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Best photobooks 2023 x Factory Photobooks

"It's a big word, but 'monumental' certainly does justice to Factory Photobooks by Bart Sorgedrager" - de Volkskrant

"A new standard work, rich in information, a feast to leaf through" - NRC

Last month Factory Photobooks was selected by both the Volkskrant and NRC in their selections of the 10 best photobooks of 2023 - a great reward for this big project by Bart Sorgedrager. Besides making factory photobooks himself, Sorgedrager has collected more than 1,000 photobooks of factories from all over the world. For Factory Photobooks, he made a selection of the most extraordinary publications in this genre.

About the book
Massive factory halls, dirty overalls, spinning gears and smoking chimneys: Factory Photobooks is the definitive overview of an extraordinary photobook genre. Factory photobooks were commissioned by companies that wanted to use them to showcase their quality, innovativeness and progressiveness. The books went out into the world as promotional gifts for clients, investors, local public figures and employees. The ambition to portray the firm in a unique way often led to amazing experiments with book forms, photography and graphic design.

Besides surprising gems, Factory Photobooks covers iconic photobooks such as Vuur aan zee about the Hoogovens in IJmuiden, with photography by Ed van der Elsken, Paul Huf, Ata Kandó and Cas Oorthuys. Acquaint yourself with a new international chapter in the history of the photobook through this selection of more than 220 publications, brought together by expert, photographer and collector Bart Sorgedrager.

About the author
For Bart Sorgedrager, a tiny article in a local newspaper about a closing factory is a signal to contact the director, proposing the creation of a memorial book before the closure. Sorgedrager specializes in documenting a changing industrial landscape, which results from economic or technological developments. Production is moved abroad or there's simply no longer a demand for a product. In his photobooks, Sorgedrager always pays significant attention to the often long history of these disappearing businesses.

Aisde from documenting factorys himself, Sorgedrager has collected over a 1000 factory photobooks from all over de world. The collection demonstrates how large-scale industry is changing and moving accross the globe. For Factory Photobooks, he made a selection of the most extraordinary publications of this genre.

Book launches Paris & Rotterdam
Factory Photobooks will be officially launched on Saturday November 11th during Paris Photo at Polycopies, a non-profit for the distribution and promotion of independent photographic publishing (books, multiples, paper objects and experimental publishing practices). Every year, to coincide with Paris-Photo, Polycopies organizes its festival and transforms the Concorde-Atlantique boat and the quays of the Seine in front of it, into a large ephemeral bookshop fully dedicated to photography books. Bart Sorgedrager will present and sign his book during this weekend. Check the Polycopies website for more information.

When Sorgedrager returns from Paris Photo, Factory Photobooks will be launched on Friday November 17th at Donner, Rotterdam. Bart Sorgedrager himself will discuss the book with Frits Gierstberg (Dutch Photomuseum), Mattie Boom (Rijksmuseum), Els Kerremans (designer of the book) and Flip Bool (former director of the Dutch Photo Archive).