Hemmerle THEM 14

(there is only us)


Book & Photographs

by Sean Hemmerle


May 12 – June 3, 2018


The artist will be present for Beacon’s Second Saturday, May 12


No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works is honored to present Sean Hemmerle’s new book THEM, and photographic portraits of Iraqis and Afghans who suddenly found themselves caught in a war not of their making.

Hemmerle traveled to both Afghanistan and Iraq following the events of September 11, 2001. Having witnessed the World Trade Center attacks, he felt that another response to these events was necessary. His resulting images are compassionate studies of people under attack by his own government.

It is important to note that Hemmerle himself was once a sergeant in the US Army. His travels to these lands and his photographic practice should be understood as an alternative type of  “shooting.”

The portraits are all shot in a similar fashion. Each subject is portrayed frontally with no direction from the artist, allowing the individuals photographed to (re)present themselves. The portraits depict average people in dire circumstances, a person in a hostile landscape.

THEM is presented in chronological order, beginning with the start of the Afghanistan War after 9-11 and extending into the Iraq War that was started in conjunction with and justified by the terrorist attack that set the United States on an open-ended path of military presence in these countries that has yet to end.

A hallmark of the post 9-11 era into the present moment is the ongoing depiction of Muslims as the enemy, regardless of status or affiliation with an armed force or combatant group. Overnight, ordinary civilians are depicted as “them” via the actions of a small, cult-like band led by Osama Bin Laden and the resulting “War on Terror” response by the United States.

The escalation of this conflict has painted the Muslim world with the kind of broad brush that dehumanizes “them.” We are implicated in this. As we know from two World Wars in the 20thCentury, in the end we must somehow make our “enemies” our allies. There is no moving forward towards peace until we do. The first step on this path is to recognize our common humanity.

There is only us


Hemmerle THEM 02Hemmerle THEM 04Hemmerle THEM 05Hemmerle THEM 11Hemmerle THEM 01

Published by Kehrer Verlag, Berlin 2017, Texts: Sean Hemmerle, Julian Sander; Designed by Kehrer Design (Nanni Goebel); Hardcover with dust jacket 25 x 30 cm, 120 pages, 50 duotone ills., English    ISBN 978-3-86828-810-0  $50

You can read more at these sites:


Poets as Publishers & Publishing as Artistic Practice II

Own the Meas of Production Kennedy

Print by Amos Paul Kennedy

On View through May 6th, 2018

April is National Poetry Month, but in the Reading Room, poetry reigns every day. Whether it’s coupled with photography, is a visual narrative without words, a handmade chapbook by an artist or poet, or a suite of poems published by a notable small or micro press, each and every day, these works can be found and enjoyed here.

When I’m not featuring the work of a guest artist, I install various books from my personal collection. Some are available to purchase, some are out of print and rare. Yet they’re all available to be enjoyed on site.

I especially love independent, small, micro and artist-made projects because they fall outside the commercial world and fly below the radar of gatekeepers who attempt to control language and ideas. Sometimes these little books become known and notable on their own and gatekeepers discover them after the fact. It’s satisfying when that happens.

Publishing as artistic practice is growing as a primary means of expression for many artists, writers, graphic designers and printmakers. The choice to produce a book of one’s own or on behalf of others as a micro press is a somewhat radical act in this time. This activity shouldn’t be considered a “vanity press” or project, (a term that should go the way of “spinster”) but regarded as an expressive vehicle and communicative object that’s passed along physically- in person, by mail, or left on a table in a coffee shop or other public place. Indeed, distribution is a challenge, but it’s overcome by social media and relational practices. For the both the maker and the reader, handling is a crucial part of the experience. These books can be hard to locate, but if you search, you’ll find them. I have, and offer them to the public in the reading room.

These installations are curated, but my acquisitions criteria is catholic. I have an open mind and an open heart. I don’t know who’s going to walk into my reading room on any given day, but I like to think I have something to offer them. Come in, pick up a book published by poets and artists and read. Take your time. No glass, no gloves, no hurry is the practice here. All year long. Happy National Poetry Month 2018!


