A New Book of Photography Designed to Manipulate the Viewer

Published January 24, 2019

“Self-portrait (Corey Tippin make-up #1),” 2017.

Women with soda, women on radiators, women in nothing but socks and a plastic encasing over their head — these are the women who populate the oeuvre of the New York-based photographer Talia Chetrit. With her camera and defiant gaze, she is her own favorite subject. Chetrit’s new book, Showcaller, arrives on the coattails of her museum retrospective at the Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne, Germany. Published by MACK in the U.K., it spans 24 years of her career, beginning with her earliest work as a teenager in 1994. Grainy, intimate, and provocative, the images range from nearly confrontational nude self-portraits, with Chetrit defiantly staring down her viewer, to portraits of couples caught in up in the throes of sex, their bodies displaced in an open meadow and chained in by amorphous wire. There are bird’s eye shots of New York City streets, staged murder scenes, close-ups of bodies — all with an uncanny lack of context. It’s a mounting effect that makes each of Chetrit’s compositions all the more intricate, strange, and beguiling.

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“Soda,” 1995.

 

“Untitled (Outdoor Sex #1),” 2018.

 

“Ever (Stairs),” 2016.

 

“Jeans,” 2016.