Publisher: Paris: Éditions Bessard, 2014
Edition: 1st Edition
Condition: New / No dust jacket as issued
Item #: 111895
First edition, first printing. Artist's limited edition of 350 copies (this being #072/350), signed and numbered in black ink on the rear free endpaper by Fontcuberta. Hardcover. Gray cloth-covered boards with harvester blade attached to cover, Trepat logo stamped on front cover and title stamped in black on spine; no dust jacket as issued; contained in a custom cloth-covered clamshell box with tipped-in four-color plate on lid. Photographs and illustrations by Joan Fontcuberta. Essays (reproduced in two booklets printed on blue paper bound to the larger book) by Joan Fontcuberta and "Slavoj Fried." Pages 169-172 of the second booklet, ostensibly containing a list of plates and acknowledgements, are intentionally torn out to represent the incomplete nature of Fontcuberta's fabricated historical recovery. Unpaginated (180 pp.), with four-color and monochrome plates throughout. Book is 9-3/8 x 8 inches; clamshell is 10-3/8 x 8-7/8 inches.
New in publisher's shrink wrap (slit open for inspection). NOTE: Pages (169-172) of the second booklet are intentionally torn out.
From the publisher: "In 1914, industrialist Josep Galceran Trepat created an industry for the production of agricultural machinery that would become one of the economic driving forces of Spain during the twentieth century. Cultivated man, attentive to the dynamics of the art of his time, Mr. Trepat commissioned to some of the great masters of international photography for advertising and corporate image of his company. He was a connoisseur and very passionate about the work of Man Ray, Albert Renger-Patzsch, László Moholy Nagy, Alexander Rodchenko, Charles Sheeler, Walker Evans and many other photographers of the historical avant-garde that found in industrial forms an inspiring universe that would result in a complete aesthetical renovation. A century after its founding, the Trepat Collection reveals itself as an unknown treasure of the history of photography. The MACSA (Museum of Archaeology of Agricultural Systems), in collaboration with the Historical Archive Trepat Tarrega (Lleida) has decided to present an exhibition commemorating the centenary of the Trepat factories. Curated by Joan Fontcuberta, a creator himself but also a historian and author of several works on the history of Spanish photography. This book published by Éditions Bessard accompanies the exhibition. In his introductory essay, the curator writes: 'Looking at these works from a historical perspective and beyond its purely utilitarian origins, the images here masterfully show the experimental path of avant-garde movements: from Cubism to the New Objectivity, from Precisionism to Surrealism, from Constructivism to Social Realism ... '".
From Timothy Prus: "I love this book principally because it transcends its historical photobook format by using an enormous dose of irony. Part of its success rests with its nature of stopping just half a millimeter before the irony becomes over-bearing. It is based on the archive of the trepat engineering works that specialized in farm tools and agricultural engineering. The archive actually exists and has been well cared for over many decades. Fontcuberta has woven the images together with a story of how the founder was an aficionado of modernist photography. The founder Josep Trepat Galceran was supposedly a friend and supporter of modernist photographers such as Charles Sheeler, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Alexander Rodchenko. Using an elegant ruse, he never actually states that they were real friends, all is left to our human nature to assemble this message. Many of the illustrations, using photography and illustration, do recall the machine based aesthetics of these acknowledged masters. In many cases they are actually more interesting. The truth is of course that the images accidentally recall the works of modernist photography and bear witness to the inspiration this kind of typological image had on the mainstream modernist movement. Interwoven with the visual essay are images totally constructed by Fontcuberta. The physical make-up of the book and the printing are very standard, but that is exactly what one would expect from such a work. In the end I liked it for becoming part of the history of fake and humorous books. I am sure the attitude to photography encoded in its structure will provide numerous starting points for the work of other artists."