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Mike Mandel & Larry Sultan: Evidence (First Edition)

Publisher: Greenbrae, California: Clatworthy Colorvues, 1977
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: Hardcover
ISBN: 0918290015
Condition: Fine / No dust jacket as issued
Item #: 113390

$1,500.00

Specifics

First edition, first printing. Hardcover. Fine dark blue cloth, with title stamped in gilt, no dust jacket as issued. Photographs from various private and public collections edited by Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan. Includes a list of government agencies, educational institutions and corporations that permitted access to their files. Afterword by Robert F. Forth. Unpaginated, with 59 duotone plates, beautifully printed from separations made by George Waters Photolithography, San Francisco.

Additional ephemera included with this copy of the book:
1) A copy of the planned introduction by Robert Heinecken (used with permission), which was subsequently not included in the book (as printed in the May-June 1977 issue of Afterimage). 9-1/4 x 10 inches.

[Cited in Andrew Roth, ed., The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century. (New York: PPP Editions in association with Roth Horowitz LLC, 2001), in Andrew Roth, ed., The Open Book. (Göteborg, Sweden: Hasselblad Center in association with Steidl Verlag, Göttingen, Germany, 2004), and in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History, Volume II. (London and New York: Phaidon, 2006).] Out of print. An extremely scarce Mint signed copy of one of the most important books in the history of photography.

Before 1977, artists using photography usually made 'fine art photographs.' Museums and galleries, curators and collectors, increasingly embraced photography as an important medium. The contemporary art world was widening and refining its notions of 'art photography.' While practices and movements within the photographic arts were rapidly expanding and crossing into other media during the 60s and 70s, the constant at this time was that the 'art photograph' (or work of art that incorporated photography) was made by an artist. Many important artists at the time, such as Robert Heinecken, used images from the mass media and other sources as key elements in their cutting-edge works. And, artists such as Ed Ruscha were using photographs in a way that minimized the importance of the individual images (i.e., the photographic images were in service to the larger conceptual work).

Then, Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan collaborated to publish 'Evidence,' and changed everything! With a brilliant sensibility for the absurd and a keen awareness of the complexity that the single image possesses when viewed outside its original context, Mandel and Sultan selected photographs from thousands of images that previously existed solely within the boundaries of the industrial, scientific, governmental and other institutional sources from which they were mined. Some of the photographs are hilarious, others are perplexing, but it's in their isolation from their original context that these images take on meanings that address the confluence of industry and corporate mischief, ingenuity and pseudo-science. The resulting book, 'Evidence,' strongly influenced our shifting awareness of 'the photograph' and introduced the importance of the 'found image' in art. The finished and provocative collection forever altered how we view images.

Of course, we are now much more aware of multiple meanings images can evoke when viewed outside of a proscribed context. Before 'Evidence,' however, this was not... well, as evident. This book, unlike collections of "snapshot" photographs, forced the viewer to imagine that the larger world was using the camera to document dubious practices and alarming, amusing, and confusing experiments in the name of government. The 'photograph as art' question took on an entirely new perspective, and the world could never [seriously] look back. If borrowed from corporate-speak, a caption for 'Evidence' might be 'a paradigm shift' for photography. [Also included with the book is a copy of the planned introduction by Robert Heinecken, which was subsequently not published in the book, but was printed in the May-June 1977 issue of Afterimage.]

Condition

Fine (slight shelf wear to bottom edge).

Description

Before 1977, artists using photography usually made 'fine art photographs.' Museums and galleries, curators and collectors, increasingly embraced photography as an important medium. The contemporary art world was widening and refining its notions of 'art photography.' While practices and movements within the photographic arts were rapidly expanding and crossing into other media during the 60s and 70s, the constant at this time was that the 'art photograph' (or work of art that incorporated photography) was made by an artist. Many important artists at the time, such as Robert Heinecken, used images from the mass media and other sources as key elements in their cutting-edge works. And, artists such as Ed Ruscha were using photographs in a way that minimized the importance of the individual images (i.e., the photographic images were in service to the larger conceptual work).

Then, Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan collaborated to publish 'Evidence,' and changed everything! With a brilliant sensibility for the absurd and a keen awareness of the complexity that the single image possesses when viewed outside its original context, Mandel and Sultan selected photographs from thousands of images that previously existed solely within the boundaries of the industrial, scientific, governmental and other institutional sources from which they were mined. Some of the photographs are hilarious, others are perplexing, but it's in their isolation from their original context that these images take on meanings that address the confluence of industry and corporate mischief, ingenuity and pseudo-science. The resulting book, 'Evidence,' strongly influenced our shifting awareness of 'the photograph' and introduced the importance of the 'found image' in art. The finished and provocative collection forever altered how we view images.

Of course, we are now much more aware of multiple meanings images can evoke when viewed outside of a proscribed context. Before 'Evidence,' however, this was not... well, as evident. This book, unlike collections of "snapshot" photographs, forced the viewer to imagine that the larger world was using the camera to document dubious practices and alarming, amusing, and confusing experiments in the name of government. The 'photograph as art' question took on an entirely new perspective, and the world could never [seriously] look back. If borrowed from corporate-speak, a caption for 'Evidence' might be 'a paradigm shift' for photography. [Also included with the book is a copy of the planned introduction by Robert Heinecken, which was subsequently not published in the book, but was printed in the May-June 1977 issue of Afterimage.]