“IN THE MIDST OF HISTORY-IN-THE-MAKING”: GILLES PERESS’ TELEX IRAN
PERESS, Gilles. Telex Iran. In the Name of Revolution. (Millerton, New York): Aperture, (1983). Folio, original stiff photographic wrappers, photographic endpapers. $1750.
First American edition, with 100 striking black-and-white photographs (many double-page) taken by Peress during the U.S./Iran crisis of 1979-80.
Magnum photographer Peress has frequently stood “the midst of history-in-the making, trying to decipher the signals of a revolutionary culture in upheaval. Telex Iran… chronicles the crisis in United States-Iran relations in late 1979 and early 1980 when militant Iranian students seized the American Embassy and held its inhabitants hostage. Peress’ book is oversized, graphically bold and… provides numerous perspectives on an extremely sensitive political problem… Along with reportage of major political events, Peress’ pictures record mundane spaces, places, people and moments of Iranian life in order to emphasize the incomprehensibility and confusion of the environment before his eyes. In this way the photographer is able to visualize precisely the culture gap that made such a historical misunderstanding possible. It is a brilliant tactic” (Roth, 28). Telex Iran, “the book that deservedly made Peress’ reputation… is one of the key works in what might be termed a postmodern approach to photojournalism… [a] heady visual mix” (Parr & Badger II:252). Published simultaneously with first French edition (titled Telex Persan). Open Book, 330.
Images clean and bright; slight edge-wear to pictorial wrappers. A boldly produced, near-fine copy.