Saturday, December 20, 2014

Entre Entree by Stephan Keppel

As a regular contributor to The Brooklyn Rail, I was asked to select one of my favorite photobooks of the year for their list of "The Ten Best Art Books of 2014." I could have easily choosen 15, but selected Stephan Keppel's Entree Entre (FW:Books, 2014), a fantastic book I discovered at The New York Art Book Fair this year. Here is what I wrote:
"Composed of photographs taken around the suburbs of Paris and the city’s ring road, the Boulevard Périphérique, Stephan Keppel’s Entre Entree is a fractured and disorienting portrait of Paris’s peripheral urban landscapes. Equally interested in photography and its subsequent reproduction, Keppel utilizes various paper stock, over-printed images, and rephotographed printouts to explore the city’s compact surface. Designed by Hans Gremmen, the book layers Keppel’s black-and-white images into repeating patterns of concrete, foliage, and black ink. Taken individually, the images seem incidental, but together they both capture the urban landscape’s shifting surfaces and playfully comment on photography’s promiscuous duplication. Inseparable from their presence on the page, the often overlapping images and reproduced reproductions form a dense whole that constantly shifts our attention back and forth between the three-dimensional subject matter and the flat surface of the page. Reflected and refracted across the printed page, the suburbs of Paris become a hall of mirrors—a maze of cacophonous ink and concrete forms."
Read the entire list here.