ImperialCourts_cover

Title Imperial Courts
Artist Dana Lixenberg
Designer Roger Willems
Scanning Colour & Books
Colour Grading Colour & Books
Separations Colour & Books
Press Checks Colour & Books
Production Roma
Publisher Roma publications
Printer Die Keure
Pages 294
Papertype Tatami ivory
Binding Otabind
Reproduction Quad tone
ISBN 9789491843426
Year 2015

The Book

Imperial Courts is Dana Lixenberg's magnum opus. Over a span of 23 years she photographed the people living in this neighbourhood and the neighbourhood itself. She started coming to the imperial courts in 1993 and was initially met with a lot of apprehension. Her intention was to document these people as neutral as possible. The neighbourhood was known for the gang activity and so she also needed permission from ' the godfather' of Imperial Courts, Tony. After a couple of years she thought she was done and had completed her work there but returned in 2008 because she felt she wasn't finished yet. So, between 2008 and 2015 she came back to take more pictures. A second generation had stood up and valued her past work of people who had ended up in jail, family, and people who died.

 

ImperialCourts_04

 

ImperialCourts_02

The Process

The publication of Imperial Courts was a major thing in Dana's career. She had always thought that this work would need to become a book but after 23 years she was ready to it. I was honoured that she invited me on her team to make Imperial Courts. It was my responsibility to make scans of the originals and do the colour reproduction. For me, the challenge was to come up with a reproduction that could match her photographic prints on fiber paper. So, I suggested we would print using two blacks and two grays creating this classic yet modern look. In the end, the book went on to become a massive succes and went into reprint after only 4 months.
I like to think that this succes was helped by the quality of the reproductions. As a crown on her efforts and the work we did together, the book was nominated for the Paris Photo/Aperture Photo Book Award 2015.

 

ImperialCourts_03

 

ImperialCourts_01