Books that are photos is the first of two shows programmed by Museo Reina Sofía on photobooks. This show features a selection of about 150 photobooks published in
The exhibition forms part of the program connected to the public presentation of the Library and Documentation Centre’s collection. A significant number of the photobooks on display in Books that are Photos came to be part of the Museum’s collection thanks to donations by the authors or publishers themselves. Deserving of special mention is the donation of Bookip, an archive of self-published photobooks that was developed collectively in 2011 and given to the Museum a few months ago.
Many books with pictures were published at the beginning of this century, but not many photobooks. There are exceptions, of course, such as Joan Fontcuberta and Cristóbal Hara, among the photographers, and Mestizo and Photovisión, among the publishers. In fact, Photovisión was the publishing house that, back in 2000, brought us the first book in the selection, David Jiménez’ Infinito, an excellent photobook that went virtually unnoticed for many years and is now considered a masterpiece.
In 2009 Fiesta Ediciones arrived on the scene. This publishing project, initiated by Ricardo Cases, produces fanzines and books like La caza
New publishing projects began in 2010: first came Standard and Bside, and two years later, the explosion: Ca l'Isidret, Ediciones Anómalas, Phree, Siete de un Golpe, Veinticuatro...
Special mention must also go to the photobooks that have been included in the lists of the year’s top photobooks or that have received international awards. For example, Ukraina Pasport by Federico Clavarino, Paloma al aire by Ricardo Cases and Censura by Julián Barón, all three from 2011. The following year came Noray by Juan Valbuena, Nomads by Xavier Ribas, Furtivos by Vicente Paredes, Agroperiférics by Ignasi López and Los Afronautas by Cristina de Middel. This last-mentioned photobook met with great critical acclaim and appeared on numerous international lists of the best photobooks of the year. Last of all, in 2013 the harvest thus far has been excellent, with such successful and oft-cited titles as Casa de Campo by Antonio Xoubanova, The Hub by Roger Guaus, Pigs by Carlos Spottorno, Karma by Oscar Monzón and the just-released The Waiting Game by Txema Salvans, the winner of the fourth Latin American photobook contest organised by the publishing house RM.