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by Jeremy Deller and Anthony Kane
London: Book Works, first printed in 2005, 3rd edition, 2008
Pages: 158
Dimensions: 9.3" x 6.7"
Cover: soft
Binding: perfect bound
Process: offset
Color: color cover, full color throughout
Edition size: unknown
ISBN-10: 1870699815; ISBN-13: 978-1870699815

This richly illustrated book attempts to answer the question of, “What might constitute present day folk art?” A vast array of UK-based subjects are considered in full color photos that generally show objects in the contexts that they were created for. Among the subjects: embroidered wrestling costumes, hand-painted food signs, deco- rated cakes and puddings from a festival in Braithwaite, Cumbria, sand sculptures, banners at demonstrations, prisoner-designed tattoo guns (identical to ones American prisoners create), signs for clairvoyant hand-reading services, and drawings made with one’s finger on the rear doors of a dirty truck. The chief disappointment with this book is that it is only 160 pages and some categories demand a far greater number of photos in order to achieve a more nuanced understanding of their various articulations. Nonetheless, this opens up an expanded view of creativity and its many locations in society.

Read what others had to say about the book:

"Essentially, this book is a visual documentation of contemporary "folk" activities taking place across the UK. It reads like a social anthropologists' visual diary. Compiled by artists Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane (probably much better known in the UK than in the US), they gather pictures of obscure british festivals, handmade signs, costumes, customized cars, prisoner's art, and countless other things as a way of representing current folk art. They are both making an argument about the nature of folk art today, as well as providing a visual feast." (READ MORE...)
- by noisy, Amazon book review

"Half anthropological exercise, half act of love, the ‘Folk Archive’ is at its best when it charts an undiscovered country – an art world, and a Britain, that were hiding in full view." (READ MORE...)
- by Tom Morton, Frieze Magazine

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