Robert Heinecken seldom used a camera. A self-described “para-photographer,” he repurposed found imagery to explore the underpinnings of daily life. He cut into periodicals—snipping heads from lithe bodies and slicing rouged lips from smiling cheeks—and reorganized these fragments into collaged wholes that reveal the greed, hypocrisy and misogyny behind traditional depictions of America, and expand the possibilities of the photographic form. This book presents Heinecken’s “Periodicals” (1969–72) and “Revised Magazines” (1989–94) as 25 functional facsimiles. Originally conceived as insertions into circuits of quotidian life, these collage-publications were taken from newsstands, altered, and then returned to be purchased by unsuspecting consumers. By pasting a Vietnam War image into fashion magazines or a dominatrix into Time, Heinecken created serials that are disturbing yet familiar; known cultural referents now oppose their presumed functions. Heinecken’s clandestine acts not only render these mechanisms visible, but intervene with them. In the reader’s hands Heinecken’s serials are mutable and limitless, much like his approach to the entire photographic medium—an endless series of ideas proposed by and through the very system they examine.
Co-published with Pace/MacGill Gallery and Petzel Gallery, New York
Limited edition of 1,000 boxed sets