CUMMING, Donigan. The Stage. (Montreal): (Maquam Press), (1991). SIGNED


£750.00



SIGNED

CUMMING, Donigan.
The Stage.
(Montreal): (Maquam Press), (1991).

8vo (241 × 166 mm), pp.[256]. 250 black-and-white photographs. Text passages from Cecil B. de Mille’s film The Ten Commandments as remembered by Albert Ross Smith on 30th May 1988. Illustrated perfect bound wrappers; very light toning to covers. Signed by Cumming in black ink to first page. Fine.

First edition, signed copy. The Stage comprises of photographs that were originally taken for two earlier projects: ‘Reality and Motive in Documentary Photography’ and ‘The Mirror, The Hammer, and The Stage’. Cumming began making these photographs after asking his local grocery store in Montreal if he could accompany the delivery boys as they made their rounds. On arriving at each customer’s house he proposed that he photograph them and in exchange would give them prints of these photographs. Rather than recording what he found Cumming engaged his subjects, giving directions as to how and with what they pose. In The Photobook: A History, Gerry Badger points out that ‘Like Arbus, Cumming has been criticized for being both aggressive and cruel, but everyone in The Stage looks willing enough and well aware of what they are letting themselves in for. He does not make his subjects appear demented, just eccentric. In this extraordinary book, everything is done with a sense of humour and good nature on the part of both photographer and photographed.’

‘Donigan Cumming’s The Stage is one of the most challenging photobooks published in the last century. Collaborating with his subjects to explore a kind of psychological portraiture, Cumming created a theatre of domestic and institutional interiors peopled by the strange and eccentric’ (Errata).

Robert Graham, Parachute, no. 34 (March, April, May 1984), 19-24; Parr, M. and Badger, G., The Photobook: A History vol.II p.117; Errata Editions Books on Books #19.

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