Thijs Wassink, detail from Don't Smile Now...
Thijs groot Wassink
Don't Smile Now...Save it for Later - Limited edition book, 2008
This is the newest book from This groot Wassink, one half of the duo WassinkLundgren who produced the highly acclaimed, "Empty Bottles" book of 2007. Just as with the last book, this one embraces a conceptual process to make photographs that don't necessarily feel contrived.
The photographs were made this time by Thijs while he was sitting in various passport photo booths in and around London. These booths, ironically, tend to be set up in places where photographing is not allowed; post offices, grocery stores, etc. These "Photo Me" booths almost feel like little sanctuaries, or confessional booths where the secrets that are told inside usually stay inside. In this case, he shows up at each booth with a mirror (about the size of a big bible) and as the camera focuses to make his portrait, he opens the curtain and holds the mirror to make a 4 piece tableau image of the world outside.
Though the design isn't as radical as the "Empty Bottles" publication, this one definitely shows the hand of its designer Kummer and Herrman. It is 18x22 cm with a heavy PVC plastic dust jacket. 60 pages with about 50 color images, some of which are details from the small postage-stamp size pictures which come out of the machines. The enlarged details are the elements which solve the mystery; an occasional set of fingers wrapping into the image field....
I am sure this will end up in many interesting bookstores but for now you can get them here.
It is limited to 500 copies so I am sure they will sell out fast, the current price is 30,-Euro.