Announcing the Unseen Dummy Award winner!

by Unseen September 21 2018

Unseen and Lecturis are delighted to announce that Rebecca Fertinel has won this year’s Unseen Dummy Award! Showcasing compelling photobook designs from exceptional artists all over the world, the Unseen Dummy Award grants the winner the opportunity to have their photobook published and distributed on an international scale. Ubuntu is Fertinel’s first book project.

This year’s international jury comprised of Sarah Allen (Assistant Curator, Tate Modern), Tim Clark (Editor-in-Chief and Director, 1000 Words), Russet Lederman (Co-founder, 10x10 Photobooks), Paul van Mameren (Managing Director, Lecturis) and Małgorzata Stankiewicz (winner of the Unseen Dummy Award 2017).

Rebecca Fertinel, Ubuntu.jpg

Image: from Ubuntu, 2018 © Rebecca Fertinel 

About the book:
In August 2015, Fertinel was invited to a Congolese wedding by a friend. Here she was introduced to the warm and open Congolese community in Belgium and the concept of ubuntu - that you become a human being by connecting with everything and everyone. Although at first sight a conventional book, Ubuntu’s quiet and effective editing transforms documentary photography into an unexpected narrative flow of community events. Ubuntu was designed by Sarah Cleeremans.

Artist statement:
“The design departs from the fact that most of the photos are horizontal and that a 'spread' is less legible due to the fold in the middle of a book, it was thus decided to cut all photos in two and print them on consecutive pages; you must turn the page to see the second half of the photo. Due to the specific design of this book, the look of rapport between two spouses is delayed and they escape any forced or kitsch effect. They allow themselves to be discovered or caught, just as the scenes were caught by the photographer.

The transition from one party to another party to the funeral in the middle of the book is a kind of breaking point. The rhythm of the book refers to life, and how people live by it. By cutting this image it creates a kind of dance where you don't know what comes after.”

The runners-up of Unseen Dummy Award 2018 are:
Tarrah Krajnak (USA), El Jardín De Senderos Que Se Bifurcan
Maria Sturm (Romania), “You don't look Native to me”

Thank you to all those who submitted their photobook dummies this year! The standard, as usual, was exceptionally high. 

Image: Unseen Dummy Award ceremony, Unseen Amsterdam, 2018 © Maarten Nauw