I would like to start Lost in Publications with one of my favorite photographers and project - The Sochi Project.
For those who are already familiar with the project, can get an overview of previous publications, interviews and videos, which might easily got lost in the vastness of the internet. And for those who aren’t familiar with it yet, have an opportunity to catch up with this great long term project.
I’m really happy to see all this information connected together and I hope you enjoy it as much as me.
“Empty Land, Promised Land, Forbidden Land” is the second annual publication from the Sochi Project and was published in 2010. It was nominated for the Kassel International Photobook Award 2011 and listed in the Photo-eye Best Books of 2010.
For me, this book is so far the best documentary book that was ever made. It really caught me like a good movie. If you like to know more about it, Andrew Phelps reviewed the book here.
In this episode of Picture Perfect, VBS goes on assignment with Dutch photographer Rob Hornstra to Sochi, Russia as he continues to captures the city as it exists before it is thrust into the international spotlight as host of the 2014 Winter Olympics. This time around, Hornstra is photographing lounge singers in restaurants, cabarets and hotel lobbies.
“Sanatorium” is the first publication of the Sochi Project, which came out in a limited edition of 350 signed copies in 2009.
During the Soviet era, millions of workers were sent to one of these sanatoria annually to revive their spirits and strengthen their bodies. Today, the sanatoria are still fully booked year round mostly with elderly or disabled Russians. In the run-up to the Olympic Winter Games in 2014, almost all the sanatoria will be converted into luxury hotels. There is no place for sentimentality when it comes to the past. Sanatorium is an ode to these Soviet strongholds, revealing a deep-seated love for spas that is firmly embedded in the Russian soul.
To get a better impression what a sanatorium is all about, don’t miss this short video of The Sochi Project.
Unfortunately “Sanatorium” is already sold out and it’s the only book that’s missing in my collection, but thanks to Rob you can view the entire book online.
“On The Other Side Of The Mountains” is a very smartly produced, and won rightly the Dutch Canon Prijs for innovative journalism 2010 and also received an honorable mention in the Magnum Expression Award 2010. It was especially developed for the European Month of Photography, and is a multi-functional newspaper-cum-Do-It-Yourself exhibition for your home.
For all supporters of the Sochi Project you can see a detailed making of in the Sketchbook section on their site. But for all of you who aren’t supporting the project yet, you can see a part of the making of on the AHORNMAGAZINE website, which I think is highly interesting.
“On The Other Side Of The Mountains” is a story about Krasny Vostok, a village with one foot in the 19th century, still partially without gas and electricity. Barely 200 kilometres from Sochi, but a world away. There is no reason to portray this village; and that’s why they did. The Caucasus is more than just conflict and refugees, fundamentalist Islam or billion dollar Games.
Like all other publications of The Sochi Project, you can see the full multi-functional newspaper-cum-Do-It-Yourself exhibition here:
"Empty land, Promised land, Forbidden land is not a photo book. It is a documentary in book form, in which stories are told through text and photography. Sometimes the text tells its own story, sometimes the photography does and sometimes they do so together. The book’s format was geared towards this; we wanted the largest format that would still be comfortable to handle."
“Safety First” is entirely composed of negatives which were damaged by x-ray scanners during our stay in Grozny. In the Chechen capital, these scanners are not only placed at the entrance to the airport or government buildings, but also to shops, gyms, restaurants and outside on squares.
“Sochi Singers” is the third annual publication and was released in 2011. It explores how a deeply rooted Russian tradition goes hand in hand with the city’s new capitalist glamour. On the website you can read a detailed article about this project.