Walking Talking Lying

Laurie Simmons

Published by Aperture, 2005
ISBN 10: 1931788596 / ISBN 13: 9781931788595
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Fine; no jacket, as issued. This copy signed on the title page by the artist. No flaws to speak of. An exemplarary, quite close to as-new copy of this title, a career over-view for Simmons, and nicely signed. There do not seem to be many signed copies available. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: The intimate ache of the dollhouse and its air of manipulation (whether as consumer object or ventriloquist dummy) has become as identified with pioneering photographer Laurie Simmons as with Ibsen. She's even designed a dollhouse for a toy company. Mostly self-taught, Simmons began working in the 1970s, when color and staged tableaux were first being explored by fine-art photographers, and has since mapped out a world all her own, mostly in haunting miniature. Over the past 25 years, her photographs have conveyed a bittersweet nostalgia for the 1950s, while edgily commenting on consumerism, feminism and other fraught aspects of postwar American culture. The accompanying essay by Kate Linker concentrates on selected series that cover the artist's entire oeuvre--from Ventriloquism, Walking Objects and Lying Objects to the 1997 Self-Portraits and Café of the Inner Mind--and so is essential reading for any photography aficionado.

From Publishers Weekly: Populated by sad, anonymous dolls, walking houses and ventriloquist dummies, Simmons's photographs and installations elicit an unlikely mix of uneasiness and nostalgia. In the 1970s, she crafted miniature dramas of quiet desperation and conspicuous consumption by constructing and photographing tiny, delicate tableaux of solitary female dolls amid mod furnishings and appliances. As Kate Linker points out in her extensive opening essay, the ambivalent relationship between these little people and their various consumer goods has, in some form or another, remained a constant theme throughout the artist's career; Simmons herself calls it "the confusion between ourselves and our possessions." In the 1980s, this confusion became more literal in Simmons's Walking and Lying Objects series, in which purses, cameras and baked goods are pictured with human legs. Perhaps most affecting, thanks in part to this volume's beautiful full-color reproductions, is a later series of portraits of ventriloquist dummies. Atmospherically lit and shot against stylized backgrounds, these figures appear eerily human. But that's nothing compared with the somewhat bizarre culmination of Simmons's work—photographs of the artist herself in the form of a custom-made dummy. All in all, this is an unexpected, visually enticing document of an audacious, odd talent. 104 color images. (Oct.)
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Walking Talking Lying
Publisher: Aperture
Publication Date: 2005
Edition: First edition.

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