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Common Objects / Lewis Baltz

Common Objects / Lewis Baltz


Lewis Baltz / Steidl / softcover, 2014


Seminal photographer Lewis Baltz has spoken about the influence of cinema before, indeed critics writing about his work have often stressed this point, too. For the first time now he has cited some actual sources, Hitchcock, Godard and Antonioni, and a batch of their movies from the 40's to the 70's. Strong colors appear in Zabriskie Point, Les Carabiniers and Le desert Rouge, whereas earlier movies, such as Psycho, the Fifth Column and La Notte speak of an eery postwar atmosphere of dread, suspicion / paranoia and the great fear of the empty in whatever form it might take. LE BAL has asked parisian artist & designer Pierre Hourquet to come up with an innovative book design to confront and enable a visual interplay between Baltz' images and the film stills. The final book is wonderfully printed by Steidl, but it's the design that is a big surprise. A softcover brochure with 120 pages in a screen-printed plastic slipcase that's as supple as a record cover. The film stills are printed on rhodoid see-through plastic which overlapp white spaces or on some rare occasions Baltz own images. 

The neutral photographs are contrasted with warmer and more emotional images from the movies, by which means the book creates new ways of seeing, experiencing and thinking about Baltz' work. 

Thus the conventional museum catalogue takes on a place and usage of it's own! 


With selections from the series Candlestick Point, Ronde de Nuit, Prototype works, Tract Houses and Sites of Technology and texts by film historian and curator Dominique Païni and writer and curator David Campany. 

LE BAL has co-published some very oversized books, such as Antoine D'Agata's "Anticorps", which has won last years best book award at the Rencontres d'Arles and Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse's "Ponte City", but we're equally proud to present you this tight & smart publication by Lewis Baltz. 

 27,5 x 27,5 cm. 


And the video-teaser on Vimeo.