Type 42 (Anonymus)

Type 42 (Anonymus) : Photographs by Anonymous

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Type 42 presents 120 works from an extraordinary archive of work by an anonymous artist. The archive is composed of black-and-white polaroids showing headshots and close-ups of actresses taken from the television screen beginning in the late 1960s. They are mainly distorted, slightly blurry and occasionally pixelated, but a strong emphasis on the science fiction or B-movie genres pervades. In some of the photographs the television screen can be seen as a framing device, but for the most part the televisions borders are absent from the picture one of the many remarkable aesthetics of this collection. Type 42 refers to the type of Polaroid film used. The entire body of work was found intact in New York in 2012 by artist Jason Brinkerhoff; his attempts to trace the origins of the polaroids have remained unsuccessful. All but a handful are inscribed. In most cases the name of the actress is written across the bottom of the photograph; in some cases the title of the film or TV series she appears in is written across the top of the photograph; and in a few cases both sets of information are written on top and bottom accordingly.
There are also 31 photographs where the artist has written the womens measurements across the top along with her name across the bottom.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 144 pages
  • 145 x 175 x 17mm | 310g
  • Cologne, Germany
  • English
  • New edition
  • 3863356438
  • 9783863356439

Review quote

If the ghostly faces in this realm were indeed as evanescent as Pound's "petals on a wet, black bough," they might still be saved on Type 42, a pocket-size mercy that postponed for a while the final fade out.--Albert Mobilio "Bookforum " These nebulous, darkened black-and-white Polaroid pictures of movie stars and vixens were taken by an anonymous artist known only as Type 42 -- after the instant self-developing film he or she used -- off small TV screens in dark rooms. The images come from the 1960s but didn't emerge until 2012, when an artist stumbled on the whole cache (hallelujah!). Most are inscribed with the name of the actress, maybe her measurements, and occasionally a film title, and always lettered in a laboriously deliberate hand -- the i's dotted not above, but to the right. In an essay accompanying the recent catalogue, Fame Is the Name of the Game ..., the artist Cindy Sherman calls the work "an exhaustive study of what it is to be a woman." She writes, "We could assume it was a man since almost all the images are of women, but perhaps this was a woman trying to understand her role models." Above all, "these photos are the evidence of someone who watched a lot of television, had a lot of Polaroid film, and was obsessed." She's right: Whoever is seeing these women is seeing them intensely. Anita Ekberg hoisting her chest; Kim Novak in a bathtub; Jane Fonda, in a glittery bra, marked "34-22-34." Foggy desires and unseen urges attend all these pictures, glimpses of a pre-VCR world when any erotic charge gotten from television had to be held in memory. But this photographer needed those images to exist forever now, close at hand, available for careful perusal. That the film is Polaroid suggests that he or she saw them as something furtive, to be done undercover, without taking film to be developed. Like all good art, these pictures are secrets hiding in the light.--Jerry Saltz "New York Magazine, The Cut "
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