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The Death of a Beautiful Subject

The Death of a Beautiful Subject

by Sophy Rickett

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The Death of a Beautiful Subject by Sophy Rickett features 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.

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The 24 photographs in the book have been retouched by the artist to conceal and obscure her father’s original subject matter. Through this deliberate 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.

The Death of a Beautiful Subject is Rickett’s most autobiographical work to date and explores themes of dislocation, separation and reconciliation. Central to the project is the narrative text in which each vignette evokes a sense of collapse. The book traces and records a dialogue with the artist’s family, exploring photography as a means to navigate the world and its relations.

Published November 2015
145 x 185 mm, 64 pp
26 duotone images
Hardback clothbound, foil debossed200 x 255 mm
ISBN 978-1-910401-06-4

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  • Sophy Rickett is an artist who works with photography, writing and video installation. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art, London, she has had numerous solo exhibitions including those at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge; De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill; Chateau de Lichtenberg, France; Arnolfini, Bristol; and Museum of the History of Science, Oxford. Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at Baltic Mill, UK; Centre Rhenan d’Art Contemporain, Alsace, France; Galleria Civica, Modena, Italy; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Il Museo di Trento, Italy; and Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia. Research awards include recent commissions from London’s Cuming Collection and the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge. Her work is held in private and public collections including Victoria and Albert Museum, London; UK Government Art Collection; Pompidou Collection, Paris; Federal Reserve, Washington; Fondazione Sandretto Rebaudengo, Italy. She is senior lecturer in photography at University of the Arts, London.