I like the elusive nature of this book, there is room for the imagination because the elements are fragmentary and in part random. Every copy feels like a special copy, no one copy is the definitive version, it stays open-ended.
(December, so practically 2011!) What a fantastic find, these stubborn pictures of a beloved monster, and what a good interpretation of them. Endearing and at the same time hilarious. The added gloss is a marvelous touch.
When I saw Schmidt's books all together this year I began to understand how they are meant to be seen as prototypes, ideas flung into what resembles a book. Under-developed and even containing mistakes the books are knowingly at the opposite end of attractive publishing. Four Seasons puts the spotlights on one of the monstrosities of the art market.
The black and white photos are grainy and filmic. It could be imagined the artist found them somewhere. Are we looking through the eyes of the photographer or of a character, a traveler perhaps, an outsider, a person looking through branches? A persuasive voice seems absent and that's a relief. What is left is a landscape in which to wander, the background of a tale.
Great addition to the Google Street View genre. Particularly compelling is the sense of distance in the images and the flow of the desolate landscapes, in which the human figures and their attributes are anonymous and insignificant.
This series of 96 books came to completion this year. Schmid studiously shows us the patterns in the pictures people take and put online. The themes are all over the place (because they are), the format is tight and uniform. Everything gets the same attention (because it does) whether it is the picture of the Mona Lisa or the picture of the pizza. A monument of the mundane (sorry for the cliché but clichés are at the heart of this).
This book takes its glory most of all from structure and layout. It could only be presented as a book, and the reader is also a visitor. Everything breathes disintegration and the photography presents a mechanized view of human beings. The ink even makes it smell like a machine.
A small, restrained book of tiny seascapes. At first they look like watercolors. The beauty lies in the fact that the photos more or less leave behind their representational qualities to become objects on top of the page. These objects are anonymous, empty, they exist in their color.
Elisabeth Tonnard is an artist and writer based in The Netherlands. Since 2003 she has published twenty books, which are included in numerous public and private collections. She exhibits internationally and is a member of ABC Artists’ Books Cooperative. For more information: www.elisabethtonnard.com