Selected by photobook consultant Miwa Susuda as one of the best photobooks of 2012.
In 1971, fresh from his groundbreaking and tradition-rejecting For a Language to Come (1970), photographer Takuma Nakahira participated in the Seventh Paris Biennale for emerging artists. He was a reluctant participant, seeing the Biennale as "so-called 'contemporary art' reaching the culmination of its own fully exposed 'futility'". As he was to write later (the essay is reprinted in the book, one of three by Nakahira), "The moment I stepped foot in the Seventh Paris Biennale...I was assailed by an overwhelming sensation of hollowness which can only be described as a kind of despair."
Rather than bring finished works with him from Japan, Nakahira's project was to photograph, process, and exhibit the Paris as he experienced it. He would photograph the Paris he existing in, develop the rolls the same day, and print and hang the photos that evening, even while they were still wet. In one week, he had exhibited over 1500 photos in this way. He would come to see this "work" as "a representation of something which very closely approximated the gratuitousness and purposelessness of our individual everyday lives."
In 1973, Nakahira would set fire to most of his negatives and prints, but fortuitously (or intentionally?) the negatives from his Paris "Circulation" exhibition remained, and now over 40 years later this photobook has been made of the work. According to the publisher, "this volume seeks to newly engage Takuma Nakahiraäó»s critical perspective as produced in Paris, 1971, rather than simply recreating the original installation." Furthermore, "The prints made from the original negatives for the printing of this volume were produced by photographer Osamu Kanemura in consideration of the original aims of the work."
Softcover, in slipcase, 14.5cm x 21cm. 320 pages, 257 b/w prints. Includes three essays by Nakahira about the exhibition, as well as an essay by critic Akihito Yasumi, in both Japanese and English.