SCHMIDT, Michael. U-NI-TY. (Zurich, Berlin, New York): (Scalo), (1996).

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SCHMIDT, Michael.
(Zurich, Berlin, New York): (Scalo), (1996).

4to (258 × 187 mm), pp.316. 161 black-and-white photographs. Plain endpapers. Drab cloth-covered boards, spine and upper side lettered in yellow. Publisher’s printed pink sheet laid in. Fine.

First edition of Schmidt’s attempt, through his own photographs and found images, to trace ‘the universal iconography of political systems and the images of humankind that they project,’ resulting in a densely woven structure of associations and emotions.

‘Mingling portraits of browbeaten individuals, stark and forbidding cityscapes and industrial scenes, interior views of unlovely apartments with drab patterned wallpaper and curtains, and photographs of found images, including magazines and archival materials... [U-NI-TY] unfolds like a dark visual essay that meditates on the negative potentialities of human nature and tries to retrace German history and traumas from World War II to unification’ (Massimiliano Gioni). An important and still underrated body of work.

Gioni, Massimiliano, Defining Contemporary Art, 2011, p.98


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