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Lee Friedlander At Work Hardcover – August 2, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In the six photo essays compiled in this well-designed volume, widely admired American photographer Friedlander (e.g., The American Monument) presents images of factory, technology, and telemarketing workers. This visual workplace odyssey starts with "factory valleys" in Ohio and Pennsylvania in 1979 and ends in Omaha, NE, with "telemarketing" in 1995. Throughout, Friedlander centers his black-and-white photographs on the faces of individual workers-bored by repetition, firm in vocational resolve, or frozen for a moment in a physically demanding job. Benson (dean, Yale Univ. Sch. of Art) gives Friedlander a helping hand with a comforting afterword that connects these portraits of work with its reality. Maybe it is unfair to expect a collection of photo essays, commissioned by companies or art institutions, to show us something we never knew before, but a photography book succeeds or fails by its images. With no surprises to convey-we already know that many jobs are tedious and that the people stuck in them drift into a trance to get through the day-this book seems like an effort merely to expand the Friedlander bibliography. Recommended for comprehensive collections only.
David Bryant, New Canaan Lib., CT
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Lee Friedlander has had a distinguished career as a photographer. Among his many awards are a MacArthur Foundation Award, grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, and three Guggenheim Fellowships. He has previously published dozens of books, among them the seminal Self Portrait and The American Monument, and, more recently, American Musicians, Letters from the People, Little Screens, The Desert Seen, and Kitaj. He lives in New York State, but takes pictures everywhere.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.; First Edition edition (August 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891024485
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891024481
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 12 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,246,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Witmer VINE VOICE on July 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lee Friedlander has been photographing people at work for a long time--in "Factory Valleys" (long out of print--but worth the effort to find a copy to look at) he made pictures of workers in the "mature" rust belt industries--people making things--in "Cray at Chippewa Falls" (1987) he shows workers with billowing 80s hair wiring up the brains of supercomputers with equally flowing waterfalls of wires--pictures from both these series are included in this wonderful book--but he also shows the new face of work--dozens of modern office workers staring at computer screens.

The transition from making physical objects to being a data entry device for a machine seems to be accompanied by a transition in the faces of the workers--the early factory workers look dirty and tired, but they also appear human, immediately present in front of the camera--but the new workers all seem to be staring at some long lost horizon, zombies, endlessly pushing buttons, hoping to find the magic sequence that will release them from the drugged state they have arrived in...
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