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found photo foundation

The FOUND PHOTO FOUNDATION is an artist-led curatorial platform for the study and care of orphan photographs. There are multiple reasons these photographs became orphaned: they may have been abandoned following the death of their owners, they may have been stolen, or they may have simply ceased to be useful and thrown in the garbage, from where they may have been rescued and put back on the market.

Organised in informal collections, the photographs are used for study, workshops, publications and exhibitions. Creative research methods allow to unravel the diverse meanings of collecting, exhibiting and publishing orphan photography.


Newspaper work documenting publications sourced from the Found Photo Foundation.

36 pages
29 x 38 cm 
digital printed colour
newsprint 55 gsm
Essay by Tanja Verlak:
An attempt at exhausting an archive / Found Photo Foundation
msdm publications


Dear Aby Warburg: What can be done with images? Dealing with Photographic Material

Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen
Curated by Eva Schmidt

In the exhibition "Dear Aby Warburg: What can be done with images? Dealing with Photographic Material," the FOUND PHOTO FOUNDATION was exhibited as an experimental archive.
It explored the use of photographic collections in contemporary art, and its many transmutations since Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas (1924-1929). The homage to art-historian Aby Warburg (1866 - 1929) as precursor to current art archival practices is unpacked by the exhibition’s curator Eva Schmidt, in the accompanying research publication.
The montage of reproduced photographs from divergent sources, the use of variable, nonsystematic ordering parameters, and the extremely provisional display strategies are some of the Mnemosyne Atlas’ characteristics that reappear in contemporary works in the exhibition, and in the processes of photographic collection, accumulation and archiving used in the FOUND PHOTO FOUNDATION.

paula roush, found photo foundation: installation view at Dear Aby Warburg: What can be done with images? Dealing with Photographic Material, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, 2012–2013

Paradigm Store

Howick Place, London
Curated by HS Projects

A materialisation of the FOUND PHOTO FOUNDATION. appeared in the installation The past persists in the present in the form of a dream (participatory architectures, archive, revolution) that was exhibited in London by HS Projects as part of Paradigm Store, a curatorial project reflecting on the haunting gap between 20th century modernist utopias and historical matrixes that have ripped apart modernist myths of progress. 
The past… in the form of a dream occupied that gap between the 1970s promises of radical participatory democracy and the contemporary reality of neo-liberal democracy in southern europe, featuring the Apeadeiro housing estate, one of the urban villages developed during the portuguese SAAL architecture programme, and now facing demolition.

Queer Paper Gardens

Museu da Eletricidade Lisbon
Curated by: Joao Pinharanda

Flora McCallica 
photographic installation photowork sourced from
the Found Photo Foundation.

paula roush: Flora Mccallica (photo-collages), Queer Pape gardens, Museu da Eletricidade. Lisbon


Order and Collapse: The Lives of Archives

This book presents the FOUND PHOTO FOUNDATION in the context of contemporary artistic and research-based approaches to existing archives, the act of collecting images, and creating new archives. Peer-reviewed, bi-lingual English and Swedish.

Dear Aby Warburg: What can be done with images? Dealing with Photographic Material

This book presents the FOUND PHOTO FOUNDATION with recent positions in contemporary art that deal with photographic material. Starting from the “Mnemosyne” picture atlas by the famous art historian Aby Warburg (1866-1929), the book and related exhibition unfolds a contemporary aesthetic of photographic constellations.

As archival artwork, in the medium of exhibitions and publications, the FOUNDATION investigates the archive as the site of an ongoing negotiation between the appropriation of photo-historical material and accumulative strategies of installation and publication. To date such research has produced several projects where strategies of photographic reproduction and distribution are scrutinised as particular modes of knowledge production that whilst engaged in the creation of archival art are far apart from the 19th century model of bureaucratic archive.

The collections are also a source for the ORPHAN Editions. Each Orphan edition explores a particular approach to publishing the printed material in the Found Photo Foundation collections.

Today, the Found Photo Foundation is located in the msdm house-studio-gallery and open to anyone who is interested, by arrangement. Please call or send an email to make an appointment. 

