Is your approach as Photo Editor at Études Books different to your role at JSBJ?
In fact we are currently 6 people working for Études Studio and 3 of us are dedicated on Études Books. I founded JSBJ with my friends Aurélien & Jérémie and we are still working all together on Études Books, we work and share everything on this project. I ‘m maybe the one who spend most of my time looking for new photographers and proposes choices to my partners so that’s why we redefine my role as Photo Editor, it may also be because I work for other media as Photo Editor… But honestly we are all three totally involved on Etudes Books, with defined role and specialities for each of us, but it is primarily an exchange between us.
How are your publishing intentions developed or different from those at JSBJ, does it feel like a new project or simply more refined?
For us it is more and evolution than a new project. We still focus exclusively in photography and we are working around a collection of monographic books and on independent books that speak of a real sense of community. We use books and publishing as a medium, we do not define ourself as a publisher, each of our books is part of our own creative work. We take care in the curating, the editing, the design of the publication and the printing process. Just the content is not ours, but our involvement in the process and the collaboration with each artist is very important. Those aspects and the fact that we just do a couple of books per year makes each of our books rare and have a special story around it. We consider each book more like an art object than just one more book about photography.
What type of role will the artists play in the production and editing of Études Books?
As I say, we take care of the whole process of the production and the editing too, but we think that the collaboration of the artists is very important for us and we try to share all the process with them, to exchange and involve them during the preparation and the making of the book. It also depends on the willingness of the artist and his involvement in it.
What do you look for in series or artist when publishing?
We curate works and artists we feel close to. We like to choose people we think the work shares the same meaning and gives the sense as if it would be our own personal work. We often know the artists personally, or sometimes just have seen their works in gallery’s, books or Internet. The important thing when starting a project with any artist is to make sure that the work in common will defend the same purpose.
How does Études being split between Paris & New York affect your publishing process?
Those two cities are very different, the people, the places, the habits and our background in both of the cities is not the same also. Most of the people are in Paris and some of us are in New York, it is a lot of back and forth for all of us. On one hand you have “home”, where you know everything very well and in the other one, you just visit sometimes and it is interesting to think and analyze what this creates in terms of inspirations and influences. How you would look around you, and how habits could kill motivation to discover but also could help to become more focused. In terms of opportunities, it is definitively a great point, we can be present in more events, and show our work to new people because of that.
Études Books appears to have a very clear and distinct design direction, how does that effect your role as Photo Editor?
Études Books is part of Études Studio which designs and produces men’s contemporary fashion, artist books and proposes its’ creative services in the fields of art direction, graphic design, photography… Design direction is very important in our whole process and in our everyday job. We do not think the art direction should be taken as a “constraint” but rather as something that is there to beautify and make the project even more exciting, as a whole. I just feel so much satisfied when I see the images edited and associated with a very specific design direction, so it’s something motivating, in a way. About the new publications, the novelty of the collection is a format that is more formal, with a hardcover woven with blue and offset printing. The color is reminiscent of the 28 blue zines we published in the past 5 years. An other new point is the number of copies, which rose from 50 to 300, each of those numbered by hand.
Can you tell us about future releases / projects for Études Books?
Stay tuned !
JSBJ & Études books seem very present at book fairs, where do you feel a book fair’s value lies?
I don’t really know if we are very present at book fairs. We just decided to be selective and choose the ones that suits us the best. During those past years, there were more and more book fairs which defined itself as “the most incredible one” but in fact they all look similar and boring. So you have to make the right choices when you decide to participate. I think it is very important to be physically present and not just to send books to a multiple table like some fairs offer. It remains for us an opportunity to meet the artists who we have worked with or who we would possibly like to work with, people who follow us and share good and interesting moments with them.
How do you feel looking back at the Blue Zine Series, do you have a favourite?
I think the Blue zine series was a great experience for us and proved to be the identification of JSBJ. As far as i’m concerned, and this is very subjective, but one of my favorite is Hypotèse d’un continent by Charles Nègre and I’m also very happy to have collaborated with guys like Paul Kooiker or Ari Marcopoulos on this zine collection. Finally, with regard to choice a more affective one, it could be Vers les vieilles lumières by Marco Barrera.
What publication or publisher surprised you last?
I think we are are very respectful and appreciative of the work of publishers as Patrick Frey, Mack, Roma Publications or Kodoji Press. This list is not exhaustive but these names are often mentioned between us. About the last publications which surprised us, Aurélien and I were at the NY art book fair 2 weeks ago for Études Books and we were very surprised about the last book of Ari Marcopoulos – OUT TO LUNCH, published by PPP Editions. The object is very impressive !