The Altogether.
Photographs by Chris Coekin.
Walkout, 2012. 124 pp., 28x4 page gatefolds, 27 color illustrations, 8¾x6¾".

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2012 by:


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Publisher's Description
The Altogether is the latest book by Chris Coekin. The photographs were produced in a factory that began manufacturing copper wire in 1834. Unfortunately, the factory recently closed and the entire workforce was made redundant. The Altogether is a multi-layered project that investigates the notions of art, work and struggle. The book comprises three series of images and is accompanied by a seven-inch vinyl record that includes two audio tracks: Days at The Factories and CuSO4 Shuffle.

The Altogether are staged portraits of the employees of the factory - the backbone of the production. Coekin found his inspiration in the iconography and theatricality of Trade Union banners. Manufactory Pt I investigates the overlooked industrial space where a collision between nature, toil and the manufacturing process has occurred, resulting in a formation of a geological micro-environment. Manufactory Pt II (aka Made in England) are studies of old manual tools that Coekin found. These actions took on the process of an archaeological dig and the artifacts that he unearthed became metaphors and symbols of a 'lost work force.' Days at the Factories and CuSo4 Shuffle synthesise sounds from the factory and feature recorded spoken word from the factory workers. Collaboration with a music producer has resulted in a more refined melodic and musical interpretation of these sounds.

The photographs are reproduced on hand-folded gatefold pages running concurrently through the book including a text written by Coekin. The cover illustration is foil printed and embossed onto cloth, these processes pay homage to the craftsman.

Read Colin Pantall's review of The Altogether in photo-eye Magazine.


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