The fourth installment of the Lynn Valley artist book series features an untitled work by the Berlin artist Annette Kelm. Using a detailed studio-shot format reminiscent of advertising photography the book displays six versions of a hat that the artist bought while traveling through New York. Manufactured in China for the US market these hats are a strange cultural hybrid. Their design - a combination of a western baseball cap and a eastern straw hat - grafts two separate idioms together to create a consumer item which is more an “interpretation” of a western cultural icon rather than a knock-off of it. Each version is fastidiously documented from every angle (there are six in all with yellow, purple, red, beige, blue and black seams respectively).
Critic Kirsty Bell describes Kelm’s unique photographic approach: “Her precise, carefully composed, well-lit images, often shot with a large-format camera, luxuriate in surface and clarity of detail while fitting neatly into standard photographic genres: still life, portraiture, landscape. The things they present definitely exist; there is no doubt about that. But something about their ‘rightness’ seems not quite right. As selfevident as her images appear, they are undercut with a strangeness that questions not only the purpose of the objects, but also the nature of their representation.”
Edition of 1000
9.25 x 12 inches,
23 x 30 cm.
Colour cover and inner pages
Publisher: Bywater Bros. Editions and Presentation House Gallery
Authors: Edited by Reid Sheir and Roger Bywater