The Goliath amongst Andreas Schmidt's artist book series including an incredible 308 pages, the gargantuan "ARTFORUM MARCH 2008 INTERNATIONAL" is also the most daring photo book he has published so far, as it contains no photographs at all.
Instead Andreas Schmidt meticulously and painstakingly re-typed all of the art advertisements, in the order they appeared in Artforum XLVI, No 7 (3/08). Choosing blank pages for the editorial content throughout, he started by omitting the original cover image taken by photographer Zoe Leonard.
First published in March 2008 in the original issue of ARTFORUM, the no less than 286 full pages of adverts (out of 392 pages in the magazine in total) were printed at a time when the (ART)-world had not experienced its cyclical financial meltdown yet. One year on and we find ourselves exisiting in a changed world.
Perhaps this book tells us more about photography than any other photography book.
A great number of adverts showcase the work of internationally renowned photographers/artists as diverse as Roni Horn, Sam Taylor-Wood, Michael Schmidt, Thomas Struth, Wolgang Tillmans, Robert Mappelthorpe, Larry Clarke, Martin Parr, Hellen Van Meene, Massimo Vitali, Chris Killip, Candida Höfer, Lee Friedlander and Irving Penn, creating a historic index of the public/private galleries they are supported by and supplying the reader with all the necessary contact details.
There even is an advert for Marc Jacobs. It reads: "VICTORIA BECKHAM PHOTOGRAPHED BY JUERGEN TELLER"
By absence of any visuals, the book underlines the simple fact that in the age of mechanical-digital reproduction no art installation, art performance, sculpture, painting or drawing could be reproduced without the use of a camera. Even more so the book engages (and frustrates?) our visual memory for the described works.
Designed democratically, the book also honours the many photographers supplying installation photographs.
Similar to the process of photography, Schmidt's treatment allowed the content of the original magazine to be frozen and it is presented in this new book in a preserved and altered state, forcing us to re-examine the role and significance of the medium of photography and art alike.
Limited to 100 copies, the book is available in soft cover only, replicating the materiality of the original source.