About photobooks – old and new.
Published in 2011 by Blurb
8vo, photographically illustrated softcover, 48 pages
Hermann Zschiegner has published several small photobooks always based on a similar concept – the serialization of a specific motif. In this book, the motif is the 25 ¢ coins, pressed into the asphalt by cars. Zschiegner explains that this is symptomatic of he devaluation of the dollar, as these specific coins are all photographed closer to a homeless shelter in the Lower East Side, where Zschiegner also has his studio. Zschiegner observes that homeless people taking shelter there frequently panhandle in the streets around that same location and whenever they get a penny they through them right out, since none of the stores around the neighborhood would accept those coins anymore.
The serialization procedure was common in conceptual and pop art, especially by artists that have used the photographic medium (see post on Sol Lewitt). In the case of this photobook, Zschiegner uses that same approach efficiently to support two main ideas: a sense of repetition confirming the lack of interest in 25 ¢ coins and the dollar’s devaluation; but also a sense of infinite variations of the same motif, as each coin became esthetically unique.