The Heavens is a fascinating conceptual documentary piece looking at tax havens around the world. Photographers Paolo Woods and Gabriele Galimberti. The website is a great introduction to the project, featuring a few photos and some text, but the book looks to have quite a bit more than what’s available online. There’s a video that pages through the book (embedded below). You can buy the book online in English and French.
It’s an ambitious project. On the website, the pair say “For more then two years we have travelled to the offshore centers that embody tax avoidance, secrecy, offshore banking and extreme wealth, driven by a constant obsession with translating this rather immaterial subject into images. We have produced a body of work that shows what these places look like, but, even more importantly, what they mean.”
The trailer is playful, irreverent, and wistful. It uses the audio (and some visuals) from the well-known trailer for Jean-Luc Goddard’s film Contempt, though the translations in Powell’s don’t exactly match what is being said.
And on the the subject of book trailers, check out the trailer produced for Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. The reclusive writer apparently narrated it himself, and it captures the feel of the book perfectly.
The Guardian published an interview with Ballen a couple weeks ago, by the way, and it’s worth a read. His work has been met with criticism over the years with accusations of exploitation of his subjects, but speaking to the Guardian, he says he “can live with himself” after making this sort of work for so long.
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