Uta Eisenreich. AS IF

The second book in the collaboration between photographer Uta Eisenreich and designer Julia Born is a brilliant exploration of the mutual exchange between the languages of text and image. Unlike in the first book from more than a decade ago, the numerous brightly coloured, objective and formal photos of objects are now not so much condensed narratives as individual signs in a pictorial idiom. Each 22-page section of photos is followed by a double page of picture captions which relate in widely differing ways to the photographed objects, to their formal characteristics, to visual language and so on. Some of the captions are purely descriptive; others contain quotations from philosophy, perceptual psychology, advertising manuals and more; others still are jokes. The individual arrangements of image and text are like magical moments: while it might not be immediately clear how exactly it all works, there is no doubt that it does. The typography of the captions varies in subtle ways, while the grid and arrangement on the double page remain constant. The various material elements of the book are combined with consummate skill: a high-gloss paper, a matt paper, a reflective film for the hardcover and a thin paper for the dust jacket with a hole that looks like a picture element. What is an image? This book offers multiple clues to the answer, without ever appearing didactic, cryptic or ironic.

Uta Eisenreich, Amsterdam (NL); Julia Born, Zürich (CH)
Uta Eisenreich, Amsterdam (NL)
Julia Born, Zürich (CH)
DZA Druckerei zu Altenburg GmbH, Altenburg (DE)
Roma Publications, Amsterdam (NL)