Softcover with red vinyl dust jacket, 128 pages, 22 x 32 cm. Includes booklet inserted at the back.
Illustrated People is the manifestation in book form of a performance by Thomas Mailaender during a residency at the Archive of Modern Conflict in London, the most exhaustive archive in the world dedicated to the collection and preservation of vernacular photographs representing human conflict. Mailaender applied original negatives selected from the archive to the skin of models and projected a powerful UV lamp over them. The result reveals a fleeting picture on the skin’s surface, which he then photographed just moments before exposure to daylight caused them to disappear. The book comprises the resulting shots alternated with a series of archival images from the AMC collection. The work, which originated from a reflection on the extent to which some pictures or memories are internalized in ourselves, shows the skin of the protagonist to become the photosensitive material allowing the images to appear. The ironic reflection on the ontology of photography is expressed through a painful act, in which the artist’s role is also the torturer, recalling the violence of the conflicts the material referred to.