By Marc Fischer / Public Collectors
Public Collectors, Chicago, IL, 2023
Dimensions: 4.25 in x 6 in
Binding: Staple bound
Color: Full color
Public Collectors publication #78, Provisional Costumes, is a light-hearted, sort of grimy, and sometimes horror-drenched collection of found photos of costumed people. Like some other recent image-centered Public Collectors publications, eBay.com is the key curatorial tool here. There are 24 photos in all.
From the back cover:
The Photographic Images category on eBay.com is an abyss. I can lose hours disappearing down that hole looking at snapshot photos. Sometimes I start browsing with a single seller, which may limit the offerings to merely 30,000 photos instead of half a million. That is still too large, but I embrace this dream-like mental space and see where it leads as I wander through the lives of unknown and unknowable people.
When this publication idea started to form, the photos in sales listings began to resemble booklet pages. I thought about possible pairings and sequences—what I should buy and when I should wait until I found a neighboring photo. I did not start by looking for photos of costumed people, but as I sifted through thousands of images of people dressed for Halloween and parties, I settled on the theme, with a focus on indoor environments. The result is this small publication of photos from many sources, acquired in a few long digging sessions. This selection mainly spans the 1970s to early 1990s. I have certainly worn thrown-together costumes like these in that time frame, in my youth. I don’t know what some of these people were going for, but I like what they came up with. — Marc Fischer / Public Collectors