“RARELY HAS AN ARTIST AUTHORED SO MANY DISPARATE MASTERPIECES”: SCARCE FIRST EDITION OF CHRIS MARKER’S CORÉENNES, 1959
MARKER, Chris. Coréennes [Korean Women]. (Paris): Courts-Métrage, (1959). Oblong quarto, original laminated photographic boards. $900.
First edition, a scarce early photobook by legendary filmmaker and artist Chris Marker, a “seamless moving in-between media” (Afterimage), with over 120 black-and-white photogravures of North Korea, intersected by illustrations from maps, comic books, street posters and paintings.
“A towering and seminal figure in the field of contemporary visual culture… Chris Marker was among the celebrated directors who formed the nucleus of the French New Wave.” During those years Marker also became an influential editor at Editions du Seuil in Paris, and personally secured “the publication by Seuil of William Klein’s raw, Dada-inspired photographs of New York” after Klein’s 1956 photobook had been turned down by American publishers. Marker, whose name is a pseudonym, also traveled extensively in the late 1950s and made a series of short films that “arose from visits to China, Siberia, Israel and Cuba, while a trip to North Korea resulted in this photo-text album entitled Coréennes” (Lupton, Chris Marker). Coréennes explores Marker’s innovative, “seamless moving in-between media,” defying boundaries between still photography, cinema, the novel, historical accounts and the travelogue. “Rarely has an artist authored so many disparate masterpieces” (Afterimage). With over 120 black-and-white photogravures, intersected by Marker’s text, in French, and illustrations from maps, comic books, street posters and paintings. Preceding his best-known work La Jetée (1962), which was a series of still photographs cast as a short film (inspiring Terry Gilliam’s 1995 film 12 Monkeys), Marker’s Coréenes in many ways inverts that format-here casting a film in a series of still photographs and text. First edition, text in French. Issued without dust jacket. See Parr & Badger I:235.
Images fine, lightest edge-wear to bright photographic boards. A scarce, about-fine copy.