Some featured selections from this installment of Poets as Publishers & Publishing as Artistic Practice


Two little books by James Prez


What to Want Scott Zieher

What to Want by Scott Zieher  Ampersand Editions


Egyptian Sonnets John Yau

Egyptian Sonnets by John Yau, Rain Taxi


Poets as Publishers 2 books

Burning Deck, DoubleCross Press, Peppercannister, Un-Gyve and OHM Editions


The End Part One MC Hyland

The End, Part One by MC Hyland, Magic Helicopter Press


Poets as Publishers 2 upper shelves

Books by Nobrow Press, Julia Borissova and Juana Requena







Old Bones and Broken Stones

Works on Paper by Greg Slick
On view from March 9, 2018 – April 8, 2018
Opening Saturday, March 10, 6-9 pm
Winter Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday 1-7 pm


Brutalithic Sequence G. Slick

In observance of St. Patrick’s Day in the month of March, and as a celebration of the significance of poetry and place in Ireland’s cultural heritage, No. 3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works is pleased to present a solo exhibition of work on paper by Greg Slick, featuring a selection of 8 works from his ongoing series entitled Brutalithic Sequence. The series got its start during an artist’s residency at the Constance Saltonstall Foundation in Ithaca, NY in the summer of 2017.

Brutalithic Sequence marks a crossroads of art, archaeology, and modernist architecture. By exploring the idea of monumentalism in both Brutalist buildings and Neolithic structures, this series endeavors to link our experience of buildings of authority with prehistoric heritage sites (in Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, and Wales) and our cultural roots in the distant past. This body of work combines several media—ink drawing, acrylic photo transfer, and gouache—to create multiple layers of imagery, textures, and meaning. The use of monochrome acknowledges the conventions of archaeological drawing and the severe palette of Brutalist buildings.

You can read more about Greg and his work here:

To accompany this exhibit will be a performance by Greg, with a poetry reading of Seamus Heaney’s Bog Poems by Beacon poet Sean Monagle, and traditional Irish music by the Wild Irish Roses, on Saturday, March 31st. The event is free, but with limited seating; RSVP required. Contact photobookworks@gmail for details.

Also on view in the Reading Room, are selections from the Traffic Street Press Irish Poetry Series, edited by Dr. Thomas Dillon Redshaw and produced by Paulette Myers-Rich in collaboration with the Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. Included are rare signed editions by contemporaries and colleagues of Seamus Heaney; poets Dennis O’Driscoll, John Montague, Greg Delanty, Thomas Kinsella, Eavan Boland, and Thomas McCarthy.

A profile of this series is presented here on the Boston College website:


Poets as Publishers & Publishing as Artistic Practice

On view from February 2 – March 4, 2018
Winter Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday 1-7 pm.
Bolted Book

The Bolted Book facsimile (Depero Futurista, 1927/2017)

Recently installed in No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works are books produced by poet-run and independent presses intent on making certain books and works present in the world no matter what the gatekeepers say. They’re simply out to share the words and work of those they admire in order to generate conversation and readership. And they’ve done it well. The work spans from 1971 to the present. Presses represented are Atlas Press’ Printed Head series, Toothpaste Press, The Spirit That Moves Us Press, Coffee House Press, The Codex Foundation, Double Cross Press, Traffic Street Press, Greying Ghost Press, Magic Helicopter Press and broadsides from the Hungry Midnight series.

Also on view is a facsimile copy of the Bolted Book (Depero Futurista, 1927) recently produced by Designers & Books as a Kickstarter project completed in 2017. These works are often hard to find, but you can read them here- any or all, by simply visiting the Reading Room. Also on hand are some reference works and essays about independent publishers past and present, including the new anthology The Ultimate Actualist Convention, A Detailed View of Iowa City Actualism in the 1970’s & 1980’s and Its Migration to the San Francisco Bay Area. Edited by actual Actualists Morty Sklar, Cinda Kornblum and Dave Morice, there are also a few of their early literary journals on hand.

Mechanical Word Codex

Codex Foundation series

Greying Ghost Press 3 Titles

Greying Ghost Chapbook

PBW Poetry Wall 2


Happy New Year

No. 3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works is taking a Holiday Break and will re-open on Friday, January 5, 2018 from 1-7 pm. The current exhibit WINTER will continue through January 28. Thanks for visiting in 2017 and watch for new programs, exhibits and titles in 2018!