Cover image for James Casebere : the spatial uncanny
James Casebere : the spatial uncanny
Vidler, Anthony.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Milan : Charta ; New York : Sean Kelly Gallery, [2001]

Physical Description:
191 pages : chiefly illustrations (some color) ; 31 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TR647 .C374 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



For the last 20 years, James Casebere has constructed increasingly complex small-scale architectural models that are carefully built and then subtly lit and photographed in the studio. These table-sized models are made of simple materials, pared down to essential forms, empty of both extraneous detail and action. Casebere's disconcerting ''sites'' recall prisons, monasteries, tunnels, factories and other such spaces. Casebere has gained increasing international acclaim in recent years as the leading proponent of what has become known as ''constructed photography.'' This is the first publication to comprehensively survey Casebere's career in its entirety, and provides an important contextual and visual framework in which to posit his soaring international reputation. His oeuvre can be seen in the full scope of its development, from his early preoccupation with the genre of the Western and the suburban home, to his concern with institutional buildings, to his recent investigations into the relationships between social control and social structures.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Casebere's vacant interiors, bereft of all reference to human existence, yawn from the pages of this intriguing monograph in a way that makes absence a psychologically onerous presence. Photographs of architectural models he built himself, Casebere's creations are spiritual, sinister, and noisily silent, like the aftermath of some cataclysm. Essays by Anthony Vidler (Warped Space) and freelance writer Chris Chang (Reel Works) venture interpretations of Casebere's works, breaking them down into a series of concepts that engage the theories of Freud, Walter Benjamin, and Michel Foucault, as well as cultural notions of space. Jeffrey Eugenides's (The Virgin Suicides) fictional, stream-of-conscious reminiscences endow Casebere's oeuvre with coherent meaning and intent by drawing the interior and exterior landscapes into a fluid narrative. Curiously, the artist's own statement is missing, although his acknowledgments show that he heartily endorses the readings offered by the three authors. Both the essays and the works themselves point to the existence of a postmodern unconscious riddled with anxiety. Other books have touched on this mid-career but still emerging photographer most notably the survey Model Culture: Photographs from 1975-1996 (Friends of Photography Bookstore, 1996) and The Architectural Unconscious (Addison Gallery of American Art, 2000), which pairs him with sculptor Glen Seator but this is the up-to-date look at this incredibly creative photographer's work. For all collections on contemporary art. Savannah Schroll, Smithsonian Inst. Lib., Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.