das buchlabor
über bücher
und fotografie



Damien Hirst – “I want to spend the rest of my life everywhere, with everyone, one to one, always, forever, now.”

Damien Hirst became known with provocative installations in the late 1980s and early 1990s,  where he laid his fingers into the still bloody wounds of modern consumer societies. Not only with installations of sliced animals, machinery of destruction and pharmaceutical laboratories he has penetrated deeply into these wounds. This book was in 1998 his first major monograph and was created in collaboration with the graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook. The publication expands Hirst concept of installation into the book body and it manages to realize this in a standalone form opulent manner. He exploited pretty much any bookbinding special form of the medium, fold-outs, pop-up figures, transparencies, decals, sticker, cuts, paper models, as well as the absence of a coherent text form, the quote-scale use of scientific panels, advertisements and other multi-layered references, make this book an exceptional artistic work. Although the vast parts of the representation of his installations are realized with a wide-ranging use of the photographic medium, arises at this point and in this context the crucial question, is this even a photo book?


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Das Bild der Menschenrechte – Lars Mueller Publishers

The book is not a classic photo book, where the photographic images are in the foreground. Rather, the work is a conceptual work made from the collection of several authors. Walter Kälin, Lars Müller and Judith Wyttenbach as editors have undertaken the trial on 500 pages with 720 photographs, to form a thesis about the reality of the UN Human Rights Carta as a current global statement. In colored contrasting chapters, analogue to various human rights, the articles are assigned in typographically high quality and backed with visually formulated theses.


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Peter Fischli & David Weiss – Airports

The book “Airports” by the Swiss Fischli & Weiss is an early exceptional example of their artist’s books, published by Patrick Frey Editions in Zurich in 1989. Rather untypical for their later mostly small scaled inconspicuous books, here the external shape of typical large-scale opulent picture books (12”h x 17”w) is selected as a quotation. With 40 wide scaled full framed overview images the book presents several airports somewhere in the world. The photographs of airfields, movement- and parking-areas for planes show universal-designed functional spaces, that elude completely any topographical map. The global aviation standards have shifted unique places into a universal functioning apparatus of lost emotion and identity. The book further omits any explanatory texts and reduces its content to the opulence of its pictorial representation.


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