£15 / €22.95 / $22.95
Published November 2015
Size 145 x 185 mm
Hardback, bound with two tone cloth
The Death of a Beautiful Subject is a new book by Sophy Rickett, featuring an accidental archive of photographs of butterflies taken by her retired father, extracts drawn from an email dialogue between them, and a narrative text written by the artist.
The 24 photographs featured in the book have been retouched by the artist so as to conceal and obscure her father’s original subject matter. Through this deliberate and provocative reworking and re-presentation of her father’s photographs, Rickett aims to question assumptions about the nature of collaboration, exploring notions of authorship and consent as well as the fluidity of meaning.
Central to the project is the written text, where the narrative moves non-sequentially through time. Each vignette evokes a sense of collapse, describing a moment that had appeared continuous or complete, but becomes fractured, revealing elements previously concealed or unnoticed.
The Death of a Beautiful Subject, Rickett’s most autobiographical work to date, explores themes of dislocation, separation and reconciliation. The book traces and records a dialogue with the artist’s family, exploring photography as a means to navigate the world and its relations.
A graduate from the Royal College of Art, Sophy’s solo exhibitions include Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; Chateau de Lichtenberg, Alsace; Arnolfini, Bristol; De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill. Group exhibitions include Baltic Gateshead; Pompidou, Paris; MOMA, Moscow. Her work is included in major public collections worldwide including the Pompidou, Paris; Federal Reserve, Washington; Government Art Collection, London. Sophy is a lecturer in photography at London College of Communication/ UAL.