Na jehlách techto dní . [On the Needle of These Days]. Text by Jindrich Heisler. Photographs by Jindrich Štryský. Fr. Borovy v Praze, Praha, 1945. First edition with printed images, following the 1941 edition with original tipped-in photographs. Typography by Karel Teige. Octavo. Photo-illustrated stiff wrappers. 64 pp. with twenty-nine gravure plates. Acetate protector.
Štryský was a major artist of the Czech avant-garde, co-founding a Surrealist group in Prague in the mid-thirties. Showing the clear influence of Atget, the subjects of his photographs seem ordinary enough, banal even--store window displays, antique objects, masks, mannequins, folk art displays, statuary, and such. However, in Štryský's images the pervasive sense of melancholy surpasses that of even Atget, prompting Vince Aletti to describe them as "Atget in the village of the damned." Parr and Badger comment on their "enervating neurosis that signifies death and decay." The photographs were taken four to five years before the war. The extremely rare original was published secretly in 1941 while Czechoslovakia was a protectorate under Nazi occupation and contained tipped-in gelatin silver prints. This edition, designed by fellow Czech Surrealist Karel Teige, was published three years after Štryský's death. "This remains a haunting photobook, 50 years after the war," write Parr and Badger. "It is a prime example of one of the photobook's great truths--it's not necessarily the individual pictures that count, but what you do with them."
Very Good; expertly repaired hinge; typical edge wear; some abrasion to joint with slight loss to crown of spine; some creasing to corners.