TitleImperial Courts
ArtistDana Lixenberg
DesignerRoger Willems
ScanningColour & Books
Colour GradingColour & Books
SeparationsColour & Books
Press ChecksColour & Books
PublisherRoma publications
PrinterDie Keure
PapertypeTatami ivory
ReproductionQuad tone

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.





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.