Facies Dolorosa: Das schmerzensreiche Antlitz (Faces of the Realm of Pain).
Quarto. 88pp. Black cloth with gold-stamped border and lettering in gold on cover and spine. "Facies Dolorosa, by the distinguished German diagnostician Dr. Hans Killian, is nominally a scientific work of empirical observation, dealing with the first stage in any diagnosis: the external examination of the patient...The photographs depict patients lying in bed - young, old, male and female. They are usually shot from fairly close up, so that many of them simply show a face sticking out of white hospital sheets, with the patient's prognosis printed beneath. Sometimes the patient is shown more than once, as his or her illness progresses...To the layman the chief characteristic of the book lies in its strangeness, its departure from the norms of clinical photographic practice. Killian does not usually photograph head-on, but from the side, and often at the patient's level, like a visiting family member. This makes them, at one level, extremely intimate photographs, empathetic portraits of the sick. Yet at another level they are intensely cold and dispassionate, a result of the printing process - collotype - in a range of light greys... The tension between the intimate and the stone cold makes for a haunting and memorable book - moving yet creepy, blurring the line between living and dead, between the serene and the demented. Whatever its value as a diagnostic tool, Facies Dolorosa certainly resonates with a disturbing and powerful beauty. A work of photographic science has undoubtedly crossed the border into photographic art." (Parr/Badger, The Photobook, vol.1, pp. 136-137). Sixty-four b/w reproductions of photographs divided into nine sections: 1) Seelisch nahezu unberührte Kranke. 2) Das Krankheitserlebnis im Spiegel des Antlitzes. 3) Strumen. 4) Blasse Gesichter. 5) Facies dolorosa. 6) Narkose. 7) Benommenheit und Bewußtlosigkeit. 8) Kachezie. 9) Bildfolgen aus verschiedenen Krankheitsstadien. Foreword by Dr. Killian. Text in German. Some scuffing and minor age wear on cloth. Tight copy with binding in very good, interior in fine condition. Powerful photographic work of a difficult subject matter with haunting yet sensitive images.
Edition: First edition
Book ID: 27672