For the fist time in Spain, images of the mythical book Evidence, that have served as pieces of evidence to crime, scientific and legal investigations are being presented as part of the PHotoEspaña 2009
festival. The exhibition will be on view at the Royal Botanical Garden.
Created in 1977 by Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, this project was the first one to gather documentary photographs and reveals how difficult is to reach pure objectivity.
Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel hold the honour of having created the first artistic project consisting in a collection of documentary photographs, including extensive police, forensic and judicial material. In 1977, they searched through thousands of photographs in various archives, including, among many others, those of the Beverly Hills police, the U.S. governments Department of the Interior and the Stanford Research Institute. Sultan and Mandel looked for photographs that had been taken as proof or evidence with a merely objective, instrumental aim. The 50 best images found in this extensive search were made into excellent quality prints and published in the limited-edition volume Evidence. The concept behind this publication was to show photographs made with the sole intention of acting as objective documents and it is made clear that this goal is never as simple as it may seem.
Larry Sultan (1946) and Mike Mandel (1950) grew up in Californias San Fernando Valley and met at the San Francisco Art Institute. On his own, Mike Mandel has used the book format as the support for works of a conceptual nature such as Myself: Timed exposures (1971) and Seven Never Before Published Portraits of Edward Weston (1974). In turn, Larry Sultan is known for series such as Pictures from Home (1992), in which his parents were the main subject, and The Valley (2004), which examines the pornographic film industry and uses as its setting the houses where most of such films are shot.