The limited-edition print Haruki Murakami, 1Q84 by Reinier Gerritsen will appear in his upcoming book The Last Book, to be published by Aperture in September 2014. Gerritsen’s inspiration for the project was author and technologist Nicholas Negroponte’s prediction that books were in danger of disappearing, and that the last printed book would appear sometime in the spring of 2016.
This body of work explores the act of reading as it occurs in public spaces. Gerritsen has focused his attention on the readers of New York City and their books, indicators of the still-robust nature of public readership in the face of its ostensible decline. The work began as a series of modest observations for Gerritsen and transformed into an unexpected collection of documentary portraits, set against a visual landscape of best sellers, classics, romance novels, detective thrillers, Bibles, biographies, and other printed books.
In the photograph Haruki Murakami, 1Q84, Gerristen depicts an individual engrossed in the world she holds in her hands. The narrative of the photograph becomes more complex as one passenger reads over the shoulder of another, creating a social portrait of how the physicality of the book brings readers together in what is thought to be an isolating act.
Reinier Gerritsen (born in Amsterdam, 1950) has been photographing figures in the public sphere for over twenty years. In 1992, he was awarded the prestigious Rijksmuseum assignment with Luuk Kramer, which resulted in a book and exhibition at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Beginning in 2005, he traveled to twenty-five countries to create the ambitious documentary project The Europeans. His previous monographs include Blinde verrassing (1993), the award-winning Matti (2002), and Wall Street Stop (2010). He is represented by Julie Saul Gallery, New York.