This photobook could have won two awards: alongside being judged one of the best designs it could also have won a prize for the book with the most inventive and appealing title. Here Sanne Peper goes looking for traces of the Southern Gothic iconography in the Deep South of the United States, a project that took a total of seven years’ work. Peper explains this in a foreword that we only come across on page 83 – a structural trick that sends the reader and spectator charging off in the wrong direction, as happens more than once in this book.
Even so the panel had to overcome a degree of resistance before arriving at a consensus on the intrinsic qualities of Due to Lack of Interest Tomorrow Has Been Cancelled, which also includes a short story by Jim White. ‘A poor cover, rather reminiscent of a research report’ was a sentiment expressed here and there by way of initial observation. Despite this, mention was also made of ‘a bold cover, with those quotes on the front’ – though this was followed by the ventilation of a sense of disillusionment about the contents, which ‘have been pressed into the kind of graphic model we see a lot of.’
And yet the longer this book circulated round the judging table, the more the admiration for it grew. The ‘whisperingly beautiful photography’ left no one untouched. Then there was the Gothic 720 Bold – a familiar face: ‘And with a face like that you can’t lose,’ someone was heard to joke. Finally the choice of paper provided rhythm and colour, offering something to counterbalance the greyness and at the same time feeling tactile and agreeable. The ‘graphic layer’ by Michaël Snitker is well thought through. In the end, everyone was agreed: ‘This book is an experience.’