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The Last Pictures Hardcover – September 19, 2012
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The book showcases a diversity of photographic technologies, from surveillance shots taken by a drone to close-ups of the Ebola virus captured by an electron micrograph; this shuffling together of radically disparate scales makes for a thought-provoking browsing experience. The Last Pictures tells a dark but urgent story about present conditions of representational frustration. In the here and now, we have this book, a partial but chilling document of what we were, what we are, and what we might become. —Julia Bryan-Wilson
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What dissapoints here is the lack of care put into the editing and composition of the work. Why--especially in a book of this size and format--the editors felt it necessary to span multiple pages with images which would otherwise fit unbroken on a single leaf is beyond me. When you take a photograph and print all but one inch of it on one page, leaving the rest hidden in the binding, you destroy the point behind the book; you lose the image. The only way to see complete photos in several cases here is to unbind the book (that is, destroy it) and piece the pages back together.
Having known firsthand how unfortunate it is these days that many publishers just don't care about this sort of thing, were I Mr. Paglen (the author), I'd be a bit irritated over the layout and execution of an otherwise good work.
5 stars for the content; a big zero for how it was unfortunately mis-handled.