Structure by Isabelle Boccon-Gibod (Hardback)

Product Ref. (e.g. ISBN, SKU)
05 Jun 2021
88 pages - 305mm x 254mm x mm

Reinvents the family portrait and provokes us, in these times of digitalisation and shared images, to reflect on the fundamental cell on which every society is based: the family.

From 1839 when it was invented, photography has served to create portraits of individuals, and soon thereafter portraits of families, later placed in photo albums. Photography, collected and archived, entered the intimate sphere, enabling people to arrange the fragmented images of their lives as they saw fit. Following its forerunners (miniature portraits, silhouettes, physionotraces), the photographic portrait also served the new expectations of the emerging urban bourgeoisie and its need for social representation. Studios opened up in cities everywhere to meet the fast growing demand. In addition, the new medium distinguishted itself with its esthetic superiority. "Even as it emerged, although the technique was still very primitive, photography enjoyed an exceptional quality of artistic finish (Gisele Freund)". What can photography show us to day of the visible and invisible aspects of family sociology? "How do the roles we expect them to play betray the emotional realities and complexities of lived life?" wonders Daniel Mendelsohn, in his introduction entitled "Unknown Faces/ Redeeming Structures". By creating this corpus of fixed black and white images, each composed in a large 5'x7' frame, the photographer has produced a work of anthropological scope, reaching beyond representation by placing the subject at palpable distance, thereby objectifying it. What should we think of these seemingly impassive faces and their hypnotic gazes, what should we think of these postures, seated or standing? What goes on within these families and outside the frame? The use of a rigid protocol similar in all sessions makes every family portraits intriguing, and encourages our reflection. Inspired by the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, whose esthetics of objectivity tended towards minimalism, Isabelle Boccon-Gibod, a self-made artist, with an interest for technique, has played with a frontality quite similar to that of the Bechers, resting on the idea that our bodies, when joined together, form a sort of architecture. The idea, also, that a face, deprived of its smile, offers a neutrality of expression worth considering: masks fall and reveal a nakedness (naked truth?) to be admired and deciphered beyond the appearances of social games. She was guided, yet not limited, by this principle: the image of a family seen as a facade-like structure, in which faces are the windows.

About the Author: Isabelle Boccon-Gibod began making use of photography when she lived in England, and has largely devoted herself to it since her return to Paris in 2004. She has taught History of Photography at the Paris College of Arts. A graduate of the Ecole Centrale School of Engineering and a former student at Columbia University, after a brilliant career in the paper industry, she now serves as non-executive director on the boards of six French industrial companies. In addition, she has made a career as an author in France : she has published Fors interieurs, rendez-vous avec des mathematiciens (Leo Scheer, 2011), which received a special mention from the d'Alembert Prize (2012) and Entre leurs mains, enquete sur l'exercice du pouvoir (Plein jour, 2014). Structure is her second book of photographs, after Sous les ponts, Paris, published in 2014 by Editions Verlhac. She has shown her photographs and videos in Paris, Brussels and Haifa. The American writer and literary critic Daniel Mendelsohn has won numerous awards including the National Book Critics Circle in 2006, the French 2007 prix Medicis for foreign literature and the French Book of the Year prize (given by Lire magazine) for his book The Lost. His latest works are An Odyssey: a Father, a Son and an Epic (2017) and Three Rings (2020). He is professor of classical literature at Bard College, and a contributor to the New York Review of Books. For his introduction to Structure, he wove together links between Isabelle Boccon-Gibod's work and his own family history. It comes as no surprise that a writer such as Daniel Mendelsohn would be so moved by these portraits. It can clearly be stated here that literature is a photograph without images, and photography, a fiction without words.

We'll despatch your order as quickly as we can. If, for whatever reason, a product is out of stock we will contact you to discuss the likely delivery time or an alternative product.

