Another day and the Grand Miniclick Photobook Advent Calendar rolls on with Jim Stephenson choosing a long-time favourite he finally picked up in book form at Offprint in November. Joachim Schmid’s ‘X Marks the Spot’…
Joachim Schmid has been self-publishing before everyone was self-publishing, initially himself and then subsequently through print-on-demand services. Since the early 80’s he’s published somewhere between 100 and 150 books. Or at least a number higher than we had time to count. A lot. A lot of books. His work frequently appropriates found images from flea markets or online and in X Marks the Spot he makes use of a webcam positioned in the Texas school book depository window that Lee Harvey Oswald used to assassinate John F Kennedy in 1963 (or did he? If you’ve not much time, I do not recommend googling ‘who shot JFK’…).
White Xes now mark the spot on the freeway on-ramp that JFK was shot, and tourists await breaks in the traffic to run out and get their photograph taken one the spot. The book mixes images taken from the webcam, trained on the Xes, with images from street level taken by the tourists in a macabre but very funny series. There is a serious message there, deliberate or not, but the ridiculousness of it all overpowers that, for me at least. This is by far one of my favourite books I’ve picked up this year (although it was published in 2013).
(image courtesy of Motto)
Softcover, small and hand sewn, the book costs 14 Euro and is available from the artist’s website (scroll to the bottom of the page).