Spector Books / Photo Elysée, 2022. First edition. Hardcover, 262 pp, illustrated throughout, 235 x 320 mm. Photographs by Josef Koudelka. Text by Tatyana Franck, Stuart Alexander, Lars Willumeit (English). Design by Fabian Bremer, Hannes Dribner.
Ikonar is a nickname given to Josef Koudelka by a group of Roma he encountered. It refers to him as a “maker of icons”, because they used his famous photographs of Roma communities as quasi-religious icons in their place of prayer. However, Koudelka is not merely a globally respected “maker of photographs”, he is also a prolific “collector of images”. IKONAR. Archival Constellations, which covers the period from 1960 to 2012, makes a range of materials available, some of them unpublished. They were selected from the 30,000-plus 35 mm contact sheets in Koudelka’s archive. Published in conjunction with the exhibition at Photo Elysée in Lausanne, it presents portfolios of core series of his work shot in 35 mm format, interleaved with seven thematic constellations that are a logical extension of his archive. It thus allows parallel visual explorations of his work and the evolving processes of creation.