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HOW WE SEE: a reading room and an all-female photo book

“How we see: photobooks by women” published by 10×10 Photobooks
Photobook Review by Maria Serena Bongiovanni

The relationship between book, photography and publishing is very special.
Is there an ideal way to look at all the publications available among the various events, fairs around the world? It would be nice to create a public reading room. Exactly what the creators of 10×10 Photo books (Olga Yatskevich, Russet Lederman and Michael Lang) thought.
That’s why they created How we see: a reading room where you can comfortably browse all the books on display.

The aim is to foster a deeper understanding of photographic books, to offer spaces to cultivate the freedom and inventiveness of artists and allow them to deal directly with the public.
For this reason the books are not confined to a showcase unreachable by their audience.
In fact, the creators emphasize and underline the possibility of experiencing these objects by bringing into play at least two senses: sight and touch, and why not, also touch.

Mep 2019 Paris

This year, on the occasion of the new edition of Paris Photo, the MEP, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, 10x10Photobooks presents HOW WE SEE. It is a reading room where there are one hundred photo books published between 21st and 20th centuries by female photographers, who arrived in Paris after a tour of New York, Buenos Aires, Boston and Pittsburgh.

“How we see: photobooks by women”: the book

How We See: Photobooks by Women” 10x10 Photobooks
Spread from “How We See: Photobooks by Women” © 10×10 Photobooks

The book was awarded with a special mention at the Photobook Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards 2019 in Paris.

It is not a simple story, not only an anthology, a catalog neither…it is an immersion among 100 publications by women, a visual journey through their gaze accompanied by essays, chronologies, reference lists of historical books and documents that trace the women’s approach to the realization of the photo book.

The women made a significant contribution to the history of photography and photo publishing. This book is a fundamental piece in the reconstruction of the history of photo publishing. It encourages fruitful discussions and debates on the topic. According to archival sources, the first photographic album published by a woman was Cyanotype Impressions (1843-1853). It’s an extraordinary and fascinating work created by the British photographer Anna Atkins dealing with the first Calotipia experiments.

How We See: Photobooks by Women” 10x10 Photobooks
How We See: Photobooks by Women © 10×10 Photobooks

The project is curated by Russet Lederman, Olga Yatskevich and Michael Lang, who dedicated themselves to the recognition and cataloging of the most important works published by female artists.

In order to represent a sample as vast as possible, the editors brought together a group of ten photo book selectors from ten different geographic regions, who selected ten photo books from their territory.

The structure

Each selection is accompanied by a small introductory essay that outlines the line of thought followed for the creation of each category.
Furthermore, you can see small descriptions of each work flanked by images of the book covers and some photos of the internal pages.
They are examples of the attention to detail and refinement of each photo book. This attention to the book as an object is the perfect realization of the 10×10 objective: to bring people closer to publications and let them interact with them.

You can find books by:

Laia Abril, Ying Ang, Olivia Arthur, Sophie Calle, Xiaoyi Chen, Zoe Croggon, Cristina de Middel, Laura El-Tantawy, Abigail Heyman, Hannah Höch, Dragana Jurisc, Kristina Jurotschkin, Pixy Liao, Susan Meiselas, Zanele Muholi, Yurie Nagashima, Catherine Opie, Maya Rochat, Guadalupe Ruiz, Eva Saukane, Collier Schorr, Ketaki Sheth, Lieko Shiga, Dayanita Singh, Mitra Tabrizian, Carrie Mae Weems.

How We See: Photobooks by Women” 10x10 Photobooks
From How We See: Photobooks by Women © 10×10 Photobooks

How We See: Photobooks by Women” 10x10 Photobooks
From How We See: Photobooks by Women © 10×10 Photobooks


Every day until November 10, 2019, 11am-7.30pm.

Details about the book:

Publishing: 10×10 Photobooks
Year: 2018/2019 
Pages: 305 

Photo Credits:


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