Publisher: London: Chris Boot Ltd., 2004
Edition: 1st Edition
Condition: New / New
Item #: 101663
First edition, first printing. Signed in black ink on the title page by Shambroom. Hardcover. Cream-colored paper-covered boards, with title stamped in gilt on front cover and spine, with photographically illustrated dust jacket. Photographs and text by Paul Shambroom. 128 pp. total (88 pages comprise the primary section of the book including the color plates and 40 additional pages are bound in the rear of the book with the minutes to the meetings), with 40 four-color plates, some spanning a two-page spread, beautifully printed on heavy stock paper by EBS, Verona, Italy. 9-3/4 x 12-1/4 inches.
[Cited in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History, Volume II. (London and New York: Phaidon, 2006).]
New (opened only for signature).
Shambroom utters the unutterable. Focused on the monotonous and excruciatingly slow wheels of local government, he manages to capture the tortuous minutiae of the decision-making process at its most humorous and painful. The meetings Shambroom attended, the roots of power he shows, seem somehow manufactured. They are pristine in some cases, harrowing in others, and because of the large-format camera and the reliance on some digital technical assistance, every detail is rendered in these makeshift-meeting places.
Shambroom is a master of creating the "perfect" photograph at these meetings... to digitally replace the facial expression of one the meeting's members with another from another exposure, is perfectly natural and entirely "photographic." "Meetings" is a poignant reminder of the craziness of democracy, the drawn-out process of consensus, and the way we take ourselves, ultimately, with more seriousness than we probably should.
From the publisher: "Paul Shambroom is a Minneapolis-based photo artist who, over a period of four years, attended hundreds of town council meetings across the United States. Photographing the participants with a large-format panoramic camera, as staged tableaux, his dramatic pictures resemble epic history paintings they describe the humble practice of local government on a grand scale. A celebration of small-town America, these accessible pictures have already been lauded by the critics ("Extraordinary" -the New York Times, "Powerful" -ArtForum, "Marvelous and beautiful"-Art Review) and collected by institutions such as the Whitney and MOMA New York. The minutes of each featured meeting are reproduced in full (runs over 40 pages at the back of the book and printed on Bible paper).
About the Author: Paul Shambroom is an artist whose photographs have been exhibited in and collected by such major institutions as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Walker Art Center. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Time, and Newsweek, among other publications. He has received grants from the Creative Capital Foundation, the Bush Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation. He lives in Minneapolis."