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ə/uh/-books is the photobook publishing programme of exhibitions, artists’ talks and publications I curate at the London South Bank University. Projects have taken on various formats ranging from installations and presentations to the production of editions through commissions and collaborative workshop formats. This work has been shown nationally and internationally at All Inked up Kentʼs International Artist Book & Print Event UCA Canterbury & The Brewery Tap Folkestone, KHiO Publishing Studio Oslo National Art Academy, PRINTed #4 Singular publications zt EINA  Centre Universitari de Disseny i Art/ UAB Autonomous University of Barcelona and Arts Llibre Worshop  at ESDA LLotja Escola d’Arts i Oficis de Barcelona, Spain.

Project's archive:

Year II
ə-books #10 May 15-18, 2018 Unveil’d Photobook #01
ə-books #9 Mar 9th- Mar 23th 2018 Jens Masmann L ND N 
Year I
ə-books #8 Tuesday 25 April – Friday 26 May 2017 Tadej Pogačar + Dejan Habicht: HU? Pre-Brexit Tour
ə-books #7  March 28th – April 21st 2017 Héloïse Bergman:  The Dying Art
ə-books #6 March 21st  – March 24th 2017 Andreia Alves de Oliveira: River Boats & Inner Thoughts
ə-books #5 January 31st- February 25th 2017 Jessica Brouder: I Believe in You
ə-books #4 October 18th- November 18th 2016 Marc Vallée: Vandals and the city

ə-books #3 September 14th- October 12th 2016 Amy Warwick: Blame your parents
ə-books #2 June 28th- August 28th 2016 Martin Toft and Gareth Syvret: Atlantus
ə-books #1 May 25th- June 24th 2016 Lara Gonzalez: made and published

About ə/uh/-books project space:

During its first year of programming, the space operated out of the London South Bank University Student Centre.  With its two walk-in vitrines, the space acted as a folio (a double side printed page) between the interior and exterior of the university, as well as an experimental and reflexive form of exhibition practice for photobook works. For the second year of activity, the project has used the University's Borough Road Gallery.
The space’s aim is to supplement and extend both the teaching contents and practices of the photobook publishing programme as well as making a contribution to current debates in photobook publishing and curating. The programme alternates the presentation of students photobook works with photobook publishing projects by guest photographers, aiming to promote a dialogue between students, lecturers, invited artists, curators and theoreticians.

About [ə] the upside down e or schwa:
It is the ‘uh’ sound found in an unstressed syllable, like the final vowel of “sofa.” It’s the most common vowel sound in English. Before people started calling it “schwa” in English (around 1895) it had a lot of nicknames: the murmur vowel, the indeterminate vowel, the neutral vowel, the obscure vowel, and this is why it is a good vowel to refer to photobook works, a contested term that remains under scrutiny (the eternal debate: is it a ‘photobook’, a ‘photographic book’ or a ‘photographically illustrated book’?) in spite of its established position within the history of photography.

About  ‘uh’:
It is that inexplicable thing…a kind of a “huh?” … described by Ed Ruscha to Willoughby Sharp in a 1973 interview, as a feeling evoked by some photobook works …
WS: … It seems to me that this approach is something you pioneered withTwentysix Gasoline Stations  precisely because the idea had priority over the execution, which you made as anonymous as possible. You shot fifty stations and pared them down to twenty-six so the original idea carried. I’m interested in your reaction to that.
ER: I realized that for the first time this book had an inexplicable thing I was looking for, and that was a kind of a “Huh?” That’s what I’ve always worked around. All it is is a device to disarm somebody with my particular message. A lot of artists use that.
WS: Give me some examples of “Uh.”
ER: I don’t know, somebody digging a hole out in the desert and calling it sculpture. You know, it’s a surprise to people.
 WS: Would Duchamp be the first “Uh” artist?
ER: I think that would be spelled H-U-H, with a question mark. […] I just use that word to describe a feeling that a lot of artists are attempting to bring out, and some are doing it very well.
In “…A kind of a “Huh?”: An interview with Ed Ruscha” by Willoughby Sharp, originally published in Avalanche 7- 1973

