William Stewart – Abandoned: Oppède le Vieux

William Stewart’s photobook Abandoned: Oppède le Vieux marks the launch of Albumen Publishing. Albumen Publishing is an independent boutique photobook publisher and reseller born from Albumen Gallery. Albumen Gallery photo exhibitions had been accompanied by books published in the Albumen Gallery Editions. Growing interest in the Editions has led to the creation of Albumen Publishing.

Albumen Publishing will produce its own titles and will be complemented by distributing and reselling photobooks by 3rd party publishers.

Albumen Publishing aims to set itself apart by creating a thematically structured program of titles that reflect an interesting and stimulating angle on contemporary photography.

The inaugural series comes under the banner ‘Abandoned’. ‘Abandoned’ in photography circles is typically associated with popular genre terms like ‘Urbex’,  ‘Ruin porn’ etc., which describe a somewhat superficial and indulgent aesthetic of decay. Departing from  narrow genre boundaries of abandoned architecture Albumen Publishing sets out a broader context of things or even concepts we have discarded, left behind.

In Oppède le Vieux – William Stewart’s first book in the ‘Abandoned’ series –  he portraits the ruined small Luberon hill top village in the Provence. When buildings having outlived their useful purpose are abandoned, fall into disuse and decay, their very existence challenge our understanding of how we should deal with the past and  the traces it leaves behind.  Throughout the photo essay William Stewart’s  camera accepts that challenge as a creative starting point  reflecting on how simultaneously architectural legacies of the past shape us and how we use them in turn to craft and impose a ‘version’ of history.