Mike Mandel & Larry Sultan – Evidence

In 1977 Mandel and Sultan received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to continue their work after graduation. Being a widely recognised and appreciated achievement, the young artists used this grant to gain access to a hundred archives in the US. Their intentions for this was to make a book, of clear-selected photographs removed from their context, to show that life is never as simple as it looks. They selected their images from sources such as the government, NASA, educational centers and medical institutions.


The images were selected for their ambiguity when disconected from their captions, the aesthetics of the images that can be placed together on a page without suggesting any information. What is fustrating but so exhilarating about looking at the book is that we should be able to work out what is going on in the images, but we cant. It challanges what we know about images and our past, how easily images can have a loss or change of context.

I enjoy this book a lot because it makes me think about images in a different way. Actually looking at an image to question it instead of using my background knowledge to place it in to a situation or place. It also emphasises the importance of context when you are creating images, to ensure the correct meaning is placed and that they can be seen in history.



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