 ə/uh/-books publications:

Jessica Brouder
new photobook work crossing the boundaries between sculpture, weaving and publishing.
edition 0f 100

RS FILES London – Munich To Be Continued
collective photobookwork,  based on a set of rules created for the workshop Self-Publishing and the Photobook, March 9th 2018
paula roush and Jens Masmann
Featuring folios by:  Amelia Attle / Raluca Babos / Emma Bircham / Razvan Bronda / Iga Cegielko / Kate Gentry / Jessica Hansson / Isabella Hewlett / Peter Di-Mola Jordan / Kyle Jackson /Charlotte Joseph / Tomasz Klimara / Jai Mills /Daisy Morey / Micah Morgan / Regan Ross / Sam Sutton /Isaac Watson

conversation between paula roush and Lara Gonzalez
On the occasion of the exhibition made and published [ProCreate Project]
ə-books project space for photobook publishing
May 25th- June 24th 2016

conversation between paula roush,Martin Toft and Gareth Syvret
On the occasion of the exhibition Atlantus A transoceanic photography project
ə-books project space for photobook publishing
June 28th- August 28th 2016

conversation between 
Amy Warwick and paula roush
On the occasion of the exhibition Blame your parents [a photozine of post-teenage years]
September 14th- October 12th 2016

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A space for practitioners to come together, read, think and discuss a highly significant aspect of contemporary visual culture, ie the rich and diverse methods found in books produced by artists.

The Book Dispersed
With: Beatriz Albuquerque,  Patrícia Almeida & David-Alexandre Guéniot, Ana Alvim, Isabel Baraona, Ricardo Basbaum, Stanislav Brisa, Jessica Brouder, Catarina F. Cardoso, Isabel Carvalho, Paulo Catrica, André Cepeda, João Paulo Serafim, Margarida Correia, Renato Ferrão & Susana Gaudêncio, Julie Cook, Inês M. Ferreira, Os Espacialistas, Ana Fonseca, Lara Gonzalez, Dejan Habicht, Michael Hampton, Teresa Huertas, Andrea Inocêncio, Calum F. Kerr, Sharon Kivland, Tanja Lažetić, Catarina Leitão, Ana Madureira, Fernando Marante, Daniela de Moraes, Eugénia Mussa, Eva-Maria Offermann, Andreia Alves de Oliveira, José Oliveira, Susana Paiva, Tadej Pogacar, Pedro Proença, Carla Rebelo, Eduardo Sousa Ribeiro, Mireille Ribière, Sara Rocio, paula roush, Ana João Romana & Susana Anágua, paula roush, Manuela São Simão, Ana Santos, Kim Svensson, Francisco Tomsich, Francisco Varela, Rodrigo Vilhena, Emmanuelle Waeckerle and Gillian Wylde.
Curated by Media Instáveis/ Unstable Media [paula roush, margarida carvalho, ana carvalho, sofia ponte]
Casa das Artes (Rua Ruben A, 210) + Sput&Nik the Window (Rua Bonjardim, 1340), Porto, Portugal
September 24 -October 28, 2017
[press release] [project tumblr] [Unstable Media: Unstable Media, constructions and disruptions Portuguese Small Press Yearbook 2017]



The Book Dispersed is a space for practitioners to come together, read, think and discuss a highly significant aspect of contemporary visual culture, ie the rich and diverse methods found in books produced by artists.

In the 1960s and 1970s the artists’ book came to be seen as an alternative, democratic platform largely free from commercial and/or institutional control, which could be accessed in the private sphere. With the rapid development of digital technology and the consequent rise of the internet one might have expected the book to have become less relevant as an artistic medium, yet this has not come to pass. That digital technology has made it easier and less costly for artists to produce and distribute their work worldwide is certainly a contributing factor, but given its creative potential, couldn’t the artists’ book also provide a format that not only challenges exhibition norms, but actually expands their horizons?