michael pemulis

A LOOK AHEAD TO THE BEST PHOTOBOOKS OF 2015

Life in Everwood - Ryan McGinley

This groundbreaking book contains the signature colourful portraits of pretty twenty-somethings with some forest animals thrown in for good measure. McGinley’s incessant romanticism of nudity and the empty landscape is yet again further expanded on to the point where we begin to wonder if this is a test of endurance. “How much of the same thing can we tolerate?” becomes a question that is suddenly retro-actively applied to previous projects as he unfolds this new interpretation of his career work.
144 pages, hardcover.
€50.00

The Obelisk - Gregory Crewdson

This goliath of a book measures in a 32x45 inches and details Crewdson’s journey to photograph a series of self-constructed underwater cityscapes. By far his most ambitious project to date, the Amazon-funded work is as vast as it was expensive, though the structuring of the contract behind the series allowed Amazon to recoup most of its investment before the launch date thanks to the record-high sales (€750k per print) through their in-house art-auction department, DRUID.
Notably, these ethereal images were rumoured to inspire Baz Luhrmann’s dramatic retelling of The Little Mermaid which is due out next summer.
196 pages, woven seaweed hardcover, comes packaged with fossilised seahorse suspended in rosewater.
€250.00 (Amazon Only)

Retrospective - William Eggleston

Much was made of the court case regarding Apple’s right to do whatever they wanted with their recently purchased Eggleston Collection, however, this much sought-after limited edition app puts new life into the grumpy genius’ work and coming in at 10,997 images, you certainly get your money’s worth.
€12.99 (Download from App Store only)

The Venus Diaries - James Franco

Franco’s decision to document his year living as woman was too much for VICE to pass up and the pairing of publisher and content seemed like a perfect match from the outset. While hit-and-miss in terms of reviews, this book has at least gotten everyone’s attention, which is exactly what you’d expect from a VICE book.
220 pages, softcover.
€33.00

Misfigurement - Joan Fontcuberta

Fontcuberta’s falsified archive of wounded Vietnam veterans undergoing radical limb regeneration experiments maintains the visual acuity that previously earned him the Hasselblad Award. While this book initially requires the viewer to consent that this was a JFK-authorised experiment and that the subsequent assassination of the president came as a result of this, it’s hard to flaw the substantial amount of work that went into this book.
377 pages, hardcover with metal plating and dog tags.
€79.00

Collected American Selfies 1999-2007 - Taschen (Edited by Martin Parr)

This glimpse into the early days of web-based self-portraiture provides a snapshot of the American zeitgeist in a predominantly post-9/11 and irony obsessed world. The massively mediated and manipulated task of the taking a self-portrait is highlighted through Martin Parr’s selection of appropriated portraits collected through the GoogleGrab program. The book’s main focus seems to be on the secondary representation of self through the barrier and distortion of mirrors. It’s a clever element to include and really ties the narcissism of the medium together in a way a lot of self-portrait projects fail to reference.
310 pages, hardcover.
€20.00

Brandon Stanton vs. The World - Michael Pemulis

This book traces the journey of Brandon Stanton from his days working under the name ‘Humans of New York’ to an attempt at realising his impossible dream, beginning with the cataloging of the North American population. We see a sleepless Stanton hard at work preparing the prototype full-body photobooths that he had planned to install on street-corners across the US, Canada and Mexico before the much publicised budget blow-out the project suffered as a result of the photobooth recall just days before the project went live. Pemulis’ images grant the viewer unprecedented access to the man behind the lens and we’re treated to a depiction of the exhausted Stanton as an almost Howard Hughes-esque figure.
196 pages, hardcover.
€55.00

Porn.0 - Noah Kalina

Blurring lines between hardcore pornography and high-art, Kalina delivers a book that is remarkably self-aware of its subject matter. Given that it’s one of the most grossly misrepresented areas of interest, even in the “documentary” genre, this refreshing take on the dirty secret of America is generated mostly due to the hiring of well-known adult industry film stars to perform for the camera. This is certainly a book that initial reviewers misunderstood as an excuse for male gaze but it’s hard to justify such narrow viewpoints with the understated yet rich narratives that are contained here. Kalina’s willingness to let the viewer observe the presence of the camera, whether it’s through reflections, flashes or equipment left in the shot, Porn.0 maintains a feeling that this book is neither documentary, nor fiction, but something else entirely.
175 pages, softcover.
€69.00

Credit:
Original image by Justin Sullivan was taken from here.

“Serious readers know we shouldn’t go looking for friends in fiction. Better to look for moral questions, social truths, emotional possibilities—the stuff of life. And yet, isn’t it sort of fun to imagine playing Eschaton with Michael Pemulis or cruising Mexico with the Savage Detectives? Isn’t imagining ourselves among fictional people actually pretty central to the experience of reading?”

Katherine Hill on the tournament of literary friends.

“Baby Pictures Of Famous Dictators” - Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad. Poor Yorick Entertainment Unlimited. Documentary or uncredited cast w/ narrator P.A. Heaven; 16 mm; 45 minutes; black and white; sound. Children and adolescents play a nearly incomprehensible nuclear strategy game with tennis equipment against a real or holographic (?) backdrop of sabotaged ATHSCME 1900 atmospheric displacement towers exploding and toppling during the New New England Chemical Emergency of Y.W. CELLULOID (UNRELEASED) 

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This is a redesign of the first movie poster I created for this project. As I was collecting my work for a presentation at the 2nd Annual David Foster Wallace Conference, I decided I wasn’t satisfied with my original design. I think they call this “George Lucas Syndrome”. 

Anyway, in retrospect, I think I missed an opportunity to represent Michael Pemulis’ iconic hat, which kind of echoes a dictator hat. This design is much more iconic than the previous one.

4

a cold day in a warm climate
a mix for the students of enfield tennis academy

  1. “king of the beach” // wavves
  2. “is this it”// the strokes
  3. “a day without me” // U2
  4. “rock the casbah” // the clash
  5. “the reeling” // passion pit
  6. “the fear” // ben howard
  7. “i don’t want love” // the antlers
  8. “comeback kid” // sleigh bells
  9. “sabotage” // beastie boys
  10. “sleepyhead/kids” // mgmt/passion pit
  11. “how it starts” // the features
  12. “on melancholy hill” // gorillaz
  13. “shape shifter” // local natives
  14. “a rush of blood to the head” // coldplay
  15. “the card cheat” // the clash
  16. “high and dry” // radiohead
  17. “mt. washington” // local natives
  18. “swimmer” // caroline
  19. “blue ridge mountains” // fleet foxes
  20. “talk” // coldplay

listen on 8tracks

I’ve got a literary crush on the Peemster.

“M. Pemulis is, in the best Allston MA tradition, a good friend and a bad-news enemy, and even E.T.A.s who don’t like him are careful not to do or even say anything that might call for score-settling, because Pemulis is a thoroughgoing chilled-revenge gourmet, and is not one bit above dosing someone’s water-jug or voltaging their doorknob or encoding something horrid in your E.T.A. med-files or dickying with the mirror over the bureau in the little recessed part of your subdorm room so that when you look in the mirror in the A.M. to comb or tend to a blackhead or something you see something staring back at you that you’ll never entirely get over, which is what took over two years to finally happen to M.H. Penn, who afterward wouldn’t say what he’d seen but stopped shaving altogether and, it’s agreed, has never been quite himself since.”