... a terrific 2016 New Year’s tweet
... excerpts from Daniel Boetker-Smith’s openhanded review of ‘Body of Work’ for photo-eye, Book of the Week.
“Today Radiohead released their first new song in years. I’d set aside the afternoon especially to write this review of Bruce Connew’s newest publication ‘Body of Work’, with no idea that the quintet from Oxford who have crafted the soundtrack of my adult life would inadvertently tell me how to read and understand Connew’s book.
‘Street Spirit (Fade Out).’ I can remember the lurid lines: ‘Cracked eggs dead birds / scream as they fight for life / I can feel death / can see its beady eyes.’ These words have been etched into my psyche since I first heard them in 1995. Hearing these lines again today after a number of years it seems that nothing can more accurately describe Bruce Connew’s new book. Connew has been around, making books, since the late 80s, and he is somewhat of a national treasure in New Zealand; a prolific, smart and eminently generous artist. But he’s never made a work like this before, and I’m not sure he ever should or could again. This is his ‘Heart of Darkness’.
‘Body of Work’ is elemental; it is base and it conjures extreme responses of both a strong desire to look further and an unwillingness to continue to have your retina pounded by such savage and excruciating beauty. Put simply this book is a series of images depicting horses fucking. The production and printing of the book is extraordinary, in fact the printing is so good, the ink laid on so thick, that each page is practically sculptural, which makes it all the more confronting. These are offset printed pages made to touch, to feel, to rub, and to fetishize.
This is a singularly brilliant, brave and raw book, made to be savored, and pored over, to be loved and loathed ...”
DANIEL BOETKER-SMITH / 05.2016
... available at these splendid bookshops
PhotoQ Bookshop, Amsterdam
PhotoBookStore, UK (video preview)
Le Bal Books, Paris
Family Books, Los Angeles
Ampersand, Portland, US
Librairie 7L, Paris
L’Ascenseur Végétal, Bordeaux
Café Lehmitz Photobooks, Cologne
Tipi Bookshop, Brussels
Bruce Connew, Auckland (FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE)
Unity Books, Wellington
‘Body of Work’ was published and signed during Paris Photo 2015, first at Le Bal, November 12, and again, Friday 13, at Café Lehmitz Photobooks aboard Polycopies, just before an awful madness came upon Paris ... pre-orders have shipped from France, while the stash for New Zealand has just arrived.