Photographs: Klaus Staeck
Publisher: Edition Kölling/Anabas Verlag
Comments: Hardcover. 250 x 200 mm. First edition, 1971. Black & white photographs. Minor wear and some peeling as usual. Copy in very good condition. Included in Martin Parr & Gerry Badger, The Photobook, vol.II, p.150-151. Scarce collectible copy. (more pictures on request)
Here is a bewildering collection of curious of everyday violence: press photos of street fights, naked victims of war, and tortured prisoners follow staged body-art pictures and a wide array of objects colored by desire, power, exposure and surveillance. With a name that refers to x-rated images and the obscene, the works shown in Pornografie may be far from a voyeur's expectations. Indeed, it is filled with obscene photos, but as the philosopher Herbert Marcuse put it: "It's not the picture of a naked woman that's obscene but that of a general who shows off his medals earned in a war of aggression." The book is a complete work of art, offensive in every sense of the word, and as an artistic manifesto about violence in the twenty-first century, it couldn't be any more current, especially given movements like activist art.
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