How was 2014 for Gerry Badger?
The co-author of The Photobook: A History enjoyed Italian documentary photographers and met Josef Koudelka
All art forms need their commentators, and Gerry Badger has served photography well over the past few decades. The British architect, photographer and photo-lover co-authored our great three-volume photobook history with Martin Parr, and spent 2014 organizing and speaking at a number of notable photography festivals. His discoveries all sound fruitful, yet we’re particularly intrigued by his 2015 Italian restaurant project. Consider our appetites – both gastronomic and photographic - whetted for next year.
What was the thing that inspired you most this year?
"Seeing a lot of young Italian photographers, without much money or subsidy, put on an incredible exhibition in a derelict factory at the Savignano Festival. For them, unlike a lot of the young photographers one sees, documentary was not a dirty word. And yet to describe most of the work as ‘documentary’ would be to do it a severe injustice. The point is that most of it was dealing with Italy and its problems rather than just navel gazing, which is all too prevalent these days."
What was your personal working highlight this year?
"Well of course, the launch of Volume III of the Photobook History and the reception it received, especially when we launched it in France. Also going to the second Vienna Photobook Festival, at the Anzenberger Gallery, which is located in an old bread factory, where I did a memorable ‘in conversation’ with Josef Koudelka, and saw a lot of extremely interesting books from Eastern Europe."
__ What can we expect from you in 2015?__
"I am working with ten of the young Italian photographers I met in Savignano. They will each make a small body of work about a typical local restaurant, only 8 to 10 images done with large format cameras. The chosen restaurants cover Italy, from Venice and Milan in the north to Bari and Naples in the south. The project was born over lunch in one of the featured restaurants (in Savignano), and when complete, we all hope to get together, and make a tour of them all. What can be better, combining food and photography? Well, I can think of one better thing."