Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Europe's Biggest Photobook Festival: Vienna Photobook Festival

Why make a photobook? by Ania Nalecka

If Kassel is the oldest Photobook Festival, and Bristol is the smallest (and cosiest - and, er, most expensive) then Vienna Photobook Festival is the biggest. Here the different book rooms take centre stage in a festival that covers the whole range of photobookery - from the zines and  handmade to the valuable vintage, with a perspective that takes in Eastern Europe as well as Western Europe and beyond.

Regina Anzenberger began Vienna Photobook Festival in 2013 and very kindly answered a few questions on how and why the festival began.

Read a review of Vienna Photobook 2015 here.

Ivars Gravlejs: Auteur of Early Works

How and why did you start Vienna Photobook Festival?

When AnzenbergerGallery moved to the former bread factory, we became neighbours with OstLicht gallery, the biggest photography gallery in Vienna. They have a photobook library with about 25000 books. One day the photobook curator Michael Kollmann asked me if I want to start a photobook festival with him. A week before I had denied an offer of another gallery owner here to make a photo festival but a photobook festival seemed ok and I felt I could overview it beside my other activities here. So we started very modestly with the goal to sell 20 tables to booksellers and finally had 50 for the first festival. Michael Kollmann and me, we had always collected photobooks our own and we felt Vienna was a good city for a festival.

How is it funded?

Mainly by Ostlicht and AnzenbergerGallery, the exhibitors' table fees, private sponsors and some state subsidies.

Introduction to the Stalker Book of 2015: A Work on Jealousy by Jenny Rova

How many people come?

About 6000 in two days.

Who is it for?

Photobook lovers, photographers, booksellers.

Does it cost anything to get in?

No, it is free entry.

Rebecca Reuter 

Vienna Photobook Festival also has a Photobook Review which is of a very high standard and was won last year by Mark Duffy and his excellent Vote no. 1. See pictures below, and buy the book here.

Buy Tickets for Photobook Bristol 2016 here.

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