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Photographs by Arnold Odermatt. Text by Urs Odermatt.
Steidl, Gottingen, 2003. 400 pp., 410 duotone illustrations, 9½x12½".

Publisher's Description
magically lucid -Ken Johnson, The New York Times, ...weirdly bloodless, black-and-white shots of Swiss auto accidents, reduced to abrupt, detached, and meticulously composed narratives that center around pieces of found metal sculpture. -Vince Aletti, the Village Voice With thoroughness and a meticulous attention to detail, Arnold Odermatt photographed automobile accidents on the streets of the Swiss canton of Nidwalden between 1939 and 1993. For 40 years, the Swiss police office recorded the wrecked cars left in the wake of excessive speed, drunk driving, right-of-way errors, and plain foolishness, in poignant, sometimes funny, and always strange atmospheric photographs. Though Odermatt was not formally trained as a photographer, he made images that evidence a studied appreciation for romantic landscape scenes and a simultaneous attention to the clinical detail of an accident of police procedure. He created them as a personal corollary to the documentary photographs that typically accompany police and accident reports in his picturesque Alpine country. Art historically, they call to mind such diverse sources as Weegee's scene-of-the-crime pictures from the 1930s and 40s, and Andy Warhol's interest in the banal spectacle of disaster and accident in the 1960s. Wholly original and surprising, beautiful and haunting, Odermatt's pictures were only recently introduced to the art world-when Harald Szeeman exhibited them at the 49th Venice Biennale, they were virtually unknown.

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