How Photography Lost Its Virginity
on the Way to the Bank.
Photographs by Duane Michals.
Steidl, Gottingen, 2007. 96 pp., Illustrated throughout, 6¼x9½".
Of this satirical look at contemporary photography,
Duane Michals has said,“The more serious you are,
the sillier you have to be. I have a great capacity
for foolishness. It’s essential.”Whether parodying
Wolfgang Tillmans or Andreas Serrano, Sherrie
Levine (A Duane Michals Photograph of a Sherrie
Levine Photograph of a Walker Evans Photograph,)
or Cindy Sherman (Who is Sydney Sherman?),
Michals uses his ferocious wit and keen eye to
create images at once humorous and penetrating.
As the New York Times described Gursky’s Gherkin,
the work “explores as never before the sense
of picklehood, or what it means to be a pickle.”
The Times also testified that:“this high-humored
sendup of arty photography” should be required
viewing for all art-world heavies, particularly
critics, curators and collectors.” Michals takes
aim at pretensions that are often perceived as
deliberately obscuring contemporary art, and
in doing so he exemplifies his mastery of both
the visual world and the written word, while
providing the elemental pleasure of a good laugh.
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