What is a monster? Is it a thing with a hairy face, webbed fingers, and green skin? Or is it simply anything we don't understand? An art book for and about the curious, Special Cases explores humanity's age-old obsession with mythical and literal monstrosity in a way that is not for the faint-hearted. Using photographs she has taken at natural history and anatomical museums, models of her own creation, and artwork from numerous private and public collections, celebrated photographer Rosamond W. Purcell delightedly delves into squeamish subjects such as dwarves, giants, conjoined twins, hairy people, albinos, and humans with animal heads. Sure to capture the imagination of artists, historians, and anyone with a taste for the perverse, Special Cases is a clever visual history whose pages and pictures reveal the fiipside of what we call normal.
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Rosamond W. Purcell has had her photographs published in numerous books and journals throughout the world, including the Sciences, where she collaborates monthly with Stephen J. Gould. This book was inspired by the exhibition Special Cases: Natural AnomaliFrom Library Journal:
Under the guise of cultural studies, humankind's ceaseless fascination with human anomalies has gained a newfound legitimacy, and publishers are producing ever more works to satisfy both the prurient and intellectual ends of the scale. This handsomely produced book, unfortunately, seems unsure about where to place its focus and, ultimately, will disappoint most readers. Purcell, a photographer, writer, and curator of a show at the Getty Research Institute, from which this book was derived, has written a rambling, unconstructed text that not infrequently touches on fascinating ideas and historical examples. But just as often she abandons a theme just as she gets beneath the surface or moves on to another sample before fully examining the specimen before us. Her thesis?that the collectors and classifiers play as much a role in creating a freak as do the abnormalities?is interesting, if not entirely new, but never truly develops. Recommended only for academic cultural studies collections; popular collections would do better with Lawrence Weschler's Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder (LJ 10/1/95) and Jan Bondeson's A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities (LJ 10/15/97).?Douglas McClemont, New York
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Chronicle Books, 1997. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0811815684
Descripción Chronicle Books, 1997. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110811815684