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Published by Gingko Press. 184 pages, 9 x 12 inches, over 250 full color photographs, hardcover with dust wrapper.
On the outskirts of civilization, where suburban man stumbles over nature, an untold drama is taking place. A relentless effort by present day frontiersman to tame and overcome the inhospitable California desert. Emigre's editor/designer Rudy VanderLans takes us to the heart of this spectacle, where suburban elements meet vacuous space, where dubious claims of commerce stand fragile against a harsh light, where contemporary dwellers impose incongruous notions of luxury on a magnificent wilderness landscape.
Supermarket captures the folly and beauty of this colorful drama in all its ambiguity with photographic spreads that come at us like film, taken from multiple angles, juxtaposed or duplicated in singularly bold symmetry. The iteration of the images so leveraged simulates a spatiality that transcends the ordinary two-dimensional page and challenges the traditional photo book format.
Supermarket takes us on a poetic journey through VanderLans's California, documenting our sometimes successful, sometimes futile attempt to transform an unfriendly environment into a bearable happy land. The author brings us inside this desert environment in small steps, taking us along the California coast heading south and then east through the built environment, setting the scene for our final destination.
View digital iris prints from this book. Shortly after publication of Supermarket, a selection of photos were printed, which were shown at Gallery 16 in San Francisco in 2002. These were some of the very first digital prints VanderLans had made, and a few are still available. But to infuse these old prints with some new life, VanderLans decided to add short texts to the images sampled from the captions he wrote for the book. The captions were inspired by the snippets of language VanderLans picked up from the signs and billboards that he passed while motoring through California.