The eighth issue of Useful Photography, a magazine in A4 format, is stuffed to the brim with garishly coloured stills from the opening scenes of porn movies. Say hello to the Big Sausage pizza delivery boy, the leggy hitch-hiker, the four stiletto-heeled nurses crowded round the bed of the patient with a wigwam under his sheet. Note, too, the shoes worn by the ladies and gentlemen… and you know all you need to know.
At first, the panel – three men and two women – were sceptical.
‘Yet another of those Erik Kessels collections.’ ‘A lot of passion has gone into it, but when it comes to finesse it’s a long way below the rest of what we’re looking at.’ Then someone pointed out that some subjects can simply do without extremes of refinement. There are no tasteful breaks here, with the occasional bit of white space: just picture after picture after picture. Not a word of text, of course – and the whole thing so apparently un-designed that there isn’t even a credit for the designer.
This was a book that made the panel cheerful and depressed at the same time. In short, a hardcore Kessels. With cool rainbow glitter on the cover.