SPACES by Telfer Stokes
Weproductions, 1972, First edition, 128 pp., 4 1/4" X 7", Softcover
Spaces starts off as a series of seemingly straightforward presentations of photographic facts: the flatiron building, a studio interior, another city building. These are interspersed with various kinds of typewriter paper identified only by name in their upper right hand corners that are suspiciously hard to tell apart. The images proceed to get more confusing and unreliable as the book progresses. Pictures that seem to be fixed illustrations of newspaper articles take on a life of their own while the text around them remains stable. The scale of everything shifts radically when the camera pulls out to reveal the newspaper as part of a much larger collage propped up against a big arched doorway – but just for a moment. It zooms back in to lead the reader down a rabbit hole and into an ocean of shifting perspectives. If you can surrender to the disorienting pleasure of this photographic text you will be rewarded with insight into the radical narrative possibilities of artists books.