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Spectacle

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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  4 reviews
'Spectacle' is a visual essay that celebrates the phenomenon and history of public performance worldwide. Colour and archival photographs document 19 events, among them the Olympic Games, the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, and the Burning Man festival in the Nevada Desert.
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 15th 2006 by Phaidon Press
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3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  42 ratings  ·  4 reviews


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Ryan
Mar 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
Spectacle is a survey of Baroque maximalism in modern times, covering events and places which are big, bold, or brief: Burning Man, Las Vegas, NASCAR, the Running of the Bulls, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and more.

I definitely enjoyed the book, but its depth and focus were mildly unnerving: it was not quite a travelogue, not quite a full study of these grandiose events, and not emotional or detailed enough to be really engaging. The photography, layout, and pace of the book (designed by
...more
Sevenponds
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
David Rockwell has captured far-flung and fleeting human spectacles for us to marvel at. All the spectacles in his book are planned: intentionally created and experienced by willing participants, usually for pleasure.

On the other hand, spectacles that arise from tragedy are different — we call them memorials. They are created organically, driven by the creativity of collective bystanders randomly brought together by disaster. Each individual is so inexplicably moved by the emotions and meaning o
...more
sleeps9hours
Nov 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
Disappointing. Full of boring interviews, poor quality photos, and a collection of mostly yawn-worthy spectacles, including Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, NASCAR, Burning Man, Olympics, Fireworks. The book does nothing to make a reader/viewer feel like they are actually a part of any of these events. Really not worth even checking out of the library.
Doug Matthews
Feb 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Beautiful photography and some interesting interviews and commentary. It's a good coffee table book. However, it lacks depth of understanding as to why humans enjoy spectacle. It also concentrates only on the 20th century.
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