Larry Sultan: Evidence
In Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel’s captionless 1977 photobook Evidence there is a photograph of a destroyed rocket found on the ground in an inhospitable, arid desert . The camera points down onto the scene as if to survey the extent of the wreckage. In the foreground, the photographer’s shadow can be seen at the extreme edge of the composition, amid the dust and rubble, such that the view shown resembles a crime scene. In a contradictory sense, the content of the photograph is both destroyed and conserved, built up from a collection of interwoven traces: the skeleton of a destroyed rocket, the shadow of the photographer, and sand and ash strewn across the floor. Shot in the military hinterlands of the California desert, a testing ground for what was then the latest military and aeronautics machinery, the photograph suggests an almost incinerated photographic reality.
Hardback 92 pages, Illustrated in black and white throughout