Cover

Notes

3rd edition 2017 – 2nd printing (previous editions: 1977, 2003)

Publisher Note

From 1975-1977, Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel selected photographs from a multitude of images that previously existed solely within the boundaries of the industrial, scientific, governmental and other institutional sources from which they were mined.  The project, “Evidence”, was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was one of the first conceptual photographic works of the 1970’s to demonstrate that the meaning of a photograph is conditioned by the context and sequence in which it is seen.
The resulting collection exhibits a brilliant sensibility for the absurd and a keen awareness of the complexity that the single image possesses when viewed outside its original context. Some of the photographs are hilarious, others are perplexing, but it’s in their isolation from their original context that these images take on meanings that address the confluence of industry and corporate mischief, ingenuity and pseudo-science.  The book has been recognized as a precursor to subsequent postmodern strategies of photo practice.

A visual conundrum of incalculable mystery. —Martin Parr, The Photobook: A History

In 1977, photographers Larry Sultan (1946–2009) and Mike Mandel (born 1950) published a book that would radically transform both photography and the photobook canon—a book described by Martin Parr, in The Photobook: A History, as "one of the most beautiful, dense and puzzling photobooks in existence, an endless visual box of tricks." Sultan and Mandel sifted through thousands of photographs in the files of the Bechtel Corporation, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Jet Propulsion Laboratories, the US Department of the Interior, Stanford Research Institute and a hundred other corporations, American government agencies and educational, medical and technical institutions. They were looking for photographs that were made and used as transparent documents and purely objective instruments—as evidence, in short.

Selecting 59 of the best, they published these images with the care you would expect to find in a high-quality art photography book, issuing them in 1977 in a simple, limited-edition volume titled Evidence.

Long established as a photobook classic and a seminal example of conceptual photography, Evidence was reissued as a facsimile edition in 2004 by D.A.P. with a new spread of images and a group of black-and-white illustrations selected by the artists from an archive of photographs that were not included in the original book, plus a commissioned essay by Sandra Phillips. Today both this reissue and the original 1977 publication are exceptionally rare and command high prices.

D.A.P. now reprints the 2004 edition of Evidence, making available to a general readership a truly pioneering and canonical photobook.

Publisher
Release Place New York, United States of America
Edition 3rd edition
Release Date 2017
Credits
Artist: Various Artists
Identifiers
ISBN-13: 9781942884149
Work  
Language English
Format Hardcover with dustjacket
Dimensions 25.6 × 23.4 cm
Pages 92

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