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Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness

Edited by Mark Godfrey, Roxana Marcoci, Christopher Williams, and Matthew S. Witkovsky

Softcover-with-jacket $45 ($40.50 members)
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Representing Christopher Williams’s first publication with a major American museum, this illuminating and unusual volume is equal parts artist’s book and exhibition catalogue. Over the course of his thirty-year career, Williams (b. 1956) has crafted photographs that engage—often through uncanny mimicry—the conventions of photojournalism, picture archives, and commercial imagery, as well as their sociopolitical contexts and implications. The book includes a trio of essays by curators Mark Godfrey, Roxana Marcoci, and Matthew S. Witkovsky, which explore Williams’s engagement with his artistic peers and predecessors, with cinema (particularly the film-essay), and with the methods and modes of display and publicity in the art world, in addition to a transcript of a talk Williams delivered on the work of John Chamberlain. These more conventional contributions are “interrupted” by additional historical and contemporary textual and visual materials that were selected by the artist himself and are occasionally presented in facsimile form. An exhibition history, bibliography, and illustrated list of works round out the publication.

Mark Godfrey is curator at the Tate Modern in London. Roxana Marcoci is senior curator in the department of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Matthew S. Witkovsky is the Richard and Ellen Sandor Chair and Curator, department of photography, at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Art Institute of Chicago, 2014
8 1/2 x 10 5/8 in., 186 p., 46 color / 77 black-and-white illustrations