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Anne Sophie Merryman (Miki Soejima): Mrs. Merryman's Collection

Publisher: London: MACK, 2012
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781907946257
Condition: New / No dust jacket as issued
Item #: 110225

$55.00 save 30% $38.50


First edition, first printing. Hardcover. Photographically illustrated paper-covered boards; no dust jacket as issued. Photographs of vintage postcards from the collection of her grandmother and text by Anne Sophie Merryman. Unpaginated, with four-color plates throughout. 10-3/4 x 10 inches.

[Cited in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History, Volume III. (London and New York: Phaidon, 2014)].




Winner of the 2012 First Book Award by MACK and the British National Media Museum.

From the publisher: "Miki Soejima is a magical realist, an escapologist who, for the first time, is stepping out to claim her identity as the photographer behind Mrs. Merryman's Collection, winner of the 2012 First Book Award. In the school of great fantasists such as Joan Fontcuberta, Japanese photographer Miki Soejima's work deals with the artifice at the heart of photography, and the influence of authorship. Her work comprises of a set of postcards which the artist has fabricated, and a fictional story that presents the work as objects collected by Anne-Marie Merryman, and inherited by her granddaughter Anne Sophie Merryman.

From the artist: "The whole story is a fiction. I have fabricated a collection of postcards, attributing the imagery to a fictional character, Anne-Marie Merryman. Her granddaughter Anne Sophie Merryman presents the work to the public, as a set of postcards that she inherited in a wooden box. People looking at the postcards might realise they are fake through a set of hints, placed in the postcards themselves; and, at the end of the book, there is a hidden message. I created the postcards using my own photographs, and mixing different materials from postcards that I collected--so the texts on the back of the postcards are real messages in authentic handwriting... I often mix up the messages and the stamps, intentionally."

"Some people think Anne Sophie is my pseudonym; but it’s not--she plays an important role, as a character in the story and a presenter of the work. Anne Sophie and Anne-Marie came into my mind as I considered the relationship between author and audience, and between photography and authorship. I am interested in photography because it's a medium with a particular relationship to reality. In photography, we always cut-out a scene--elements or fragments from reality; and photographs have a very particular effect as they play with veracity. They can be used as evidence, but at the same time, they can be used as a persuasive tool. The author of the photographs and/or the author who relates the narrative around the photographs (sometimes they are the same person, sometimes separated) often has a very dominant presence--influencing their audience."

"I wanted the audience to look at these images without the presence of an author, so I decided to remove myself from the work, and to make it anonymous. The work is presented as found postcards, each created by various anonymous authors. The audience is set free from the weight of the authorial voice, and therefore they can explore the work more freely. At the same time, I tried to evoke a persona, Anne-Marie, and her imaginary realm through the images that she collected. There are two layers: while Anne-Marie stemmed from the need to ascribe the collection to a character, Anne Sophie's role was, through the transmission of the collection, to make the work come alive." "It was an interesting experience, because when I took photographs for this project, I always had Anne-Marie in mind. As I looked for images, I was thinking about her, and what she would find interesting."