back to previous site


Editing Challenge | Wolfgang Zurborn vs Detlev Pusch



Photobook expert Wolfgang Zurborn competed against Detlev Pusch on 6.6.23 to create a book dummy from Jörg Meier's image material 'aye'.

In the Zoom Talk, the experts will present their approach and discuss their results with Jörg and the audience. As always, the photo book professionals show us step by step how they arrive at their results. And this time they also explain why certain frames were sorted out. "Detlev's design challenges the viewer to emphasize the narrative more through the chapters and terminology. Wolfgang's design counts on each individual image in sequence and makes the interpretations appear more open," says Ingo Taubhorn, describing the different approaches. Why does Detlev see the book design as a vampiric work, and whether you can take apart a pictorial space and spread it over two pages without losing the feeling inherent in the picture? In this episode you can find out why Jörg would like to portray a foreign city as a journey into his own biography and whether he succeeded in doing so in Wolfgang's eyes.


Book dummies

Jörg Meier about his images

"'aye' was based on a feeling during a drive through the city of Glasgow in 2019. Memories of my hometown the Ruhr area from 40 years ago surfaced.

My own past lay before me, one I never documented. In my childhood, the wind blew cold through the tenements of the 60s in a suburb of Dortmund. My fondest memory is of the orchards and fields in the neighbourhood. In winter, the single-glazed windows were subtitled with icicles. They grew from the putty to the middle of the pane. The frost could not be stopped.

Financial and winter cold corresponded with each other. The stove in the living room was not enough to warm all the rooms, people shivered themselves to sleep. Far behind was heavy industry with its soot, glowing skies and the stench of poverty, red noses and heavy drinking that made the situation bearable for my parents' generation. You could smell the work on the streets, and wipe it out of your nose with the dirt in the evening. That's how Glasgow still seems to me to some extent today.

aye" is about personal encounters with people who live in Glasgow. By spending time with them and getting to know them, I recognise my own background more clearly. Parallels to my socialisation become apparent. Again and again I creep through the council flats of the suburbs and stand on the doorstep of 'my' childhood. I encounter things, places and people I once ran away from because I was afraid of becoming 'like them'. Today I speak their language and see that I am cut from the same cloth. They are my kin. I encounter my past and let things happen, documenting this time from the eyes of a 'Glaswegian' that I never was.

'aye' replaces any linguistic gap and means not only 'yes' or 'what?' but also shows approval - exactly what I find in this city. The people I portray and the stories I hear serve as a projection screen for my own story."

About the participants

  • Detlev Pusch
  • In his work Detlev Pusch seeks the ultimate and unique form for weighty books like "Augen auf! 100 Years of Leica" with well over 500 pages, but also slim little volumes for young artists, which he just as lovingly and prudently puts into the form appropriate to them. As an established book designer for important German curators such as Hans-Michael Koetzle, Frank Wagner (†), Boris von Brauchitsch and Ingo Taubhorn and international artists such as Alfredo Jaar, Saul Leiter, Sarah Moon, Dries Verhoeven, Ute Mahler and Werner Mahler, with catalogues for institutions such as the Haus der Photographie, Deichtorhallen Hamburg; Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin; Leica, Wetzlar; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg and Edition Braus, Berlin.

  • Wolfgang Zurborn
  • born 1956, studied at the Bayerische Staatslehranstalt für Photographie in Munich and at the FH Dortmund. In 1985 he was awarded the Otto Steinert Prize of the DGPh and in 2008 the German Photography Book Prize for his book Drift. Exhibitions of his work are shown internationally. For 37 years he has been co-operating with the Lichtblick Gallery in Cologne and in 2010 he founded the Lichtblick School. He conducts workshops worldwide. Since 1998, he has been on the presidium of the German Photographic Academy.

  • Jörg Meier

  • Jörg Meier *1970
  • 2011 Diploma Communication Design Photography Dortmund
  • 2015 Foundation of Selfiegrafen
  • NL, Amsterdam – Winner Pride Photo Awards, Oude Kerke, ’nod – East Of Eden‘
  • 2017 Work as a lecturer in cultural education
  • Project award of the state of NRW Kinder- und Jugendkulturland for the project 'Unter meiner Haut' (Under my skin)
  • 2018 Dieter Baacke Preis category "Intercultural and International Projects" for 'NeoEnkel'.
  • 2020 British Journal of Photography – Portrait of Britain – Winner Portrait of Britain
  • Dieter Baacke Preis Category "Intercultural and International Projects" for the human rights project 'Law & Dignity' Award
  • 2021 Honorable Mention: Portrait in APA, Chromatic Award and Open in FAPA for ‚aye‘
  • 2022 NL, Amsterdam ‚LGBT Farmer‘, Amsterdam, PRIDE PHOTO AWARD

© Jörg Meier | "aye"
© Jörg Meier | "aye"
© Jörg Meier | "aye"

published on: