The book’s space interviews: Die Mauer ist Weg!

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06 nov The book’s space interviews: Die Mauer ist Weg!

Book: Die Mauer ist Weg!
Photographs: Mark Power
Book design: Ania Nalecka / Tapir Book Design
Editor: Globtik Books
Date of publishing: 2014
N° of copies: 1000
Dimensions: 38×28,2 cm (cover); 31,5×23,5 cm (pages)
Binding: Hardback, Swiss binding
Paper: Munken Pure 170 gr


Which are the 5 indispensable pictures for this book?

Photographer: Difficult, but there are some book spreads.

What is the framed structure of this book?

Book Designer: On first level it is placing specifying event in time by using the “the day” issue of the daily newspaper and this is also physical construction of the book. A bit deeper, apart from referring to historical event, it is sentimental journey to one’s artistic origins, a love letter to photography. And of course one serves to another as a background or protagonist.

How did you choose your book designer?

P: I’d been following Ania’s work for sometime and I was keen to ask if she’d like to work with me, but I was waiting for the right book. Die Mauer ist Weg! seemed perfect; I’d never considered my Berlin pictures to be particularly good and I wanted to make a book which was fun, a little whacky, and didn’t take itself too seriously. From what I could see Ania consistently thought out of the box; I could tell she was interested in the book as object.

What was your approach to get into the photographic project?

BD: My method is I try to ask as many as possible question to the Photographer, mostly observe and synchronise with her/him, conceptual and intuitive approach the same time. With Mark, of course, I was a bit intimidated at the beginning as a acknowledge photographer and book maker. He had it (the story) thought through so we proceeded to working on nuances really quickly. Nuances like finding balance between depicted story on the photographs (the Wall fall) and personal story of becoming photographer (in text and as an analysis of photographs – the artistic approach).

How did you develop the work on the book?

P: The whole thing was done through email. I’ve done a search and found 401 messages (!!!) from Ania throughout the process, and I’m guessing I would have sent at least as many back again. That sounds like we had many problems but it really wasn’t like that – right from the outset we were on the same page. I soon discovered Ania was as much a perfectionist as I am, so most of the time we were just tweaking tiny details. The cover was Ania’s idea; I’d sent her an early edit/sequence of the pictures and it included one of a woman reading the first newspaper published after the Wall opened, available in the early hours of the morning. Ania wrote straight back and asked if I had a copy. I wasn’t sure, but I looked and miraculously I found it within minutes. I scanned it quickly on my cheap flatbed and it was this we used to make the brasses for the stamping. We didn’t actually meet until we went on press, in Warszawa.

BD: I haven’t realised that it was 411 emails :) It was one of the swiftest and efficient collaboration I had so far. Mark was always there for me whatever question I had.


Which narrative slant did you choose for this book and why?

BD: Mark was working on sequencing on the photographs, I was more in role of “test reader”:) But there is meta narration in which photographic story is the incipience. There are 3 main points the narration wound around: “newspaper cover”, bigger than the book, with inside-covers framing the book physically and in historical timeline; the photographic story, starting with the big event and side-walking into the beauty of backstage; and the personal text, bridging previous both.

What’s the difference between the book and the photographic project slant?

P: It was never a ‘project’ as such. I just happened to be in Berlin by mistake when the Wall fell, staying for a week. It rescued my photographic career (I’d been on the verge of giving it all up) and it’s primary importance was always only this. However, last summer I was thinking bout self-publishing for the first time and my assistant Murray suggested I used the Berlin pictures. I dismissed the idea immediately but then I realised that 2014 marked a quarter of a century after of the fall of the Wall. It was published on November 9th, exactly 25 years after the event.


How did you choose the materials and the kind of printing?

BD: It was one of those “small architecture” book, so it couple of dummies to find the best options for the cover, emboss, etc. The idea for the cover – newspaper original layout embossed in two colors on thick, rough cardboard – was to make out of not-meant-to-last daily issue a monumental mark of significant day. The book was printed with tritone – with customised presets (Pantones and profiles), the ones I work out through test for last few years.

How the materials’ choices are connected to the photographic project?

P: I wanted to use an uncoated paper and dark, slightly ‘sooty’ printing that resembled photogravure. Ania organised a number of tests to be made, which was money well spent. We also did sharpening tests and then prepared the final files so carefully that we had virtually no adjustments to make on press. The whole thing was printed in a single day. As for the cover, I wanted dimensions approaching the size of the original newspaper (it’s only slightly smaller) but if the pages inside had been same size it would have almost doubled the cost. So the pages are smaller – a particularly cost-efficient size. I was proud to have thought of the idea to include a card ‘c’ shape which fits around the pages and supports the cover. I use a rubber stamp to mark them all ‘Globtik Books’ to make each one feel like part of the book. Also, when I sold the book (almost all were sold directly through my website) I signed, stamped, wrapped (in newsprint), packed and posted them all myself. I wanted the first impression, when first opened, to be as good as possible. Many, many people tweeted pictures of the package, which must have boosted sales.

You can also find all the interview archive on 3/3 blog: