One: Minimalism and Photography


One pairs eight writers and photographers to think about how artists can rconcile the unstoppable urge to photograph everything with the modern value of "less is more".
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Photography is omnipresent; everyone is photographing everything.How do artists and writers reconcile this voracious urge to photographwith 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 Webband James Welling—were asked to submit an image on the theme ofminimalism. Eight writers—David Campany, Teju Cole, Christie Davis, JohnD’Agata, Michael Fried, Darius Himes, Leah Ollman and LauraSteward—were enlisted to respond to those submissions, each paired with aspecific image. The results offer a probing assessment of Antoine deSaint-Exupéry’s maxim: “Perfection is achieved, not when there isnothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”


The initial idea for this book was to publish only a very smalledition—one that would coincide with Radius Books’ participation inParis Photo. That edition launched in late 2016 and comprised only 150signed and numbered copies. The text pages were printed in Italy; thephotographs were printed in the U.S. by Michael Lundgren as archivalpigment prints; the copies were assembled in Santa Fe, a process madenecessary 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—albeitlovingly—produced, and our approach was to give both the photographersand writers freedom to play with the topic of minimalism and photographyin whatever way they chose.

The results exceeded our expectations:smart, readable, and while small in scale and scope, also very complexand nuanced. We felt compelled to share this work with a largeraudience, and so this edition, at a slightly reduced size, a muchreduced price, and more traditional printing and binding, is meant togive more people a chance to read and hold the results. It has beenproduced in a quantity of 1500 copies, printed on 150gsm Garda Biankapaper, and will be donated to the entire network of schools andlibraries in our Donation Program. This project would not have beenpossible without inspiration and guidance from Darius Himes and LucasZwirner in the early planning stages. The incredible printing in botheditions is due to the time and hard work that Michael Lundgren put intothe image files. Neither edition would have happened without theincredible support of Patrick Lannan and Christie Davis at the LannanFoundation.

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