Angle 1–90 º
An ambitious new series of books aims to present a new perspective on photography.
By Anne Haga
The launch of the first four books in the series Angle 1–90º was held at the New York Art Book Fair in September. Each publication shows photographic work by one artist, presented in a small simple book with few pages. The four artists featured so far are Margareta Bergman, Ingrid Eggen, Verena Winkelmann and Line Bøhmer Løkken. Winkelmann and Løkken are also the publishers of the series. Objektiv met with them in their studios at Frysja kunstsenter to hear more about the project.
What do we get to see in your new photobook series?
Winkelmann: With Angle 1–90º we want to present a variety of perspectives within photography. So far, we’ve published four, but in the end there will be 90 books with a broad variation in approaches to the photographic language. It will hopefully present a kind of pseudo-scientific view of the world.
Bøhmer Løkken: The series operates on the premise of the images. The books are absolutely not meant to function as a catalogue for the artists. The image is the focus, and Angle provides a space for the image, in which something new might occur. The artists are invited to make works especially for Angle, and they’re presented in a specific way for the purpose of this publication. These works have never been published before, and are never going to be used in the same way again. Naturally, the choice of artists is based on whose work we like, but we don't feel obliged to anyone, and this isn’t supposed to be a ‘best of’ publication.
What was your experience of working with this type of format?
Bøhmer Løkken: The project is a nice contrast to what we normally work with – heavier publications where a lot of time and effort is put into endless decisions about details. With Angle, the process is much simpler. The layout is set, and the invited artists can fully focus on filling this space.
Winkelmann: The format allows the artist to communicate within a very limited framework. If we can compare ordinary photobooks to movies, these books are more like short films. The artist has to know what he or she wants to communicate, and be precise. I’ve seen many of these small publications, fanzines and pamphlets around lately, but the quality varies a lot. We hope that Angle can remain stringent over time, and maintain a certain quality. Even though our design is fairly simple, it was thoughtfully made. We’ve used offset printing on paper that has a really nice quality to it.
Bøhmer Løkken: The design is self-evident. It's not there to sell the project, but to support it. People are showing a surprising amount of interest in the books, and we've sold more than expected. We seem to have hit a nerve, without knowing exactly why. But the format makes it very convenient. It’s not something you have to find room for on the book shelf, and it’s easy to carry around.
So 86 publications are yet to come. What's next?
Winkelmann: We’re currently working on the next four publications, in which two of the artists are Norwegian and two of them are not. This time, we chose a really wide angle.
Bøhmer Løkken: It’s not like the next four artists need to do exactly the same as the first four, so the next publications might be different. One of the new artists doesn’t work directly with photography, for example. Depending on funding, we hope to launch Angle 5–8 at the end of February. A goal of eight publications per year is a very ambitious one. This means that number 90 will be out by 2026. The project depends on our current work situation and ability to spend time on it, as well as on how much funding we get. In an ideal world, we’d have the project funded in advance and thus be able to give the artists more time and a more flexible process. The unpredictability of whether or not we receive funding makes it difficult to plan ahead.
Winkelmann: As they say, big things have small beginnings. We don't know yet how this will turn out. We’ll just start somewhere and see where it takes us.
Angle 1–90º is published by Multipress, a non-profit publisher for artists’ books and publications with an emphasis on photography.