Coming apart…

A new book from art book publishers Thames & Hudson has us all intrigued:
9780500516768_custom-80208cafa22ea67d3c3b66ac00d554765c655f23-s6-c10Things Come Apart: Teardown Manual for Modern Living by photographer Todd McLellan is stunning, fascinating and oddly satisfying. McLellan takes apart mechanical relics and modern gadgets ranging from a mechanical pencil to a typewriter to a digital camera to a piano and a 2-prop plane. Not to mention the bicycle, chainsaw and smartphone…
He takes a photo of the object, its many parts exploded in mid-air before laying them out and photographing them in meticulously detailed arrangements – this is the bit that really satisfies one’s (not so) inner organiser and categoriser. Both photos are beautiful and surprising – who knew a Swiss Army penknife had so few bits or that a digital camera had so many?
I sort of wish there had been a small photo of the object before disassembly, although this isn’t strictly necessary. The absence of any whole-object image is probably what moves these photos, and the process of creating them, across the line from clever, original catalogue of familiar things to that ethereal and undefined realm of ‘Art’, where ideas about making and unmaking, obsolescence, human creativity and the nature of beauty circle each other. Although there is nothing wrong with a clever, original catalogue…


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