Friday, February 11, 2011

Featured: Ilya Ehrenburg & El Lissitzky's My Paris

Ilya Ehrenburg & El Lissitzky, My Paris
Hardcover in slipcase

The Paris of Ilya Ehrenburg knows no Louvre nor Notre Dame and shows the Eiffel Tower crouching behind shabby facades and building timber. The Paris in which the Russian revolutionary lived from 1908 to 1940 was a place in which completely normal people with little money and hope struggled through life. Ehrenburg photographed them at their doors and in cafés, at work and at rest, in their poverty and dignity, and wrote brief texts that describe them.
My Paris is an impressive work of photographic social reporting. It presents portraits of the elderly and children, workers and outcasts and stands in stark contrast to the glamorous Paris of so many idealized representations. The book was published in Moscow in 1933. El Lissitzky used very clear typography that puts a gentle rhythm into the book. Moi Parizh — My Paris is an extremely rare object, which is presented anew as a reprint.

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