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Useful Photography #001-#004 (Four Volume Set)

Publisher: Amsterdam: Bis Publishers and Artimo, 2002
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: Soft cover
ISBN: 9072007700
Condition: Fine / No dust jacket as issued
Item #: 110094



Four volumes sharing the following format: First edition, first printing. Soft cover. Photographically illustrated wrappers. Photographs compiled and edited by Hans Aarsman, Claudie de Cleen, Julian Germain, Erik Kessels, and Hans van der Meer. Volume #001: Unpaginated (60 pp.), with four-color plates throughout. Volume #002: Unpaginated (256 pp.), with four-color plates throughout. Volume #003: Unpaginated (80 pp.), with four-color plates throughout. Volume 4: Unpaginated (80 pp.), with four-color plates throughout. Each volume: 11-5/8 x 8-1/4 inches.

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


Fine (Volume #002 has a small crease to the lower right corner of the wrapper).


The photographs in each volume of this ingenious series are organized around a "useful" theme.

Volume #001 "is an ode to the photographers we don't know by name, but whose work we all know by looking at it daily." Volume #002 features images culled from eBay. From the publisher: "Many thousands of people now own a digital camera. Many thousands more sell their personal items over the Internet everyday. Suddenly everyone is a photographer and all homes are studios.

The second issue of Useful Photography is a collection of photos posted on eBay, images which display the surprising creativity of the amateur photographer. Hence a pair of blue slippers posed against a leopard print background, a picture of a fan that also reveals the feet of the photographer, and a speaker set, shot from both the front and back, shining with pride on a green billiard cloth. You may never look at an object, or a photograph of an object, or a virtual posting of a digital photograph of an object, the same way again."

Volume #003 presents images of missing persons. From the contributors: "When taken, these studio portraits, snapshots, passport photos were perhaps unremarkable. Now each one of the people pictured is missing -- their photographs given to the [United Kingdom's] National Missing Persons Helpline (NMPH) by their families or friends for the purpose of making public appeals. Unremarkable when they were made, these portrait images now have a vital significance."

Volume #004 features posters photographed in the West Bank region by Ad van Denderen. From the publisher: "'Useful' is a relative word. In the Palestinian refugee camps, portraits of the dead--soldiers, suicide bombers, militants and intifada fighters--are glued to the walls. The purpose of these posters is propaganda, but shown here they tell a different story, about the relentless terror and desperation that prevails in this troubled region."