Santa Fe rare book shop Photo-Eye is among dozens of jewels gathering at this weekend’s Art Book Fair at PS1 in Queens. Their books light a flame of book greed in our hearts so strong it hurts. This specimen from their shelves, Shuji Terayama’s Photothèque imaginaire, was designed and handbound in Tokyo, 1975, and belly-bound in an original printed obi.
"Playwright, poet, photographer, filmmaker and all-around provacateur Shuji Terayama is one of the most important figures in the Japanese counter-culture of the sixties and seventies. He produced over 200 literary works and over 20 shorts and full-length films as well as untold works of theater with Tenjo Sajiki and others. Like his films, the photomontages in Photothèque imaginaire… are self-consciously experimental, often surreal, and frequently confounding. And, like the Parisian Surrealists of the 1920s and 30s, he was a great fan of Lautréamont’s Les Chants de Maldoror. He vehemently opposed the protection of the status quo and attacked the righteousness of the Japanese family system and any vestiges of nationalism."
Suzanne Feld, Between Two Worlds: Selected Postwar Japanese Films, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art