Krass Clement - Impasse Hotel Syria

October 13, 2016

Krass Clement Impasse Hotel Syria

Last week I compiled a list of my *Ten Favourite Photobooks of all Times* we all love and hate so much. It included Krass Clement’s first book but could have included any of his 21 books on that list. This is now 22 with the arrival of his latest.

So I am declaring early this year. My favourite, totally unbiased of course, photobook of 2016, is Krass Clement’s Impasse Hotel Syria.

As always with Clement’s books, it is a bit of a slow-burner but  then it suddenly hits you on what  a devastatingly powerful and intense offering it is. Based on a 2001 journey it is a very personal account in which the images already capture the bleakness to come, or so it feels.

There is no text. It does not need it, the mainly black and white images show the desolateness and barrenness of a place which within 15 years will be beyond recognition.

The books is well produced (and no doubt well subsidised since a print-run of only 700 would not work otherwise). The design is deceptively simple and uncluttered. It is published by a publisher who makes it very difficult to actually obtain the book and consistently manages to come-up with probably the worst packaging (yes, Carlsberg used to sponsor)  But who cares.