Steidl & Partners
Fig. features over eighty still lives, portraits and landscapes by photographers Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, drawing together newly commissioned work made around the south coast of England and internationally, and traces links between photography, imperialism and the colonial impulse to acquire, map and collect. The publication’s diverse imagery harks back to an era of Victorian collecting, which resulted in strange accumulations of objects being deposited in local museums throughout the UK. As Broomberg and Chanarin have observed: ‘the history of photography is intimately bound up with the idea of colonial power. Documentary photographers today have a worrying amount in common with the collector/adventurers of past eras. As unreliable witnesses, we have gathered together ‘evidence’ of our experiences and present our findings here; a muddle of fact and fantasy.’
The images range from strange objects found at the Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton — such as a merman’s body and a unicorn’s horn — to ancient waxworks and a dodo skeleton; from floral arrangements found in the rooms of Hotel Rwanda to a single leaf blown from a tree in Tel Aviv by the blast of a suicide bomb. Elsewhere, pictures of beacons along the South Downs — designed in the sixteenth century to warn of invasion — suggest a geographic and emotional boundary between Britain and the rest of the world.
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- 144 pages, 95 colour plates
- 16.2 cm x 20.8 cm
- Clothbound hardcover
- Steidl & Partners
- ISBN: 978-3-86521-475-1