In high school, the world of photography revealed itself to photographer Taj Forer through photobooks.
Tonight students will have the same opportunity to explore photobooks — bound books that traditionally contain narrative accounts in the form of image-based media — with Forer and three other photographers, publishers and photobook aficionados at the Indie Photobook Panel in the Sloane Art Library.
The event will proceed in three parts as panelists discuss the opportunities and economics of photobook publishing. Heather Gendron, head of UNC’s Sloane Art Library, and Larissa Leclair, creator of the Indie Photobook Library, will first discuss the photobook collection housed in Sloane Art Library.
“We have some things that are really rare,” Gendron said. “UNC is perhaps the only art library or the only library in the country to have them.”
After the discussion with Leclair and Gendron, attendees can socialize and interact with the photobook experts at the Ackland Art Museum's reception. Forer and Leclair will discuss their histories with photobooks and provide advice for aspiring artists with Paul Soulellis, graphic designer and creator of the Library of the Printed Web, and Michael Itkoff, who co-founded the Hillsborough-based Daylight Books with Forer.
“I had some of the most profound experiences with photography through photobooks,” Forer said. “The photography opened up an emotional unfolding and an emotional connection to the narrative of the image.”
Now, years later, Forer serves as a co-founder of Daylight Books after receiving his master’s degree in fine arts from UNC in 2007.
“The idea of the panel is to have photographers, collectors and publishers discuss what has really become a photobook boom,” Gendron said.
Leclair believes that photobooks are unique because they are more than simply the photographs within them.