Steidl Verlag, Göttingen. 1971. Softcover In illustrated wraps, housed in custom black cloth chamise and black cloth slipcase with gilt on spine. First edition, first printing. Near fine condition.
Full-page black-and-white images of destruction, police brutality, and the Vietnam war. Presented starkly and claustrophobically close-up, the German filmmaker Klaus Straeck makes an enduring and powerful statement on our society’s consumption of violence. One of the most iconic antiwar and anti-violence artists' books of the era.
Text taken from the 2007 reissue, "Here is a bewildering collection of curios 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. Pornografie was first published in 1971, and has subsequently become an outstanding and timeless document of political artwork."