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Laurie Simmons: Walking, Talking, Lying Hardcover – October 15, 2005

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Hardcover, October 15, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Populated by sad, anonymous dolls, walking houses and ventriloquist dummies, Simmons's photographs and installations elicit an unlikely mix of uneasiness and nostalgia. In the 1970s, she crafted miniature dramas of quiet desperation and conspicuous consumption by constructing and photographing tiny, delicate tableaux of solitary female dolls amid mod furnishings and appliances. As Kate Linker points out in her extensive opening essay, the ambivalent relationship between these little people and their various consumer goods has, in some form or another, remained a constant theme throughout the artist's career; Simmons herself calls it "the confusion between ourselves and our possessions." In the 1980s, this confusion became more literal in Simmons's Walking and Lying Objects series, in which purses, cameras and baked goods are pictured with human legs. Perhaps most affecting, thanks in part to this volume's beautiful full-color reproductions, is a later series of portraits of ventriloquist dummies. Atmospherically lit and shot against stylized backgrounds, these figures appear eerily human. But that's nothing compared with the somewhat bizarre culmination of Simmons's work—photographs of the artist herself in the form of a custom-made dummy. All in all, this is an unexpected, visually enticing document of an audacious, odd talent. 104 color images. (Oct.)
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"One of the first contemporary American photographers to have created elaborately staged narrative photographs, this book concentrates on selected series that illuminate ideas that cut through Simmons entire body of work -- willfully ambiguous interplay between objects, figures and backgrounds, and the way specific things or settings take on strange powers in her photographs." --HotShoe International

"Populated by sad, anonymous dolls, walking houses and ventriloquist dummies, Simmons's photographs and installations elicit an unlikely mix of uneasiness and nostalgia... this is an unexpected, visually enticing document of an audacious, odd talent." --Publishers Weekly

"Walking Talking Lying moves selectively through Simmons's career as an object observer, honing in on her doll works, her eerie ventriloquist dummies (female versions bear her own face), and her jarring images of partly human things, like a walking handbag or a book on legs." --The Village Voice

"Walking Talking Lying focuses on a series of Simmons's photographs that document objects that have somehow acquired human limbs and ventriloquists' dummies as, seemingly off-duty, they lounge around. Looking at them, the viewer is plunged into a world in which nothing seems natural and everything is staged." -- Kate Linker --Modern Painters: International Arts and Culture

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Aperture (October 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931788596
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931788595
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 9.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Walking, Talking, Lying is a full-color gallery of most unusual photographic works by Laurie Simmons. Nearly all the photographs are of dolls or mannequins juxtaposed with objects and artifacts - from a doll-sized hourglass with very feminine lower torso and legs to a ventriloquist's dummy seated and posed as if for an expensive formal portrait. The text commentary by Kate Linker points out the binding themes of Simmons' work such as the confusion of individuals with their possessions, to the extent that they identify with inanimate objects. Simmons' photographs form an unforgettable impression in their fusion of human nonhuman simulacra in this singularly distinctive treasury.
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