Cig Harvey is a photographer driven by conceptual work that vibrates with super-saturated color and careful premeditated composition. She is clearly in control of her medium. Many of the images in this beautifully printed, hefty book linger pleasantly in your mind, long after you’ve set the book aside.

What mucks up the greatness, however, for me, is that the really wonderful images are mixed in with lots of other images that look as if they belong in a stock photo library — in other words, well-made photographs that were driven by a corny concept, or worked too self-consciously or too deliberately, so they end up seeming almost generic, forced, pedantic, or saccharine sweet.

You could think of this book, with its mixture of fanciful images and full-page hand-written ruminations, as a very personal visual journal jamming together small details of ordinary daily life, rocky romantic relationships, childhood memories, questions of identity, and emotional ups and downs.

To be fair, I think the artist is being honest and open — as well as a bit too self-indulgent. I would have been happier with a much tighter edit and a little more mystery.

— Jim Casper

 

You Look At Me Like An Emergency
by Cig Harvey
144 pages, 74 photos in full color
Hardcover, 22 cm x 22 cm
Schilt Publishing
May 2012
ISBN: 978-9053307717
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