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In December 2010, Los Angeles Police Department released one hundred and eighty photographs that were found in the possession of a serial murder suspect. All of them are photographs of women. These women may or may not be residents of Los Angeles, they may or may not be prostitutes (as were the women in the investigation). They may or may not be murder victims. We don’t know. We don’t even know whether the arrested suspect took these photographs himself.
Without knowing where the photographs come from, most of them wouldn’t be worth a second glance; for you and me, that is. Of course this is different for friends and family of the women depicted. And it is certainly different for the person who took these pictures. From the testimony of one surviving victim we know that the woman was first photographed, then shot, and then raped before she was dumped in the street.
Most of the women were clearly alive when the photos were taken; some are smiling, some are posing. Some appear to be asleep, they may or may not be sleeping the big sleep. Some of them may have been shot soon after or just before the photographer shot the picture. We don’t know.
It is actually the fact that we don’t know anything – apart from the context where these photographs come from – that makes them so eerie. We want to know more but the pictures don’t tell us. We look at them and they look at us. That’s all there is.

* * *

This book is only available as hardcover with dust jacket, printed on uncoated paper with white end sheets.

* * *

"L.A. Women" received an honorable mention in the 2011 Photography Book Now competition.


Acerca del autor

Joachim Schmid
J.Schmid Berlin, Germany
I am glad you are interested in my work. If you order any of my books, please check your copy carefully after receiving it. Most print-on-demand books are ok, some are not. Do not hesitate to contact Blurb support and ask for a new copy if you should discover any fault. Find more of my books on

Fecha de publicación  17 de mayo de 2011

Dimensiones  Cuadrado pequeño  154 páginas Papel ProLine no estucado

Categoría  Arte y fotografía

Etiquetas  , , ,

Comentarios (8)


mcchesneyone dice

I really don't like this book. I don't think it has any artistic merit. I am not opposed to the photos being used in a work of art. But I feel strongly that this work is degrading these women because the author has done nothing more than dump them into a book.

There's no thought, no editing, no real point made. Dressing this up with amateur critic nonsense about 'photographic truth' is just foolish.

publicado 27 de sep. a las 05:51 PST


s_ressler dice

I fail to see how compiling photos already published on the Internet is worthy of merit. The thing is, not only does it brutalize these women a second time (especially because they are presented as anonymous Jane Does rather than people with names, families, histories...) but the author of this book is taking credit for it. He ought to remain anonymous for this book to have any validity.

publicado 14 de jun. a las 19:35 PST


hannahfc dice

@Tonnard I am no sycophant. When anyone publishes something so controversial there will be a difference of opinions and strong feelings. Does this mean I do not respect the artist? Of course not. Will I buy his work again? Certainly.

publicado 14 de jun. a las 14:27 PST


iansand dice

I think you are missing the point. If we were told that all the women in the book had won the lottery or owned pink poodles, I am not sure the "uncertainty of photographic truth" would apply (whatever that means) See it for what it is.

publicado 07 de jun. a las 23:19 PST


tonnard dice

Why are you making comments about a book that you haven’t even seen? Wrt to Hannahfc: wouldn’t you think the artist you respect so much did think twice and hopefully more than twice about this publication? I own this book and find it very powerful. To me this is a book about the uncertainty of photographic truth, and a book that shows photography as an act of possession.

publicado 07 de jun. a las 16:29 PST


iansand dice

I agree that an important purpose of Art is to provoke thought . 'Found' imagery has featured throughout the last century. Nihilism, dada, surrealism were movements where the juxtaposition of ordinary objects or images provoked thought. Visual artist like Rauschenberg and Warhol or conceptual artist like Long and André have continued with this . At the same time I feel that there was always another dimension, innovation. I can't see any innovation in this work, only derivative imitation.

publicado 07 de jun. a las 01:10 PST


hannahfc dice

It is an interesting point you make Iansand. I am familiar with Joachim Schmid's work - he is of great inspiration to me. He has paved the way for 'artists' like myself. He works within 'the vernacular', with images that already exist by amateur photographers. It is in the compiling, the gathering of these images to invoke thought and I guess ultimately the act of preservation which gives this particular publication merit.

I am very uneasy that this book could be used for titillation purposes and I believe you made a good point about the emotions of the families involved. The Police published these images for a reason - to identify the victims. I would really think twice about 'publishing' them again, with the greatest respect to you Joachim.

publicado 05 de jun. a las 17:24 PST

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