ABOUT THE BOOK
Photography is omnipresent; everyone is photographing everything. How do artists and writers reconcile this voracious urge to photograph with a photographic aesthetic and methodology that has tended to value “less is more”?
One pairs artists and writers to think about this question. Eight photographers—Marco Breuer, Thomas Joshua Cooper, John Gossage, Trevor Paglen, Alison Rossiter, Victoria Sambunaris, Rebecca Norris Webb and James Welling—were asked to submit an image on the theme of minimalism. Eight writers—David Campany, Teju Cole, Christie Davis, John D’Agata, Michael Fried, Darius Himes, Leah Ollman and Laura Steward—were enlisted to respond to those submissions, each paired with a specific image. The results offer a probing assessment of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s maxim: “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
ABOUT THIS EDITION
The initial idea for this book was to publish only a very small edition—one that would coincide with Radius Books’ participation in Paris Photo. That edition launched in late 2016 and comprised only 150 signed and numbered copies. The text pages were printed in Italy; the photographs were printed in the U.S. by Michael Lundgren as archival pigment prints; the copies were assembled in Santa Fe, a process made necessary by the fact that every image was tipped into the book by hand. The project was conceived as a sketch of sorts. It was quickly—albeit lovingly—produced, and our approach was to give both the photographers and writers freedom to play with the topic of minimalism and photography in whatever way they chose. The results exceeded our expectations: smart, readable, and while small in scale and scope, also very complex and nuanced. We felt compelled to share this work with a larger audience, and so this edition, at a slightly reduced size, a much reduced price, and more traditional printing and binding, is meant to give more people a chance to read and hold the results. It has been produced in a quantity of 1500 copies, printed on 150gsm Garda Bianka paper, and will be donated to the entire network of schools and libraries in our Donation Program. This project would not have been possible without inspiration and guidance from Darius Himes and Lucas Zwirner in the early planning stages. The incredible printing in both editions is due to the time and hard work that Michael Lundgren put into the image files. Neither edition would have happened without the incredible support of Patrick Lannan and Christie Davis at the Lannan Foundation.