SCHMIDT, Wolfgang. Oh ihr verdammten arschlöcher [Oh You Damn Arseholes]. Stuttgart: Verlag Wendelin Niedlich, 1972.

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SCHMIDT, Wolfgang.
Oh ihr verdammten arschlöcher [Oh You Damn Assholes].
Stuttgart: Verlag Wendelin Niedlich, 1972.

12mo (147 × 102 mm), pp.[92]. 82 black-and-white photographs by Heike Adolphs, Florian Fischer, Falk Hofmann, and Wolfgang Schmidt. Printed wrappers, white, text in black; first 3 leaves loose, covers lightly toned, crease to front bottom corner. A very good copy, rare.

First edition, artists’ book, one of 200 copies. Wolfgang Schmidt, a graphic designer, assembled this series of close-up photographs of automobile and motorcycle exhaust pipes together with several photographs of adverts for cars and petrol companies. In a short text he writes: 'The master (referring to Marshall McLuhan) says, the media are extensions of human capacities - both mental and physical. If true, for example, the exhaust of your car is an extension of your arsehole, just much more vicious.’ This ‘quietly subversive, political piece of work' has an added relevance now in light of the recent Volkswagen automobile emissions scandal.

Schmidt’s most well-known work was made during his thirty year association with Vitsoe, the company who manufacture Dieter Rams’ 606 Universal Shelving System. Schmidt began working with Niels Vitsoe shortly after the company was founded in the early 1960s. He was tasked with creating, in his own words, ‘a system for the holistic and concise design of all visual expressions of an institution with the aim of achieving the best possible communication between sender and receiver.’ In 1969 he adopted Adrian Frutiger’s Univers font to design the Vitsoe logo that is still in use today.

Rare, OCLC locates only 1 copy: National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. A further search of the Karlsruhe Virtueller Katalog (KVK) locates no further copies.

Parr and Badger, The Photobook: A History vol.II p.148. 

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