Captured by the Norwegians

Robert A. Robinson, Captured by the Norwegians

Robert A. Robinson, Captured by the Norwegians
Hardcover, 168 pp., offset 3/1, 8.5 x 11 inches
Edition of 1500 in English
ISBN 978-82-998127-5-7
Published by Aki Books / Flamme Forlag

$50.00 ·

The 1953 edition of Captured by the Norwegians by Robert A. Robinson, has been re-published by Norwegian publishers Aki Books & Flamme Forlag. As well as reproducing the previous edition, this new book also includes new texts by David Campany, Frode Grytten and a personal interview with Robinsons long time friend Dan Young. This edition has also been published in Norwegian, under the title Tatt av Norge.

Captured by the Norwegians was conceived in 1953. The publisher decided that no restriction of any sort should be placed upon the author. He therefore looked at Norway freely through impartial eyes, and the result is a volume of pictures by one who came as a stranger and stayed as a friend.

“Robinson’s photographs are also reminiscent of those included in the ‘Family of Man’ and it is tempting to see Captured by the Norwegians as a local expression of the same sentiments but the comparison is complex. Steichen aimed to subsume national identity in a new globalized oneness that skirted politics and ideology in favour of a utopian common round of experience. Many accused it of sentimentalism, political naivety and a deep Americanism that was actually far from international. By comparison Robinson’s book is a humble vision that makes so few claims for itself. I find it an honest, unpretentious and endearing account of one person’s experience and expression. But maybe it has taken that half a century to re-realise this.”

— David Campany

Three Acts

John Divola, Three Acts

John Divola, Three Acts
Hardcover, 144 pp., offset 4/duotone, 11 x 9.25 inches
Edition of 2000
ISBN 9781931788953
Published by Aperture

$50.00 ·

In 1973, California artist John Divola began the first of three highly ambitious and original bodies of work that form Three Acts, the first book dedicated to them. His Vandalism series comprises black-and-white photographs of interiors of abandoned houses. Entering illegally, Divola spray-painted markings that referenced action painting as readily as the graffiti that was then becoming a cultural phenomenon. For the following year’s Los Angeles International Airport Noise Abatement series, he photographed a condemned neighborhood bought out to serve as a noise buffer for new runways, focusing on evidence of previous unsanctioned entries by other vandals. His final work, Zuma, documents the destruction of an abandoned beachfront property by the artist and others, as it deteriorates frame by frame and eventually burns. Divola has much in common with artists such as Bruce Nauman and Robert Smithson who have used photography to investigate other topics. He describes his innovative practice succinctly: “My acts, my painting, my photographing, my considering, are part of, not separate from, this process of evolution and change. My participation was not so much one of intellectual consideration as one of visceral involvement.”