25 May 2016
RÉVÉLATIONS by Javier Viver, the recent launch of Mexican publishing house RM, has just received the award for Best Art Book published in 2015 by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.
The book is a particular compilation, edition and reading of the photographic archive of the Parisian hospital Salpêtrière. The work has sought new associations and interpretation plans of an iconographic archive that goes beyond the simple exhibition of clinical cases.
The Iconographie of La Salpêtrière is one of the first photographic archives in the field of clinical psychiatry. Directed by Jean-Martin Charcot and sponsored by the French state, it involved an effort to catalogue the unclassifiable by means of new photographic-documentary techniques. The marginal, that which did not fit into the rational logic of the modern project, was dissected at La Salpêtrière. It was measured, documented and classified in a systematic way. But in this operation, the use of photography led to the incorporation of the spectacle and with it a whole web of complicities between the patients and their photographers.
La Salpêtrière’s show became a theatre of variety in the Tuesday sessions, before a crowded representation of the cultural and scientific elites, by means of the induction by hypnosis of contortions, epileptic seizures and hysteria attacks, the recording and exhibition of cabinets of biological curiosities and rarities, phenomena and monsters.
The result was an unprecedented photographic archive, witness to the colonial era, made with the “panoptic” intention of the disciplinary regime and a systematized document of the limits of the human soul. Based on field work with more than 4,000 photographs and 32 volumes published between 1875 and 1918, Javier Viver made a new compilation and edition of the iconography of the famous Parisian hospital. Thus, beyond its original clinical interpretation, the archive is shown in a contemporary critical context, open to new readings, associations and levels of interpretation. The book was designed by the author himself and Gonzalo Golpe.
The Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport has just awarded the book RÉVÉLATIONS the prize for the Best Art Book published in 2015. This prize is intended to recognise and encourage the work of publishers in the publication of books and works and, despite not having a monetary award, it is highly valued by publishers as it represents important recognition and prestige.
The prize-winning books will be exhibited at the LIBER international book fairs in Frankfurt and Leipzig and subsequently donated to the German Book and Type Museum in Leipzig.
In addition, tomorrow, Thursday 26th, at 8pm at the Blank Paper School, the author of the book, Juan Viver, will give a live account of all the details of the project and reveal the new features of his new project “Aurelia Aurita, the immortal jellyfish”.