The project

Too Good To Be Photographed is a project which explores the various sides of photographic failure. On the one hand, it delves into an inability of photography to accurately replicate vision. On the other, there is a larger cultural issue at focus. It relates to our societal investment in photography to truly depict what we see and endow it with an attribute of “truthfulness”.

The project deals with a special discrepancy: that moment when photography breaks. When the camera collapses as a mechanical-eye, and when the medium fails as a cultural replicator of our looking. In other words, the project presents photography’s B-sides, failures, non-successes, defeats. Which ultimately leads to questions about our desires of what photography should be and should be able to do.

The project results from a series of conversations between curator Paul Paper and over 60 artists over a year’s time. The examples gathered can be broadly distinguished into two categories. First are documented “failures” that happened after the fact, that is, after the viewing of a photograph (a sudden realization that this particular image fails to capture some aesthetic or conceptual qualities of the view, or fails to reconnect to the memory of this specific moment, etc). The second group explores the conceptual limitations inherent in the camera and its ability to document.

About us

Too Good To Be Photographed is developed by curator and artist Paul Paper in collaboration with independent art publisher Lugemik.

Paul Paper is an artist and independent curator. His project Blog Re-blog reflects the challenges of curating photography in a network-empowered culture, and was presented at Austin Center for Photography in 2014. His most recent project This is It/Now is a photographic exhibition that took place on Snapchat. It utilized the ephemeral platform to touch on the issues of changing materiality and temporality of photographic images. The show aimed to extend boundaries of exhibiting spaces and reflect on the changing definitions of physicality and mutability. Paul Paper is working with books since 2006 and has published 11 titles. His publications are held in various collections including the MoMA library, Met Museum library, Design Museum Denmark, Clark Art Institute, Joan Flasch Collection, Oslo National Academy of the Arts.

Lugemik is an independent publishing initiative based in Tallinn, Estonia, founded in 2010 by graphic designer Indrek Sirkel and artist Anu Vahtra. Lugemik publishes small editions of books and other printed matter, working closely together with artists, writers, designers, printers in every step of the publishing process. In 2013 Lugemik opened a bookshop on the premises on Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM), and in 2017 its second location in collaboration with Tallinn Art Hall. In 2015 Lugemik was joined by the curator and artist Laura Toots for extended activities with artists beyond publishing projects.

The book

The book will feature more than 150 photographs by 47 artists from 17 countries worldwide:

  • Hieronymus Ahrens (DE)
  • Cassidy Araiza (US)
  • Roxana Azar (US)
  • Sergiy Barchuk (US/UKR)
  • Tine Bek (UK)
  • Alexander Binder (DE)
  • Etienne Courtois (BE)
  • Paloma Dooley (US)
  • Yael Eban (ISR)
  • Jason Fulford (US)
  • Harry Griffin (US)
  • Alexander Harding (US)
  • Aaron Hegert (US)
  • Mishka Henner (UK)
  • Sam Hutchinson (UK)
  • Janna Ireland (US)
  • Go Itami (JPN)
  • Tim Johannis (NL)
  • Cole Don Kelley (US)
  • Wawrzyniec Kolbusz (PL)
  • Paul Kuimet (EE)
  • Daniel Kukla (US)
  • Fred Lahache (FR)
  • Inka & Niclas Lindergård (SE)
  • Tom Lovelace (UK)
  • Carlos Lowenstein (US)
  • Michael Marcelle (US)
  • Katja Mater (NL)
  • Lydia Mccarthy (US)
  • Nich Hance McElroy (US)
  • Aso Mohammadi (IRN/CH)
  • Awoiska Van Der Molen (NL)
  • Ryan L. Moule (UK)
  • Luke Libera Moore (US)
  • Erin O’Keefe (US)
  • Eva O’Leary (US)
  • Kristina Õllek (EE)
  • Ke Peng (CHN)
  • Hanna Putz (AT)
  • Johan Rosenmunthe (DK)
  • Margaux Roy (FR)
  • Erik Schubert (US)
  • Brea Souders (US)
  • Javier Torok (AR/US)
  • Athena Torri (ECU/IT)
  • Casey James Wilson (US)
  • Jaclyn Wright (US)

The works in the book are accompanied by three essays written by Roksana Filipowska, Rye Holmboe, and Jaclyn Wright, and an introduction by Paul Paper.

The book is edited by Paul Paper, designed by Indrek Sirkel and published by Lugemik (Tallinn, Estonia).

Book launch in New York

September 20, Rubber Factory
With Yael Eban, Roksana Filipowska, Jaclyn Wright, Paul Paper

Book launch in Tallinn

September 30, Tallinn Photomonth 2017
With Rye Holmboe, Kristina Õllek, Hanna Putz, Paul Paper