Hannes Wanderer lives up to his name — though experienced, he continues to explore while attempting to scale difficult questions in art. The name of his store is 25 Books, but many more than 25 tomes of photography, design, architecture, and art decorate the tidy yet welcoming spot. The name instead refers to the recommendation list that Wanderer carefully assembles each month.
The list and preview images are also available online, with simple yet compelling descriptions such as the one accompanying Joan Fontcuberta’s The Photography of Nature & the Nature of Photography: “Crazy. But on the highest level.” From Fontcuberta’s photography book about the curiosities of flora and fauna (think star dust and mermaids) to Andrew Miksys’ Disko Book that investigates bleak yet historically-rich Lithuanian discos, the picks are diverse in aesthetics, intentions, and meanings.
But perhaps the best part is that these meanings are not always clear, and that is embraced. This makes the list one of curiosities rather than “must-reads.” Wanderer himself is not afraid to question the meanings of some of the works, such as Keijiro Kai’s Shrove Tuesday, wondering himself who the men are in the photos, and what they are doing.
Ultimately, he chose the book for its visual intrigue. In line with this inquisitive attitude, 25 Books is more of a site for inspiration rather than a commercial enterprise. The shop also displays artwork, such as the current photography exhibit “25 Weeks of Winter” by Ekaterina Anokhina.
More information about the Hannes Wanderer’s publishing house, Peperoni Books:
Blog entry by AJ Kiyoizumi in Berlin; Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014.