Mickey Smith




Mickey Smith

Work from Collocations and Belive You Me.

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Volume documents bound periodicals and journals in public libraries. Most of these publications are being replaced by their online counterparts. Several titles photographed in the process of this project have been destroyed. Searching endless rows of utilitarian text, I am struck by the physical mass of knowledge and the tenuousness of printed work as it fades from public consciousness.

The act of hunting for and photographing these objects is fundamental to my process. I do not touch, light, or manipulate the books and words – preferring to document them as found in the stacks, created by the librarian, and positioned by the last unknown reader. I focus on simple, provocative titles that transcend the spines on which they appear to create conceptual, language-based, anthropological works.
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Collocation is defined as “the act or result of placing or arranging together, specifically: a noticeable arrangement or conjoining of linguistic elements (as words).”

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Believe You Me is based on found portraits and live footage of people photographed with books set behind them as symbols of intellectual status. This formula for photographing scholars, politicians, and sometimes celebrities, implies a certain level of expertise and authority. – Mickey Smith

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