With close to 500 images, many previously unpublished, this landmark publication takes stock of the material and spiritual cultures that make up ‘civilization’. Ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary, from our great collective achievements to our ruinous collective failings, Civilization: The Way We Live Now explores the complexity of contemporary civilization through the rich, nuanced language of photography.
Featuring images by some 140 photographers – from Reiner Riedler’s families at leisure parks, Raimond Wouda’s high schools, Wang Qingsong’s Work, Work, Work and Cindy Sherman’s Society Portraits, to Lauren Greenfield’s displays of ostentatious wealth, Edward Burtynsky’s oil fields, Pablo Lopez Luz’s views on a sprawling contemporary megalopolis, Thomas Struth’s images of high technology, Xing Danwen’s electronic wastelands and Taryn Simon’s Contraband, Civilization draws together the threads of humankind’s ever-changing, frenetic, collective life across the globe.
Visually epic, Civilization is presented through eight thematic chapters, each featuring powerful imagery and accompanied by provocative essays, quotes and concise statements by the artists themselves.
'Through the work of top photographers, split into themed chapters (hive, flow, control), the editors have created a fascinating, amusing, disturbing picture of the world we have created'
A Photography Book of the Year, The Times
'Part a Who’s Who handbook for the photographically astute, part documentary of everything ... The 352 pages zing with 500 photographs, many previously unpublished, from 140 leading photographers. A global family photo album, a memory book of personal stories that patchwork to form a rounded impression of humanity '
'The most ambitious stock-taking of our world since Edward Steichen's 'Family of Man' in the 1950s'
World of Interiors
'An admirable and ambitious undertaking ... a compelling collection of photographs '