Collecting, rescuing old styles, using obsolete objects and giving them a space in everyday life is an extremely complex act. It implies reactivating testimonies that tell us about how we’ve changed, and it is, therefore, an endeavor full of melancholy and exaltation. But there is a certain charm in the idea that something can lose its validity.

The worth of an obsolete object lies in the fact that it expresses aesthetic preferences, experiences, images of a world that was left behind and which we believe to have overcome; but if someone is devoted to recovering it, to giving it a place in this other world, we see that far from having overcome certain preferences, we have lost some of them: in our era photography flourishes while photographers disappear.

KesselsKramer Publishing is one of those places that soon becomes an object of affection. They have made for narrative and aesthetics a formidable work and an anthology of oblivion. Through flea markets, fairs, second hand shops, and laterally through websites, its founder, Erick Kessels, has devoted years of his life to collecting found-photography albums in order to tell stories with them, the strangest and most extravagant stories, the most amusing, the saddest.

Christie Bunyan, writer and collaborator in KesselsKramer says:

Before the digital age, before cameras that could solve any problem from red-eye to world hunger, there was the 20th century, a time when photographers actually had to take photos themselves. Among other things, this included finding sufficient light for your subject.

Kessels uses the albums he finds to edit short magazines which tell, each, an “ordinary” story that is also profoundly surreal: a taxi driver that takes pictures of his passengers in different parts of the city; two twin sisters who grow up together, wearing the same clothes, until one of them mysteriously disappears; a family that tries to take pictures of their black dog but can never find enough light so that the dog can resemble something other than a black stain; three men named Erik that want to get together but one lives in Holland, the other in Germany and the last in Brazil, so they exchange photographs of possible tables where they could meet… And, one of the favorites: Fred and Valerie, a couple from Florida who share a love for water and, no matter what they are wearing or doing, they take any opportunity to get wet and plunge into the water to take a picture.

In this manner, the collection includes hundreds of “say cheese” holiday photos, smiles and hairdos from the seventies drenched in the sunlight of many years ago. It also includes all the mistakes that have been repressed by the digital age: the photographer’s finger covering the lens and the photographed subject, the overexposure that blurs it all.

KesselsKramer has also edited a few books, among which The Worst Hotel in the World stands out. This is an incredibly well cared-for antidote to books about hotels, which claim they are the best and the most luxurious in the area. For them, the worst hotel in the world is the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam, and thanks to the book it has earned international fame as the worst possible place to stay on Earth and, paradoxically, one of the most coveted since.

This editorial rescues everything that is left untold because it doesn’t fit in the annals of glamour, aesthetics, or even the “normal”. “There is something beautiful about the way people persist in their misfortune with a camera,” says Kessels. “It is almost heroic. Then, they put these bad photographs in an album. Incredible! The end result is a kind of anti-manual, a How Not To Do It book.”

KesselsKramer’s entire collection is a tribute to tautology, to irrelevant information and to the extravagance that derives from analogue techniques of photography in the hands of seemingly common people, who are essentially eccentric and creative. The underlying sense of humor unifies all these albums, and nostalgia, of course, is the spine that keeps them alive.

Collecting, rescuing old styles, using obsolete objects and giving them a space in everyday life is an extremely complex act. It implies reactivating testimonies that tell us about how we’ve changed, and it is, therefore, an endeavor full of melancholy and exaltation. But there is a certain charm in the idea that something can lose its validity.

The worth of an obsolete object lies in the fact that it expresses aesthetic preferences, experiences, images of a world that was left behind and which we believe to have overcome; but if someone is devoted to recovering it, to giving it a place in this other world, we see that far from having overcome certain preferences, we have lost some of them: in our era photography flourishes while photographers disappear.

KesselsKramer Publishing is one of those places that soon becomes an object of affection. They have made for narrative and aesthetics a formidable work and an anthology of oblivion. Through flea markets, fairs, second hand shops, and laterally through websites, its founder, Erick Kessels, has devoted years of his life to collecting found-photography albums in order to tell stories with them, the strangest and most extravagant stories, the most amusing, the saddest.

Christie Bunyan, writer and collaborator in KesselsKramer says:

Before the digital age, before cameras that could solve any problem from red-eye to world hunger, there was the 20th century, a time when photographers actually had to take photos themselves. Among other things, this included finding sufficient light for your subject.

Kessels uses the albums he finds to edit short magazines which tell, each, an “ordinary” story that is also profoundly surreal: a taxi driver that takes pictures of his passengers in different parts of the city; two twin sisters who grow up together, wearing the same clothes, until one of them mysteriously disappears; a family that tries to take pictures of their black dog but can never find enough light so that the dog can resemble something other than a black stain; three men named Erik that want to get together but one lives in Holland, the other in Germany and the last in Brazil, so they exchange photographs of possible tables where they could meet… And, one of the favorites: Fred and Valerie, a couple from Florida who share a love for water and, no matter what they are wearing or doing, they take any opportunity to get wet and plunge into the water to take a picture.

In this manner, the collection includes hundreds of “say cheese” holiday photos, smiles and hairdos from the seventies drenched in the sunlight of many years ago. It also includes all the mistakes that have been repressed by the digital age: the photographer’s finger covering the lens and the photographed subject, the overexposure that blurs it all.

KesselsKramer has also edited a few books, among which The Worst Hotel in the World stands out. This is an incredibly well cared-for antidote to books about hotels, which claim they are the best and the most luxurious in the area. For them, the worst hotel in the world is the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam, and thanks to the book it has earned international fame as the worst possible place to stay on Earth and, paradoxically, one of the most coveted since.

This editorial rescues everything that is left untold because it doesn’t fit in the annals of glamour, aesthetics, or even the “normal”. “There is something beautiful about the way people persist in their misfortune with a camera,” says Kessels. “It is almost heroic. Then, they put these bad photographs in an album. Incredible! The end result is a kind of anti-manual, a How Not To Do It book.”

KesselsKramer’s entire collection is a tribute to tautology, to irrelevant information and to the extravagance that derives from analogue techniques of photography in the hands of seemingly common people, who are essentially eccentric and creative. The underlying sense of humor unifies all these albums, and nostalgia, of course, is the spine that keeps them alive.

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