Selections range from simple magazines to opulent volumes complete with slipcovers and creamy paper. Some showcase images by students, notably from the Netherlands, a hotbed of indie photobooks. Others feature the work of professionals, such as well-known Australian Magnum photographer Trent Parke. His collection of street shots, published in a 1,000-copy edition, sold out in one day.
The show’s rarer and more delicate books are in a glass exhibition case, but others can be taken off the wall and handled. Each work also has a QR code that can be scanned with a mobile phone to access more information about it. And the space has been outfitted with chairs for the show so people can settle in and inspect a volume page by page.
One thing Leclair appreciates about the show is that “it wasn’t curated by me. I like the opportunity to see which books resonate with other people.” Curators Muriel Hasbun and Susan Sterner (both Corcoran staffers) and Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, a visiting artist from Mexico, chose what Leclair calls “books that have a sense of place.”
Most of the works on view are limited editions or were produced by print-on-demand services. To rate a place in her collection, Leclair says, “There has to be more than one. But even if there are just five copies out there, I’m interested in that book.”