This series features interviews with independent photobook publishers. This month’s interview is with the publisher of Éditions, Joe Tarzia.
DTP: How would you describe Éditions to someone who has never seen your books?
Joe Tarzia: A curated collection of limited edition art and photography which somewhat represents our own personal interests, subject matter and aesthetics.
DTP: What series of events led you to start your own publishing house?
JT: It was a natural progression from our graphic design practice, Zé Studio in which some of our clients were artists or colleagues who had personal projects we were interested to share. For us, it allowed collaboration on a deeper level and really push our design and publishing ideas and foster relationships with artists we cared about.
DTP: How do you find photographers that you want to work with and how do you determine what might make a good photo book?
JT: So far, the majority of artists we’ve worked with have been those we have some existing relationship. Our first release, Éditions 01 manifested in an organic way with artist and friend, Ward Roberts collaborating together with myself on a photo series. This then lead to our Éditions 03 release, Courts 02 by Ward Roberts based on Ward’s documentation of sporting courts in all corners of the globe. Traianos Pakiofakis and I came together mutually when he moved to Sydney from Berlin and we started working on client projects together. I was super drawn to his approach to photography and we have so far released two of his abstract flora series (Éditions 02 and Éditions 05). Our most recent release, Éditions 06 with Carine Thévenau come about having known Carine for a number of years and seeing some initial glimpses of the series of abandoned playgrounds she shot in rural Japan in 2017.
In all our releases, we consider the artists’ work first and really push the design and format to embody the work in a tangible way. For instance, Courts 02 by Ward Roberts allows the artist to authenticate the book with a paint brush stroke on the back cover. With Form Supplement by Traianos Pakioufakis, the subject matter alluded to the idea of having a softcover with a translucent cover to allow a certain softness to the book. For us, a successful photobook is creating an emotional response from its tangible aspects which can’t be communicated in a digital sphere.
DTP: Have there been any books that have been particularly rewarding to produce or that you felt a special kinship with?
JT: They're all rewarding in different ways. Our first book Courts 02 by Ward Roberts was particularly exciting as it was not only our first book but also saw a US book release at Soho House, New York and Arcana Books, Culver City. Éditions 05 Form Supplement by Traianos Pakioufakis was a subsequent release from our Éditions 02 release with the artist and images from both releases culminated nicely in an exhibition at Kinokuniya, Sydney. Our most recent Éditions 06 release with Carine Thévenau also manifested beautifully, with the artist using origami forms to demonstrate the folding/unfolding nature of the series Seasonal Abandonment of Imaginary Worlds with life-size origami structures included at the artists Koskela book launch exhibition in Sydney.
DTP: What are some forthcoming titles are you particularly excited about?
JT: We’re hoping to work on limited edition releases other than prints or books and looking at more object-based releases so this is particularly exciting.
DTP: What was one of the most challenging books that you have published and why?
JT: Most of our challenges are the logistics of distributing our books being based in Sydney. We’re now grateful to be working with Idea Books in Amsterdam who take care of our international distribution.
DTP: It seems that an increasing number of photographers, at all stages of their careers, are looking to publish a book. What should photographers think about before they embark on the book process?
JT: It can be a lengthy, time consuming and a costly exercise. However, a photobook opens a lot of opportunities for both artists and publishers.
Visit Éditions’ website to learn more about their books.