Friday, May 24, 2019

Michalis Pichler, The Ginza Strip, Kodoji Press: Berlin, Tokyo, 2018

This is a rather interesting book and it has a unique position within the larger history of artists' books. According to the publisher's blurb: 

"In 1954 Japanese writer and artist Shohachi Kimura published GINZA HACCHO, with photographs by Yoshikazu Suzuki of every building on Ginza Street in Tokyo as an accordion foldout book. Twelve years later, Ed Ruscha published EVERY BUILDING ON THE SUNSET STRIP (1966) in almost exactly the same style. While the latter has become a touchstone of conceptual publications and artists’ books, its predecessor remains largely unknown.

Appropriating Shohachi Kimura’s work, Michalis Pichler’s accordion-folded book opens up to a fourteen-foot strip of photographs of every building on the Ginza Street of today, each building identified by a street number. Crossroads are also identified with captions. Photographed from a car driving past, the individual photos were then pasted together to make the long accordion fold. Paper joins are visible throughout the book. Pichler’s version offers a modern update, depicting Ginza street in contemporary Tokyo, where the facades are dominated by glamorous high-end global fashion and luxury brands mixed with local heavyweights."

Tokyo's Ginza strip is now known as one of the world's most luxurious shopping districts with the most famous fashion houses and iconic brands. 

As an aside to the above, when I came across this book online I rather excitedly misread the title as "Every Building on the Gaza Strip," and only upon its arrival did I discover my misreading of the title — however, wouldn't it make a great book, and if there's a Palestinian collaborator from the Gaza Strip out there, I might be interested!!

29 pages, with slipcase, single-sided, 7"(h) by 5.5"(w), opened 13ft 3.5".

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