Vile Bodies: Photography and the Crisis of Looking by Chris Townsend

Regular price $50.00

Shipping calculated at checkout.

Vile Bodies: Photography and the Crisis of Looking by Chris Townsend

4to. pp. 160. profusely illustrated. paperback (near fine - light bump to front lower corner of cover). Munich: Prestel in association with Channel Four Television Corporation, [1998].

A Channel Four Book

ISBN 10: 379131940X / ISBN 13: 9783791319407


Published in cooperation with Channel Four Corporation in conjunction with the British television series of the same name, "Vile Bodies" is a collection of photographs and accompanying essays which penetrates the most urgent contemporary taboos concerning the human body and how we perceive it. The reader is confronted with disturbing images of death, disability, obesity, aging and the issue of child sexuality. The more than 20 photographers whose work is represented in this volume are among the most important and influential international artists working today - including Joel-Peter Witkin, John Coplans, Nan Goldin and Andres Serrano. Because of the universality of the taboos and themes, the essays and photographs in "Vile Bodies" have the power to speak to all of us, to provoke our subconscious fears and illuminate those parts of contemporary culture we would rather leave concealed, forcing readers to confront and question their own standards. One chapter addresses the subjects some fear most: sexuality, violence and the loss of innocence in childhood, as reflected in the uncanny and disturbing images of Wendy Ewald, and in the subtler, but thought-provoking works of Collier Schorr, Sarah Jones and Amy Adler. In another chapter, our criteria for beauty and ugliness is re-examined in photos of the aged body by John Coplans and Melanie Manchot. The bizarre imagery of Joel-Peter Witkin's scenes of suffering and bodily damage is featured in another part of the book, and our preconceptions of death are subverted by seductive, glossy cibachromes by the controversial artist Andres Serrano. Photographers such as Nan Goldin confront us with pictures of friends dying from AIDS-related diseases.