Josef Koudelka

The Black Triangle. The Foothills of the Ore Mountains. Photographs 1990-1994 [Signed/Boxed/Unbound]

Foreword by Vaclav Havel. Essay by Josef Vavrousek.

Signed, this version of the book was produced in a Limited Edition of approximately 100. Unbound, first edition, first printing. Signed in black ink on the title sheet by Koudelka. Unbound sheets contained in a cardstock box with die-cut triangle exposing title label; Photographs by Josef Koudelka. The covers were made with recycled paper to conceptually tie in with an ecological conference in Prague, which this body of work was produced in conjunction with. Text in Czech, English and French. Foreword by Vaclav Havel. Essay by Josef Vavrousek. Includes a biography, exhibition history and bibliography. Unpaginated (39 sheets), with 34 panoramic black-and-white plates (images measure 7 x 22-1/4 inches). Outer box measures 9-3/8 x 23-5/8 inches. This edition was limited to approximately 100 unnumbered copies. Cited in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History, Volume II (London and New York: Phaidon, 2006). Near Fine condition.

Published on the occasion of the Black Triangle exhibit at the Prague Castle in 1994, this stunning collection of Koudelka panoramic photography examines the ecological havoc caused by French coal mining in the Ore Mountain foothills. A scathing portrait of a civilization based on the idea of unbridled economic growth accompanied by the ever rising consumption of raw materials, energy and finished products. As Vaclav Havel states in the opening passage, the devastation chronicled in The Black Triangle "has taught us perhaps more than anything else that the world is made of an indefinitely intricate and mysterious tissue about which we know damn little and towards which we should behave damn humbly." Text in Czech, English and French.

Magnum Photos: "This book is a photographic report in black and white on Podkrusnohori, the western tip of the infamous Black Triangle, the foothills of the Ore Mountains. Jutting out into Poland, it is one of Europe's worst devastated territory, but it is also a region that shaped the origin and future development of the Czech state. Coal mining, the first record of which dates back to 1403, has been the region's enormous wealth as well as its curse. The industrial revolution facilitated an unprecedented upsurge of the living standards but at the cost of irreversible changes in nature. 'Man is not an omniscient master of the planet who can get away with doing whatever he likes and whatever may suit him at the moment'. That introductory quotation of Václav Havel is illustrated by Josef Koudelka's photographs of the land dominated by head frames, waste heaps, factory stacks and dried-up lakes."

39 Pages
34 duotone plates
Podkrusnohri / Magnum Photos, 1994 (Out of print)
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