London: MACK, 2020.
Condition: As New
SIGNED (directly onto book rather than on publisher's sticker) , 19 x 14.5cm, 160 pages
“The experience of leafing through “#nyc” was atypical for a photography book: my enjoyment in looking, at least at first, was more readerly than visual. Tonally, the texts in Mermelstein’s pictures range widely, from tragic—“IF I COULD I WOULD DO ANYTHING TO SAVE YOU. I AM SO SAD AND FEELING HELPLESS”—to horny—“I want to fuck my trainer…”—to comical—“I had a nice pee in a Starbucks. I asked the young lady if I could use the restroom if I purchased a banana. Her answer confused me initially." All, however, make for gripping plots, or at least the beginning of ones. As I read along, I became enmeshed in the texts, in the same way that one is when reading a diary without its writer’s knowledge—the world outside melting away as, breathless and a little ashamed, one wishes to learn just a bit more about another’s secret history. “Voyeuristic isn’t the same as harmful,” Mermelstein told me, when I asked him about the ethics of capturing people’s private thoughts without their knowledge or consent. “We’re all out there in the public domain, so part of everything we do engages with voyeurism. As a street photographer, I’ve been practicing this for a long time, and I trust that what I do isn’t hurting anyone.” In a way, Mermelstein has reworked the great tradition of twentieth-century street photography for our contemporary era. In “#nyc,” he is making a new version of Weegee’s “Naked City”: people’s misdeeds and misfortunes, indulgences and vulnerabilities, are revealed not through their flash-lit bodies and faces but in the documenting of the data that they exchange on their glowing handheld devices.” From Naomi Fry’s excellent review in The New Yorker. Item #19979