Reed, Ryan Spencer. RYAN SPENCER REED: PHOTOGRAPHS: VOLUMES I, II, III, AND IV. Grand Rapids, MI: Videre Editions/Weapons-Grade Press, 2014. Softcover. First Edition/First Printing. 90 pages. As New.

Retrospective collection of color photographs. One of the most important war photography collections of our time. The First Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a tiny first print run as softcover originals only by a very small press. There is no ISBN. The collection is now scarce. There are four separate volumes in all, presented in uniform, tabloid oversize-format: Volume One is "Preparation For War"; Volume Two, "Dissonance"; Volume Three, "Soldier's Eye View"; and Volume Four, "Drone's Eye View". All of the photographs and accompanying text are by Ryan Spencer Reed. Printed on newsprint paper in the United States. Without DJ, as issued. Published on the occasion of the landmark retrospective exhibition that is ironically titled, "Despite Similarities To Reality, This Is A Work of Fiction", held at Grand Rapids Art Museum from September 17 through October 12, 2014. Presents Ryan Spencer Reed's "Photographs". Some of the best photographs of the American war in Afghanistan. Despite similarities to war films and other works of fiction, this is all-too-real reality. War imagery is by now familiar to every modern viewer, which tells us everything about the surreal, photographically-based concept we have of reality in general, the reality of war in particular. Such imagery is particularly susceptible to familiarity precisely because the only experience most of us (in the West) will probably have of war is mediated (by photography and its extensions, television and the Internet), vicarious, and therefore unreal. Ryan Spencer Reed reminds us of the complacency and indifference this phenomenon unintentionally breeds: Each unposed image is of real soldiers, taken in real time by Reed, an embedded photographer. The tabloid production format is exemplary: It looks and feels like the events captured just happened, rendering "news" immediacy to its subject that we would not otherwise palpably feel if it were presented as a regular hardcover (or bound-in) book. Individually and cumulatively, they amount to gripping work that will take its place in the very long and tragic history of war photography, the medium's oldest and in many ways, most important genre. Ryan Spencer Reed won the Grand Rapids Museum's Art Prize for his astonishing body of work. The only other sustained imagery on the same subject is the Magnum photographer Peter Van Agtmael's "2nd Tour Hope I Don't Die" (2009) and "Disco Night Sept 11" (2014), taken and published at the same time as these unforgettable images. Suffering, pain, bravery, and camaraderie are their shared subjects. An absolute "must-have" title for Ryan Spencer Reed and war photography collectors. This title will become a contemporary photography classic. As far as we know, this is the only complete four-volume set of the First Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, pristine beauties. A rare set thus. Lavishly illustrated with full-page, color plates. (SEE ALSO PETER VAN AGTMAEL'S "2ND TOUR HOPE I DON'T DIE", "DISCO NIGHT SEPT 11", AND "COLLATERAL DAMAGE: THE HUMAN FACE OF WAR" TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). $40.00

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