitched zines, and everything in between.

PHotoEspaña: The Best Photography Books of the Year Exhibition and Awards
Since 1998, prizes have been awarded in three categories: the best Spanish photography book, the best international photography book, and the outstanding publishing house of the year.  The Best Photography Books of the Year exhibition  features the 100 books short-listed for the awards.

PhotoIreland: Book & Magazine Fair and The Library Project
Book & Magazine Fair includes photobooks and photo magazines from all over the world, as well as a rich example of contemporary publications focused on Art, Design and Illustration. The Library Project is a collection of books, magazines and zines on contemporary Photography.

The Rencontres d’Arles: Book Awards
The Rencontres d’Arles (formerly known as the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d’Arles) is a summer photography festival founded in 1970. Photobooks for the Book Awards are selected by an open call.

Photobook Competitions:

PBN / Photography Book Now Annual international photobook competition by Blurb

Art Book Fairs

AIPAD Photography Show including photobooks showcase. March, USA

 New York Antiquarian Book Fair April, USA

The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (PPAC) Annual Book Fair May, USA

ABOUT Independent Publishing Fair For small publishing houses and self-publishers that work within the fields of art and design. May, Germany

London Art Book Fair September, England

NY Art Book Fair September-October, USA

Frankfurt Book Fair October, Germany

Small Publishers Fair November, England

Offprint Paris November, France

Paris Photo 2012 November, France

Amsterdam Art/Book Fair The Netherlands


New York Antiquarian Book Fair. Part 3: Artists’ Books and Special Items.

James Lee Byars – J* Read to Peachy Keen Forme …, 1972 . A beautiful example of a James Lee Byars’ unique original letter art object. Byars’ text, written in his usual stream of consciousness, abbreviated style, communicates several ideas in parallel and extends in a single line along the centre of the sheets for nearly 3 metres. Consists of four conjoined sheets of thick gold metallic paper. An important part of Byars’ oeuvre, influenced by his years living in Japan and the resulting interest in Japanese paper, calligraphy and origami, was the letter as art work, the object and idea in harmony, and the example presented here, to Byars’ friend Jim Butler, with calligraphic text on gold paper with characteristic divagations and abbreviations, is delightfully representative. ‘Byars did, however, maintain communication with many important people in the art world, by means of an artistic correspondence that seems to have been his most consistent practise as an artist. Nearly every day, before dawn, he would rise and begin writing his spectacular letters … They were an extension of the Byars persona, even mirroring his costumes in their strict use of a few select colours and shapes. They were simply mystifying, difficult to read, confusing in their syntax even where legible; Byars was unknown because he was unknowable. One might delight in (or be maddened by) the experience of unfolding a fifty foot long piece of pink tissue paper, only to find the gold writing nearly indecipherable, and the message as much a poetic epigram as a personal communication. One is meant to experience the letters as an aesthetic occasion … ‘. (Frieze magazine, review of the exhibition ‘James Lee Byars: Letters from the World’s Most Famous Unknown Artist’). @Sims Reed Rare Book Shop


New York Antiquarian Book Fair. Part 2: Photobooks.

Artists & Photographs – New York. Multiples, Inc. 1970. A combination of both exhibition and catalogue. Consists of a box containing various ephemera, texts, images and multiples by nineteen leading artists of the 1960s: Mel Bochner, Christo, Jan Dibbets, Dan Graham, Douglas Huebler, Allan Kaprow, Michael Kirby, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Dennis Oppenheim, Ed Ruscha, Robert Smithson, Bernar Venet, Andy Warhol. With text booklet by Lawrence Alloway. @Sims Reed Rare Book Shop


New York Antiquarian Book Fair. Part 1: Photo Albums.

This year marks the 52nd anniversary of the New York Antiquarian Book FairThe first American antiquarian book fair, that would evolve into the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, was held in New York in 1960. This year’s fair was sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and took place at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City on April 12-15, 2012. The     show featured a record number of exhibitors – 212 dealers from 15 countries. (more…)