Luigi Ghirri’s Kodachrome (Mack, ISBN 9781907946240, $40) is one of the most important books in the history of photography, a premature masterstroke by the enigmatic Italian master. It will change the way you think about photography.
Published in a self-published small run in 1978 this avant-garde manifesto was little known and only traded at dealer rates. This second edition by publisher Mack stays true to the original design by Ghirri and Paola Borgonzoni but improves significantly on the original by applying modern reprographics to Ghirri’s film, whilst making the book available internationally at an inexpensive price.
“Ghirri fights to maintain our ability to see. His works are powerful devices for the re-education of the gaze. They alter the perception we have of the world without proposing a single path to follow, rather they provide us with the tools we need to find the one we’re looking for,” said photography critic and curator Francesco Zanot.
Part amateur photo-album, Ghirri presents his surroundings in tightly cropped images, making photographs of photographs and recording the Italian landscape through it’s adverts, postcards, potted plants, walls, windows, and people. His work is deadpan, reflecting a dry wit, and is a continuous engagement with the subject of reality and of landscape as a snapshot of our interaction with the world.
It includes a booklet with French and German translations of Ghirri’s important text from the book, and a new essay by Francesco Zanot (in English, Italian, French and German). ❚