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The Photobook

Nathalie Herschdorfer


The definitive survey of contemporary photography of the human body


The body remains a battleground. Politicized, conceptualized and increasingly shared, our often-paradoxical relationship with the human form is nothing new, but finds itself heightened in the digitised, virtualised era of the ‘post-industrial’ body. No longer a tool but a work-in-progress, our bodily expectations bound from fantasy to reality, beauty to tyranny, art to commerce and curiosity to obsession, leaving us dreaming of other bodies and alternate lives.

Surveying a range of over 360 photographic re-presentations from the worlds of art, fashion, scientific and vernacular photography - including the work of Nobuyoshi Araki, Bettina Rheims, Lauren Greenfield, Viviane Sassen, Cindy Sherman, Wolfgang Tillmans, Daido Moriyama, Sally Mann, Pieter Hugo and Juergen Teller, Sølve Sundsbø and Daniel Sannwald - Body: The Photobook explores what our imaging of the human form, and the ways in which those images have been used and shared, might reflect of our relationship to the body. Supporting the broad range of photography is an essay by the psychologist Professor David Sander, who discusses the neurological representation of our own bodies.

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'Drawing on myriad genres and techniques – portraits, nudes, fashion spreads, medical micrographs – Nathalie Herschdorfer approaches the body as a nebulous and dynamic organism, a site for self-invention, a source of self-loathing, and an arena for personal myth and public scrutiny … the book contains a number of contemporary masterpieces '
New York Times Book Review

'A landmark survey'
The i newspaper

'Visually stimulating'

'Invite[s] the viewer to question how and why the body is represented in photography, and to consider the vast impact that photographic images have on our understanding of the subject itself'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 21.0 x 14.7 cm

Extent: 432 pp

Illustrations: 394

Publication date: 13 January 2022

ISBN: 9780500296561

Contents List

1. Physique
2. Alter Ego
3. Essay
4. Constructions
5. Mutations
6. Celebration
7. Essay
8. Flesh
9. Love

About the Author

Nathalie Herschdorfer is a curator and art historian specializing in the history of photography. She is the Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Le Locle, Switzerland. Among her other books are Afterwards, The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Photography and Coming into Fashion, all published by Thames & Hudson.

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