To celebrate the opening of Juergen Teller: Woo!, we’ve put together a list of recommended titles to add to your reading list. This selection along with a host of other books, DVDs and limited edition prints can be found in our online shop or in person at the ICA Bookshop on the Mall.
1. Pictures and Text – Juergen Teller
You fling your copy of Die Zeit across the room and scribble a furious piece of hate mail about Juergen Teller only to find that moments later it has been published alongside other similarly enraged explosions (and compliments) in his new book. This selection of reader’s letters forms the “Literature” booklet section here, in a stunning book which focuses on Teller’s column in the respected German newspaper. Each week Juergen would publish a photo and write text to accompany it, both of which had a blunt sort of pep and punch which have made him known and respected worldwide.
2. Kate: The Kate Moss Book
I believe it was Giant Haystacks who once said, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Wadda guy. This book features many photos of the renowned 48 stone wrestler gurning in an infinite number of hellishly revealing leotards. Fans of Kate Moss will also be thrilled, as it is, in fact, a book entirely devoted to her stunning career, from model to fashion designer, and muse to icon. There are eight different covers, one of which is by Juergen Teller. 368 pages to grapple with.
3. Nudities – Giorgio Agamben
Like any respectable art gallery, here at the ICA we enjoy nude Thurdays. Is it a crime? Westminster Council certainly think so. While we await trial, we’re reading Giorgio Agamben’s Nudities, which, like Profanations before it, employs a wide range of subjects in order to establish separation as a metaphor. “Nudity” adopts a pessimistic stance on the Christian theological tradition’s perverse asphyxiation of the unclothed body, alongside nine other masterful essays on Kafka, identification methods, Kleist and more.
4. In Praise of Older Women – Vizinczey
A. A. Gill calls this book “Spectacular” but please don’t let that put you off. Stephen Vizinczey’s remarkable, acclaimed worldwide bestseller In Praise of Older Women is published in Penguin Modern Classics. “I am not an expert on sex, but I was a good student of the women I loved, and I’ll try to recall those happy and unhappy experiences which, I believe, made a man out of me,” writes the narrator of this novel.
5. The Psychopathology of Everyday Life – Sigmund Freud
Freud is a sort of Wizard of Oz figure these days, a once booming godly voice which has been revealed as, well still booming and godly. This book displays his interpretive genius in its most dazzling form, finding the deeper reasons why you forget that street, or made that ridiculous slip of the tongue, or many more of your shambolic ‘errors’.
6. Bodies That Matter – Judith Butler
If you’re looking for bold readings of Plato, Irigaray, Lacan and Freud and also compelling interpretations of the film Paris is Burning, Nella Larsen’s Passing, and short stories by Willa Cather, then look no further. In Bodies That Matter, renowned theorist and philosopher Judith Butler argues that theories of gender need to return to the most material dimension of sex and sexuality: the body. Butler examines how the power of heterosexual hegemony forms the ‘matter’ of bodies, sex, and gender, and argues that power operates to constrain sex from the start, delimiting what counts as a viable sex.
7. Fashion – Vivienne Westwood
“I was the first person to have a punk rock hairstyle.” Not my words, but the words of a Dame. This book revisits interviews and features from the early punk beginnings of her career in the 1980s to the worldwide brand today, documenting her instigation of the crinoline craze, her thoughts on how fashion can make a difference, and her journey to becoming one of Britain’s most original and influential designers. 120 pages including photos from our very own Juergen Teller.
8. The Ongoing Moment – Geoff Dyer
Dyer, a self-styled “scholarly gatecrasher,” confessed that he doesn’t own a camera. Thankfully this book isn’t about his lack of possessions, but about greats such as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange and Diane Arbus. He imagines William Eggleston’s pictures to be the work of an alien, stranded in Middle America, who “lost the ticket for his flight home and ended up working at a gun shop in a small town near Memphis.”
9. The Language of Fashion – Roland Barthes
What would Roland Barthes make of the outfit you’re wearing? I’m sure he’d tell you you look gorgeous. Being a master of signs, Barthes was particularly fascinated by fashion and clothing. This dapper collection brings together all of Barthes’ writings on fashion, revealing the breadth and insight of Barthes’ long engagement with the history of clothes. The essays range from an analysis of the significance of gemstones and jewelery, to an exploration of Courrèges and Chanel, to a discussion of hippy style in Morocco, and the role of colour in fashion.
10. Art Photography Now
Famous names such as Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin and Gregory Crewdson rub shoulders with emerging international figures including Viviane Sassen, LaToya Ruby Frazier and Leigh Ladure in this what’s what and who’s who. The introduction explores the historical relationship between art and photography from the early nineteenth century, and a new final chapter looks at the changes photography has undergone in recent years. 254 full-color and 21 black-and-white photos.