Zürich: Scalo, 1999. 1st Edition. Oblong quarto, publisher's red paper-covered boards, spine stamped in rose, original photo-illustrated dust jacket.
Inscribed first edition of photographer and surveillance art progenitor Merry Alpern’s auto-ethnography of American consumerism. A follow up to her controversial yet widely celebrated Dirty Windows series (1995) , Shopping employs newfound surveillance technology to make sociocultural critique. Equipped with a concealed camera in her purse, Alpern meandered through malls, department stores, and fitting rooms, documenting herself and others who came into the lens's view. This aimlessness is palpable in the resulting project, her colorful and clandestine video stills evocative of the anxiety and sudden unfamiliarity a woman experiences while on the futile quest to find the ever-elusive perfect purchase: "I didn't know what I was supposed to look like anymore. I stood in my underwear with the others and performed the same choreographed movements of inspection. I scrutinized my image in the mirror and tried to discern a 'look.' Sometimes the hours invested resulted in a purchase, but the item was usually returned the next day." Illustrated with color plates. Inscribed on the half-title: "To Vince / Merry Alpern." Fine in unclipped dust jacket. Item #3046