Photographs by Jerry Spagnoli.
Steidl, Gottingen, 2006. 56 pp., 112 color illustrations, 11½x11½".
Jerry Spagnoli is one of the world’s foremost
daguerreotypists and this book brings together the
last decade of his work, including selections from
his Western Landscape and Anatomical Studies
series and a comprehensive presentation of his
documentary series The Last Great Daguerreian
Survey of the Twentieth Century. Adopting a
narrative form which unifies what at first appears
to be disparate subjects, the viewer is led on a
journey through a world distilled through the
idiosyncratic perspective of the daguerreotype, a
world which is both familiar and uncanny.
Daguerreotypes have long been noted for their
accuracy and veracity. In the hands of Spagnoli
the technical limitations of the medium, the long
exposures, odd tonalities, shallow focus and the
necessity of large cumbersome cameras, are
exploited to produce images which are at once
completely objective yet intensely personal.