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Michael Snow: Cover to Cover

Publisher: Halifax, Nova Scotia and New York: Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and New York University Press, 1975
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: Hardcover
ISBN: 0814777694
Condition: Fine / No dust jacket as issued
Item #: 103076



First edition, first printing. Hardcover. Photographically illustrated cloth-covered boards, no dust jacket as issued. Artist's book by Michael Snow. Photography by Keith Lock. Photography and prints by Vince Sharp. Unpaginated, with 312 full-bleed black and white plates. 9 x 7 inches. Out of print. Extremely scarce.

[Cited in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History, Volume II. (London and New York: Phaidon, 2006).]


Fine. A Near Mint copy.


Conceptual artist Michael Snow here presents an intriguing artist's book that engages with and questions the nature of photographic veracity and the legibility of surfaces--a stance that is somewhat akin to the work of his contemporaries Kenneth Josephson, Robert Cumming and Duane Michals.

As its title implies, Cover to Cover, which contains no text save the colophon, can be read forwards and backwards, with both sections converging towards the center. Both the front and back covers are illustrated with a detailed photograph of a wood-paneled door, and as the reader progresses through the pages, which unfold as a quasi-cinematic non-linear narrative, a succession of full-bleed images leads into and through spaces and surfaces that continuously vacillate between illusory physical and representational existence. The appearance of figures, cameras, images within images, blank sheets of paper, windows and doorways on each page enacts a slippage that renders the photographic images and their referents unstable. The result is an important book that is difficult to put down, challenging readers to read and reread its imagery almost compulsively.