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Massimo Vitali: Les Plages du Var / Les Pieds dans l'Eau (The Beaches of Var / Feet in the Water)

Publisher: Toulon, France: Hôtel des Arts / Centre méditerranéen d'art, 2000
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: Hardcover
ISBN: 2913959032
Condition: Fine / No dust jacket as issued
Item #: 112811



First edition, first printing. Soft cover. White polka-dot faux satin wrappers with title printed in black on covers and spine, no dust jacket as issued. Photographs by Massimo Vitali. Essay and interview with the artist (in French) by Sophie Baiss-Fabiani. Includes a biography, an exhibition history and a bibliography (in French). Designed by Jean-Marc Ballée. Unpaginated (136 pp.), with 48 four-color plates and additional images of the artist at work, printed on a variety of different papers, including matte and high-gloss paper, coated cardstock and embossed tissue paper. 8-5/8 x 6-3/4 inches. This first edition was limited to an indeterminate number of copies, each stamped with a numeral on the colophon page (this being copy number 518). [Cited in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History, Volume II. (London and New York: Phaidon, 2006).]




From Martin Parr and Gerry Badger: "Vitali's images, taken along the coastal Var region of the French Riviera (and a few in Italy), feature beachgoers crowding onto the narrow strips of land sandwiched between the Mediterranean Sea and the dense urban environment further inland. Positioned atop a tall scaffold located a few meters into the water, Vitali's large-format camera gives viewers something of a 'gull's-eye' view of tourists staking out their tiny slice of paradise amid the overcrowded beaches. The sweeping perspective of these images is as precise as it is broad; enlarged details culled from the wide shots invite and/or tempt viewers to indulge in a critical sociological, economic and cultural voyeurism. The book itself, with dynamically scaled imagery printed as it is on five different types of paper and wrapped in a shimmering cover, similarly invokes sensations alternating between desire and overload."