Publisher: Amsterdam: Bis Publishers and Artimo, 2002
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: Soft cover
Condition: Fine / No dust jacket as issued
Item #: 113706
Nine 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 #004: Unpaginated (80 pp.), with four-color plates throughout. Volume #005: Unpaginated (84 pp.), with four-color plates throughout. Volume #006: Unpaginated (88 pp.), with four-color plates throughout. Volume #007: Unpaginated (64 pp.), with four-color plates throughout. Volume #008: Unpaginated (80 pp.), with four-color plates throughout. Volume #009: Unpaginated (172 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 (every volume).
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." From the publisher: "Cut out a photograph from a wholesale butcher's brochure, hang it over your bed, and a year later you still won't be bored of it. It is precisely these photographs we are confronted with daily, without even being aware of it, that can hold our interest for an astonishingly long time. Photography from sales catalogues, instruction manuals, packaging, brochures and textbooks. Anonymous, because what photographer expects to create a furore with a chicken breast photo? As soon as the images are taken out of their original context and placed in a new one, they can produce interesting results."
Volume #002 presents a collection of photos posted on eBay, images which display the surprising creativity of the amateur photographer. 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 that have been collected on auction web sites.”
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 presents posters photographed in the West Bank region by Ad van Denderen. From the publisher: "Posters of Palestinian suicide bombers before their mission are put up after their mission is accomplished. Documentation of the posters, reprinted in A3 format on mat paper. Folded in half and bound by cotton form the entire content of this 'docartzine'. The centre fold printed on white paper references and translates each poster.”
Volume #005 presents images of cows. From the publisher: “A standard method is used worldwide to photograph cows and bulls. These photographs allow farmers to examine the qualities of different types of breeds in order to facilitate mating and the propagation of different family lines. Useful Photography #005 presents the legendary bull Lord Lily, alongside a small selection of his more than 150.000 descendants.”
Volume #006 presents before and after photographs. From the publisher: “It's the most tried and tested technique in advertising. Useful Photography # 006 explores the wider implications of "before and after" as used in political disruptions, environmental disasters and more personal adjustments and improvements.”
Volume #007 presents average individuals with various awards they have won. From the publisher: “There is nothing as motivating as a large, sculpted, shining award in recognition of your personal achievements. That feeling of reward and pride is desired by all, not just the Hollywood star. The teacher, the masseuse, the engineer and the weekend golfer need love too. Thankfully, there is a multitude of awards for every humble occasion, profession and hobby. Useful Photography #007 explores the sub-word of non-celebrity achievement in a proud series of photographs that are, quite literally, award-winning.”
Volume #008 presents stills of the opening scenes of pornographic movies. From the publisher: “Pornographic films, websites and magazines all plough the same furrow - the repetition of the same act, in all its variations. Where they differ is their opening sequences, the patently fake and false scenarios, which are an afterthought to the main event. The latest issue of Useful Photography celebrates these opening scenes, often cliche, sometimes bizarrely inventive, but always supremely fake. Taken out of context, (without the pornographic scenes that follow) they tell a different story. A story of amateur acting, and showcasing the talents of actors not usually noted for their acting.”
Volume #009 presents images which illustrated camera manuals. From the publisher: “Photography is especially useful when it is aimed at helping the unskilled take better photographs. Useful Photography #009 examines the world of photography manuals and celebrates the pictures used to help us understand our cameras, take better pictures and identify our disastrous mistakes.”