The Elephant Christmas Giveaway: MACK

This week we’re kicking off the festive season with a bumper giveaway: each day until Saturday we have a bundle of beautiful books from one of five leading art publishers to gift to one reader (head to our social accounts to enter). Our selection today comes courtesy of MACK.

For the cerebral person in your life this Christmas, Luigi Ghirri’s The Complete Essays, 1973 – 1991 is an enviable collection of the late, great Italian’s writing on photography. There are sixty-eight short and inspiring essays in this book, that prove Ghirri’s importance not only as a critic of the photographic medium but as an observer of culture and all its phenomena. Much like other eminent writers on photography, from Benjamin to Sontag and Berger, Ghirri’s references are rich and varied, and through his eyes photography becomes something much more elusive and pervasive than pictures.

Larry Sultan’s Pictures From Home “has more to do with love than with sociology,” the artist said. Originally published in 1992, this reissue of Sultan’s classic American photobook documents visits to his family home in Southern California made over a decade. Emotive, cinematic and personal, Sultan’s autobiographical collage slips between narrative and documentary, nostalgia and ennui. A profound and compelling portrait of Reagan-era America for die-hard photography fans.

There’s a curious chemistry in the juxtaposition of crystals and nudes, composed by Japanese photographer and former FOAM talent award winner, Mayumi Hosokura in this poetic exploration, Transparency is the new mystery. A book to covet and keep. Out of a formal dialogue between the mystery of nature and the naked body, Hosokura alludes to JG Ballard’s hallucinogenic reflections in The Crystal World: “the crystalline trees hanging like icons in those luminous covers, the jewelled casements of the leaves overhead, fused into a lattice of prisms, through which the sun shone in a thousand rainbows, the birds and crocodiles frozen into grotesque postures like heraldic beasts carved from jade and quartz…”

Described by artist Thomas Demand as being like haiku poetry, the series of images contained in his The Dailies capture some of the paper and card sculptures the artist has made over the years—which are destroyed shortly after being photographed. The images question the relationship between photography and reality, containing moments of familiarity but also creating confusing fractures with the way we expect the world to look. “They are the stock of our daily lives,” says MACK, “but as they trigger deja vu through performed repetition, they ask us to look again, anew, to find in the repertoire an ordinary but redemptive beauty.”

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