PHOTOBOOKS OF NOTE 2020 - Matthew Genitempo

I knew only a handful of Judith Black’s pictures before receiving this, so I was delighted when those few great pictures yielded an entire book. Black offers us a sincere and unhurried chronology of domestic hardships, unavoidable childhood phases, and a benevolent reminder that time moves on—a book that I will undoubtedly return to over the years.

On occasion, when checking into certain hotels/motels that double as the owner or employee’s home, there’s a moment when the manager is alerted of a guest and they must enter into the lobby from their own residence. When that door is briefly cracked, you get a small peek at what domestic life might be like for a hotel manager. This book inhabits that space. Dakpa's pictures are quiet, silly, and tender. Also, no surprise, this Steidl book’s production is top notch.
What have we done to one another? Brutal/Beautiful/Essential.
This is not only a tranquil glimpse of a chance summer, it’s also a beaming reflection of its creator. You can’t help but love a book when its author’s openness and sensitivity is just so crystal clear.
The space between initially seeing a set of pictures and experiencing the book as it was intended is sometimes cloudy. So how does your relationship to a book change when you receive it a few pages at a time… scattered over a few months… under the care of the USPS? This is one of those books that’s filled with remarkable pictures contained within an annoyingly great concept. 


Matthew Genitempo is a photographer living in Marfa, Texas. He, together with some friends, runs Trespasser Books. Matthew also works in a great bookshop in Marfa, so he knows good books.