Illustrated People




The photography of Thomas Mailaender (1979, France) is burned into viewers' memories … almost literally. Taking 23 original negatives from the Archive of Modern Conflict (AMC), Mailaender placed them on the skin of models and then projected a powerful UV lamp over them, creating an ephemeral performance of sunburned photographic skin prints. The images are printed across various parts of his subjects' bodies: forearm, wrist, back, thigh, stomach. This book, Illustrated People, a co-creation between AMC and RVB Books, documents these painful-looking skin-based photos with full colour glossy prints interspersed with black and white archival photos from AMC. Thoughtfully wrapped in a bright-red translucent sheath made of plastic, smooth as skin, the book is as agonising as it is funny.

Illustrated People was featured in GUP#44, the Raw issue, and is available from the Archive of Modern Conflict and RVB Books.