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Eric Bessel’s Archive { Limited Edition }

Conveyor is excited to announce the limited edition of Eric Bessel’s Archive {2005-2010}. The publication includes 52 color portraits, a statement from the artists, as well as essays from Kenneth White and Lauren Applebaum. The limited edition book is part of an edition of 10 and paired with an  8 x 10” archival pigment print from Bessel’s Archive.

Excerpt from Consider the lemur: Eric Bessel’s Arrangement of Skin

My portraits are photographs. They are people I meet on the Internet, on the street and in check-out lines at grocery stores. We meet again on park benches, and doorsteps. They like to snap my picture after I’ve taken theirs.

Eric Bessel demands the utmost precision of hue, contrast, and detail from his photographs. Indeed, they are immaculate. But his attention to, one might even suggest obsession with, the formal attributes of his art appears pressed into the service of the content of his exposures, the subjects within his frame. Not, that is to say, into the advancement of a personal aesthetic arising from the inherent capabilities of the medium itself. “My portraits are photographs,” Bessel plainly writes in his work statement. Following such a remark, that he takes photography as his medium might be mistaken as a perfunctory choice, as some kind of defaulted course, not unlike the casual postures of his subjects, their returned eye contact notwithstanding….

Pets, 2010

Young woman with shoulder tattoo, 2009*

A taxidermied lemur, Cleveland, 2009*

… Bessel composes his own ever expanding, and quietly perverse, museum of natural history – or, as Jorge Luis Borges might describe it, book of imaginary beings. Borges remarks that, “As we all know, there is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition.”In Bessel’s art, we grasp the significance of the pleasure of such erudition in its mode of accumulation; we realize that ennui is not laziness, but in fact very hard work. And what of the order of the apparently useless and out-of-the-way, that is, what of the lemur-foxes? Benjamin closes “Little History of Photography” by ruminating on Atget’s photographs-as-crime-scenes, absent of persons. “But isn’t every square inch of our cities a crime scene? Every passer-by a culprit? Isn’t it the task of the photographer – descendent of the augurs and haruspices – to reveal guilt and to point out the guilty in his pictures?”We might do well to learn from the lemur-fox that we too are culprits courted, hiding in plain sight. Perhaps not stuffed and displayed in a Cleveland vitrene, but one of a similar nature. Indeed, one cannot help but recognize oneself, in mid-performance, striking a pose for the photographer in preparation for the next micro- revelation. The portraitist by way of photography cuts to the very site of social discovery, and its easy, though one might argue not quite inevitable, turn to culpability. For who is the photographer but a surgeon, applying the scalpel of his camera to the world of social relations. Bessel labors in his ostensibly simplistic arrangement of humans, pets, and otherwise, to peel back, to empty out, the layers of circulation potential until all that remains is performance, his own and his subjects. Such is a fascinating closed circuit of micro-revelations. Eric Bessel is a photographer who makes portraits.

Kenneth White

Palo Alto, November 2010

Eric Bessel
Archive { 2005 -2010 }

Published by Conveyor, 2010

122 Pages
52 Color Images

Essays by Kenneth White and Lauren Applebaum

Original Edition: $55.00 { Purchase }

Limited Edition of 10: $90.00 { Purchase }

These photographs are available upon purchase of the Limited Edition*

Posted 2 years ago and has 53 notes
#Eric Bessel #Conveyor #Publications #Archive {2005-2010} #Kenneth White #Lauren Applebaum