New Limited Edition reprint of Bureaucratics

Finally, there will be a new limited edition of the renowned photo book Bureaucratics. All three previous editions of the book sold out quickly. On Amazon, the book can be found for prices ranging from $ 250 to $ 2,862 (Sept. 2016).

Upon its launch in 2008, Bureaucratics garnered rave reviews and quickly gained worldwide recognition. The photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries in over 20 countries on five continents, and have been acquired by museums such as the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as well as by private collectors such as the ArtService Foundation (FS Group), Hilversum (Netherlands).

The new edition of the book will be available on October 1, 2016 (while stocks last).
Price: € 70 plus postage.

To pre-order, go to the bookshop.
For a book preview, click here.

Bureaucratics (Nazraeli Press, Portland, OR, 2008).
Ed. and foreword: Martin Parr
Introduction: Will Tinnemans

Bureaucratics is a comparative photographic study of the culture, rituals and symbols of state civil administrations and its servants in eight countries on five continents, selected on the basis of political, historical and cultural considerations: Bolivia, China, France, India, Liberia, Russia, the United States, and Yemen. In each country, Banning and the accompanying writer Will Tinnemans, visited hundreds of offices of members of the executive branch of government in different services and at different levels. Their visits were intentionally unannounced to keep the employees from tidying up or rearranging their workspaces.

Bureaucratics has a conceptual, typological approach reminiscent of August Sander’s ‘Menschen des 20 Jahrhunderts’ (‘People of the Twentieth Century’). Each subject is posed behind his or her desk. The photos all have a square format (fitting the subject), and are shot from the same height (that of the client), with the desk – its front or side photographed parallel to the horizontal edges of the frame – serving as a barrier between the representative of rules and regulations and the vulnerable citizen. The images are full of telling details that reveal the way the state proclaims its power and the way the bureaucrat expresses his or her rank and function. Though there is a high degree of humor and absurdity in the work, the photographs also show compassion for the inhabitants of the endless paper labyrinth.

The project Bureaucratics was made possible through financial support from the Foundation for Democracy and Media, Anna Cornelis Fund, NCDO and SBKU Utrecht (Committee for the Promotion of Visual Arts).