Gimlet Eye.

Photographs by Donigan Cumming. Text by Hugh Adams. Foreword by Christopher Coppock and Karen MacKinnon.
Ffotogallery, Cardiff, 2001. 72 pp., 42 color and black-and-white illustrations, 9¼x11¼".

Publisher's Description
Opposing reactions and interpretations have cut a singular path for the controversial work of leading North American artist, Donigan Cumming. Not only is his work contested for what it depicts, there is no consensus as to the nature of the photographs or even the intentions of the photographer. Who are these dispossessed people, damaged and broken both physically and emotionally; alcoholics and drug addicts, delusional and impoverished? Are they mere subjects, recorded by Cumming in the midst of their lives, or do they actually participate in the process and help orchestrate the results? Are the settings ‘real’ or are they tableaux? Is Cumming a witness or is he a director? When he repeatedly returns to the same people is he drawn by the desire to record the social injustices that are obvious in their lives or is it a macabre Theatre of Cruelty meant to shock and entertain? Gimlet Eye is not for the fainthearted, but it is a fascinating read for anyone interested in the ideas and motivation behind one of the most contentious, challenging and perceptive artists working today.

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