On the twentieth anniversary of its publication, this volume reprints and expands upon what has become a beloved photobook classic.
Inspired by the striking dress codes of various social groups, Rotterdam-based photographer Ari Versluis and profiler Ellie Uyttenbroek have been systematically documenting the group identities they have encountered on the streets of cities around the world since 1994. They call their series “Exactitudes,” as a contraction of “exact” and “attitude.” By presenting their subjects in an identical framework–each member of a group is posed similarly against a white ground–Versluis and Uyttenbroek create an almost scientific record of people’s attempts to distinguish themselves from others by assuming a group identity, manifested in a strict dress code.
Simultaneously rigorously documentary and artistic, the project tests the apparent contradiction between individuality and uniformity, subverts the idea of “street style” and disrupts conventions of documentary street photography (the series has been called “August Sander and Eugene Atget turned on their heads by Bernd and Hilla Becher” by photographer and critic Gil Blank).
For this twentieth-anniversary edition, Versluis and Uyttenbroek have produced 19 new series. The subcultures of Rotterdam’s heterogeneous street scene remain a major source of inspiration for them, although they have also visited St. Petersburg, Zurich, Milan, Beijing, Rio de Janeiro, Casablanca, Praia (Cabo Verde), New York, Bordeaux, London and Paris.