RVB BOOKS is a publishing company founded in Paris in 2011. RVB publishes beautifully crafted and innovative books by French artists like Thomas Maielender, Gregoire Pujade-Lauraine, Stephanie Solinas as well by the Dutch artists Jaap Sheeren and Ruth van Beek. Earlier this week, I had the following conversation with Remi Faucheux, the co-founder of RVB BOOKS :
What lead you to start publishing books?
RF: I collaborated with photographers on a project called Clinic It was an exploration of the medical universe through contemporary photography. Clinic became a touring exhibition through different venues in France and abroad and a photobook published with Images en Manoeuvres editions in 2008. Then I developped an other project on the theme of Luxury. But the financial aspect has been a real issue to continue…I realized also they was a lack of visibility for French photographers on an international level, so someone had to fill this gap. Launching RVB Books with my partner Matthieu Charon was the next move.
How do you select the projects and artists to make a book with?
RF: At first we look to collaborate with artists seeing the book form as fundamental of their work. We are mostly interested in artists who share an experimental approach to photography and are exploring the uses of imagery. Often a project come out from meetings or conversations. For example, one day I called Jaap Scheeren at his studio, he told me he was experimenting to see what happens to a mouse moving around with a scanner (!).That is how the idea of publishing ” Margriet “ came from…We decided to print a small run using Indigo press, a digital process. It was easy and fast to produce.
Every book that you have published till now is a very different kind of object. Tell me about the process when the moment of production come:
RF : The concept, the format has always to come first from the artist.As a publisher and designer we are working to make his/her ideas happen. Every project, is a new adventure. Sometimes it could even be chaotic. For ‘Cathedral Cars’ we had to find a printer able to make the specific kind of children book we had in mind with Thomas Maielender. We tried one in France, then we went to Spain to try with a new one and finally we found the right one in Malaysia…
‘M. Bertillon’ by Stephanie Solinas, the latest RVB Books release pushes the boundaries of the book format. Could you explain the project?
RF : Stephanie Solinas was inspired by the biography ‘Life of Alphonse Bertillon, Inventor of Anthropometry’. The book ‘M. Bertillon’, is an object in itself and you can play with. If you want you can cut, fold and glue the elements of this book to reconstitute the face of Bertillon. There is also a limited edition, which is a box with the mask crafted. In creating different objects and limited editions with each book it is a way to push forward the intention of the artist beyond the book concept.
What are the plans for the next future?
RF: We are working on a project with Olivier Cablat as the book has to be ready for Les Rencontres d’Arles in July, We are also planning to participate in the next New York Artbook Fair…
Do you have an advice for a young photographer who want to publish his first book?
RF : Being innovative in the approach of photography. To innovate with the book concept ….
Your favorite photo book?
RF: It is not easy to choose only one !..I like the books of Hans-Peter Feldman, Joachim Schmidt, Julian Germain…
Final words about Contemporary Photography in France?
RF: Actually there is a generation of photographers today who don’t recognize themselves within the so called ‘familiy of French photography’ . These photographers who exist in the margins are the ones we like to work with….