The World's First Photobook Was Blue

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Ira Stehmann /( the(M) éditions / IBASHO, 2021. Edition of 1,000 copies.
3 different hardcovers, 82 pp., color illustrated throughout, 210 x 320 mm. Photographs by Angel Albarrán, Anna Cabrera. Text by Albarrán Cabrera, Lyle Rexer. Design by Studio Des Signes.

The World's First Photobook Was Blue is not just a book intended to show the work of artists, but to explain their artistic approach. A book with no real beginning or end, which can be appropriated in different ways (thanks to the 3 different covers). The title is a nod to Anna Atkins, the spiral binding a nod to Brassaï and the book itself a tribute to the deceptively simple but truly complex medium that is photography.

“Photography is not the thing. It is the thing that gets us to the thing.
Atkins used photography to illustrate nature and its structure. In a similar way, we use photography to illustrate reality and its structure. The possibility of having a tool to investigate reality is what first drew us to photography. We discovered that by using this medium we can nurture our interest and have a better understanding not only of perceived reality, but of the ‘structure of reality’, ‘the why of things’. Photography is, for us, the perfect philosophical tool to learn more about the universe as a logical and architectural conception: the recognition of an order among individual pieces in which each piece is also illuminated by the arrangement of the whole.” Albarrán Cabrera

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