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Silent Book.
(Sao Paulo: Cosac & Naify, 1997 [but actually 1998]).

(190 x 190 mm), pp.[98] including 3 gatefolds. 75 colour photographs, design by Jean Yves Cousseau. Black endpapers. Colour photo-illustrated paper-covered boards, text in red. Errata slip correcting publication date pasted on to final page. Signed by Rio Branco in gold ink to front free endpaper. Fine.

First edition, a signed copy dated ‘NY ’99′. Many of these photographs were shot in and around the Santa Rosa Boxing Academy, Rio de Janeiro, others were taken in Cuba, Spain and France. In both his films and photographs Rio Branco ‘describes a world that, while intensely physical, made of blood, sweat and matter, is dark and shadowy, described … in sideways glances and mysterious half-lights. [Silent Book] begins with an enigmatic image of an ominous, half-open doorway, followed by one of a glittering knife, and we are soon at the heart of the matter – the dark, sweaty Santa Rosa gym. The recurring metaphors revolve around violence, death, religion, poverty. His images of the gym, and also of a bullfight, suggest that the sacramental violence offered in sport is not, as some suggest, an incitement to violence outside, but a way to mitigate or break the cycle’ (The Photobook).


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