  First Item 2 Items & Over
UK £3.75 £5.00
EU £15.00 £30.00
USA & Canada £30.00 £50.00
Rest of the World £45.00 £60.00
Collect in Store free free

Additional Delivery Information (and some really important bits):

UK Delivery

Orders for delivery in the UK are despatched by Courier and Signed For delivery services and will normally be delivered to you within a few days of placing your order. Signed Books are shipped in our specially made book mailing cartons, with the books themselves wrapped in paper to protect them. Sometimes we may ship your order in several parts, particularly if you have 'Pre-Order' titles in your order or titles which are held in stock with our publishing partners.

The Really Important Bit: Because we use courier and signed for delivery services, please use an address at which your parcel can be signed for during the normal working day, for example, you may want to have your order delivered to your work address if you're not at home during the day.

First Item @ £3.75 (sometimes a shipping supplement may be added for particularly heavy books or specific postcodes*)
2 Items & over @ £5.00 in total

Another Really Important Bit: There are a number of Postcodes in the UK for which we will need to charge a shipping supplement, this will be calculated once we know the size and weight of the shipment. For these orders we will contact customers to agree a suitable and economic method of shipping. There may also be additional time required for delivery to some areas of the United Kingdom. Where possible, we will ship single book orders (under 2kg) by Royal Mail to all UK postcodes. Multiple book orders and books over 2kg are shipped via APC Overnight, regardless of Postcode.

Overseas Delivery

Shipments to EU countries:

First Item @ £15.00 (sometimes a shipping supplement will be added for particularly heavy books)
2 Items & over @ £30.00 in total

A really, really important Brexit bit: From 1st January 2021 shipments to EU addresses may incur additional costs which could be requested by Fed Ex at the time of delivery. These costs may vary from country to country and are not within our control and will be in addition to the costs paid to us for your delivery. If in any doubt, please check with your local Fed Ex office what, if any, additional costs will be applicable to your order -
From 1st July 2021, VAT will be applicable to those EU countries where VAT is applied to books - this additional charge will be collected by Fed Ex (or the Royal Mail) at the time of delivery.

Shipments to the USA & Canada:

First Item @ £30.00
2 Items & over @ £50.00 in total

Shipments to the Rest of the World:

First Item @ £45.00
2 Items & over @ £60.00 in total

All overseas orders are shipped using a 'signed for' courier service - please provide an address at which your parcel can be signed for on receipt. We use the same packaging materials for our overseas deliveries as we do those in the UK. In some cases, particularly large and heavy books, or books being shipped to remote areas, may incur an additional shipping charge - if this is the case with your order, we'll notify you as quickly as possible of these charges and to arrange the additional payment. You can of course cancel your order with an immediate refund should you not wish to accept these additional costs. Shipments to overseas territories may incur additional Duty & Tax costs which could be requested by Fed Ex at the time of delivery. These costs may vary from country to country and are not within our control and will be in addition to the costs paid to us for your delivery. If in any doubt, please check with your local Fed Ex office what, if any, additional Tax & Duty costs will be applicable to your order -

Collect in Person at Coles Books

We're open Monday - Saturday, 9:00am - 5:30pm. If you're collecting your order, please wait until you get the text or phone call from us, just to be on the safe side and to ensure we have your order ready for you on arrival. Once your order is ready to collect, we will drop you an email or give you a phone call (using the information provided during checkout). You can pick up your order from the till, please bring a copy of your email receipt (electronic or printed is fine).

Coming by Car

If you're coming to Coles by car, why not take advantage of the 2 hours free parking at Sainsbury's Pioneer Square - just follow the signs for Pioneer Square as you drive into Bicester and park in the multi-storey car park above the supermarket. Come down the travelators, exit Sainsbury's, turn right and follow the pedestrianised walkway to Crown Walk and turn right - and Coles will be right in front of you. You don't need to shop in Sainsbury's to get the free parking!

Where to Find Us

Coles Books
22 Crown Walk
Pioneer Square
Bicester, Oxfordshire
OX26 6HY, United Kingdom

It was the most impressive packaging that I have EVER SEEN!!! The books were in perfect condition!!!!!

Super fast delivery and well packaged. Quality item and service!

Copyright © Coles Books - a Danny Boy Trading Company. All rights reserved.