Photo Books: Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin

This week I was referred to two books by the duo Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin.

On Monday one of the staff here in Decker Library suggested that we try to purchase a copy of “War Primer 2″ by Broomberg & Chanarin. I will admit that I had not previously heard about either artist but was immediately intrigued. This URL was forwarded for my review:
I encourage you to check it out and listen to the 2 minute audio description of the book project by the artists. Especially interesting is their critique of AP copyright policies — one that any author who has sought permissions to publish images in articles or books, will be quite familiar with.

War Primer 2” was published in an edition of 100 and is currently out of print.


However, there is a FREE ebook version available:


Then on Wednesday while at lunch with the Curator and Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Baltimore Museum of Art, they shared with me that they had recently acquired a copy of “Holy Bible” by Broomberg & Chanarin. This book is available for purchase from MACK Books (

Oliver Chanarin & Adam Broomberg
Holy Bible



Below is the copy pulled from the MACK website:

“Right from the start, almost every appearance he made was catastrophic… Catastrophe is his means of operation, and his central instrument of governance.”
Adi Ophir

Violence, calamity and the absurdity of war are recorded extensively within The Archive of Modern Conflict, the largest photographic collection of its kind in the world. For their most recent work, Holy Bible, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin mined this archive with philosopher Adi Ophir’s central tenet in mind: that God reveals himself predominantly through catastrophe and that power structures within the Bible correlate with those within modern systems of governance.

The format of Broomberg and Chanarin’s illustrated Holy Bible mimics both the precise structure and the physical form of the King James Version. By allowing elements of the original text to guide their image selection, the artists explore themes of authorship, and the unspoken criteria used to determine acceptable evidence of conflict.

Inspired in part by the annotations and images Bertolt Brecht added to his own personal bible, Broomberg and Chanarin’s publication questions the clichés at play within the visual representation of conflict.


MAPP Editions


If you are interested in viewing other ebooks checkout MAPP editions:

The tide is turning for the online or digital ebooks in art and design.  With a continued reliance on print books for high quality color images for study, research, and teaching, digital books have a long way to go.  Yet, new publishers are developing new content to meet the greater use and desire for content delivery to mobile devices.