Photographs by Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin. Foreword by Gordon McDonald. Text by Julian Stallabrass.
Steidl / Photoworks,
144 pp., Illustrated throughout, 6½x8¼".
Fig. features over 80 still lives, portraits and landscapes by London-based photographers Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. Tracing connections between photography and British colonial acquisitiveness, they unearth and document weird arcana from Victorian collections in various public museums. As Broomberg and Chanarin themselves 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 items photographed range from bizarre 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; or from floral arrangements found in the rooms of Hotel Rwanda to a single leaf blown from a tree in Tel Aviv by a bomb blast.
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