Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Alec Soth BROKEN MANUAL frenzy?

Photo book fanatics who lined up outside stores overnight got their first crack Friday at a new cave themed Alec Soth photo book, getting so unruly in some cities that police were called to restore order.

Orange County Sheriff's deputies move the crowd back after an announcement Friday morning that a book sale was canceled at the Book Locker at Florida Mall in Orlando. Photo Joe Burbank/AP

In Orlando, Fla., more than 100 deputies in riot gear quelled a crowd awaiting the release of the $50 Broken Manual. At a mall in Hyattsville, Md., one person was arrested for disorderly conduct. And in Greenwood, Ind., police said they canceled a Soth release after 400-600 people showed up Thursday night at a mall and were "panicking to get to the front of the line." The book's release coincides with the current exhibition at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York.
The book, part of a cave-themed series, is a draw for so-called "Steidlheads" who collect signature photo books and can resell them online at a marked-up price, sometimes for hundreds more than retail. Among inner city intellectuals in particular, Steidl titles are seen as a badge of honor and often conspicuously displayed.

Malls in Florida, New York and Maryland reported bringing in police to manage fans clamoring for the blank covered manual, which has star-like flecks of black. Some shoppers lucky enough to get their hands on a pair of books immediately posted them for sale on eBay at skyrocketing prices: $1,000 and up.

This story looks pretty much like it has come from the crazy mind and pen of Lester B. Morrison!

Post Script: now with thanks to friend and colleague Tommy Arvidson in Sweden, you can see the original story HERE. It's a shoe in!

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