Bruno Ceschel's Photobookcases

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday July 30, 2014

Today DART launches the 2014 Summer Invitational: Pimp Your Photobookcases, in which publishers, educators, and a librarian show their stuff.

The matter that directs their lives, inspires dreams, and the occasional nightmare—photobooks—requires considerable effort to wrangle into order. Today Bruno Ceschel, founder of Self Publish, Be Happy, opens the doors to his office and home.

Q: How you organize your photobooks? Do you have a system?

A: I have different bookshelves at work and at home. In the Self Publish, Be Happy office I keep all of the self-published book collection, which is comprised of something close to 1,500 publications, all organized by author alphabetically (first photo).

The next photo depicts the table in my living room where I keep some of my own books. The table is very much like those you find in bookstores, organized by me (piling up new books I bought) and rearranged by people that come by and consult it. It is a sort of a display in flux.


Q: What is the first photobook you ever bought and why did it catch your attention?

A: It wasn’t really a photobook, but more an illustrated book—an Italian edition of Scouting for Boys by Baden Powell. My mom bought it for me and I wanted it because I was a good boy scout.

Q: Have your shelves ever collapsed under the weight of your books? Or have your photobooks caused any other type of disaster?

A: No real accidents that I can remember, though because I have moved house and office so many times, there have been a lot of burst boxes and back pains.

Q: What is the next photobook you plan to purchase?

A: One new book from my friend at The Ice Plant titled Bad Luck, Hot Rocks by Ryan Thompson & Phil Orr. It should be out in the next few weeks.

Bruno Ceschel is a writer, curator and lecturer at the University of the Arts London. He is the founder of Self Publish, Be Happy, an organization that supports and promotes the work of emerging photographers. Self Publish, Be Happy has organized events at a number of institutions around the world, including The Photographer’s Gallery, ICA, Serpentine Galleries, C/O Berlin, Aperture Foundation, and Kunsthal Charlottenborg among others. Ceschel is also the Director of SPBH Editions, which has most recently published books by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Cristina De Middel, Mariah Robertson and Lorenzo Vitturi.

Ceschel writes regularly for a number of publications including FOAM, The British Journal of Photography and Aperture Magazine and has guest-edited issues of Photography and Culture, Ojo de Pez and The PhotoBook Review.

Editor's note: You can meet Bruno this fall at the New York Art Book Fair, at MoMA PS1, September 26-28, 2014. Information.

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