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I Fought the Law: Photographs by Olivia Locher of the Strangest Laws from Each of the 50 States (Quirky Book of Laws, Strange Facts)

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Strange, outdated laws from each of the 50 U.S. states—some overturned, some still on the books, and some merely the stuff of legends—are depicted with sly wit by Olivia Locher. Incisive, ironic, and gorgeous, these images will appeal to art buffs and trivia fans alike. A foreword from American poet Kenneth Goldsmith and an interview with the artist by Eric Shiner, former Strange, outdated laws from each of the 50 U.S. states—some overturned, some still on the books, and some merely the stuff of legends—are depicted with sly wit by Olivia Locher. Incisive, ironic, and gorgeous, these images will appeal to art buffs and trivia fans alike. A foreword from American poet Kenneth Goldsmith and an interview with the artist by Eric Shiner, former director of the Andy Warhol Museum, contextualize rising-star Locher's photography. From serving wine in teacups in Kansas to licking a toad in Kentucky or perming a child's hair in Nebraska, breaking the law has never looked so good.


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Strange, outdated laws from each of the 50 U.S. states—some overturned, some still on the books, and some merely the stuff of legends—are depicted with sly wit by Olivia Locher. Incisive, ironic, and gorgeous, these images will appeal to art buffs and trivia fans alike. A foreword from American poet Kenneth Goldsmith and an interview with the artist by Eric Shiner, former Strange, outdated laws from each of the 50 U.S. states—some overturned, some still on the books, and some merely the stuff of legends—are depicted with sly wit by Olivia Locher. Incisive, ironic, and gorgeous, these images will appeal to art buffs and trivia fans alike. A foreword from American poet Kenneth Goldsmith and an interview with the artist by Eric Shiner, former director of the Andy Warhol Museum, contextualize rising-star Locher's photography. From serving wine in teacups in Kansas to licking a toad in Kentucky or perming a child's hair in Nebraska, breaking the law has never looked so good.

30 review for I Fought the Law: Photographs by Olivia Locher of the Strangest Laws from Each of the 50 States (Quirky Book of Laws, Strange Facts)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    The "avant garde" poet Kenneth Goldsmith (who wrote "Uncreative Writing" and embraces the notion that "any language can be poetry" writes a foreword, and an interview with Locher by Eric Shiner opens this book, and Locher's hero Andy Warhol is all over it, which makes clear that Locher must be 2017 photography's absurdist "it" girl. In I Fought the Law she creates silly photographs in response to laws--one from each state--she heard about or discovered (hey, google!), all of which amused her for The "avant garde" poet Kenneth Goldsmith (who wrote "Uncreative Writing" and embraces the notion that "any language can be poetry" writes a foreword, and an interview with Locher by Eric Shiner opens this book, and Locher's hero Andy Warhol is all over it, which makes clear that Locher must be 2017 photography's absurdist "it" girl. In I Fought the Law she creates silly photographs in response to laws--one from each state--she heard about or discovered (hey, google!), all of which amused her for some reason. And those laws, some of which Locher admits she later discovered were actually not laws, but myths or rumors about laws, are sometimes amusing, nevertheless. *In Alabama it is illegal to have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at all times. Thus the cover. Except, as with others in this book, it never was illegal in Alabama. So what's the point, in this supposed project juxtaposing law and photography and humor? It's not clear. I think the point must be that because Locher is SO INTERESTING as a kind of "populist" anti-art photographer right now, that art can be anything she says it is, haw, which is fine, Wrahol did it, Duchamp did it, but it is sort of (un-usefully) confusing here. [Oh, and why WOULD having an ice cream cone in your back pocket BE illegal in some state? Because it could be used to attract horses which, if they follow you down the street, you can then steal, duh!] IF these are actually laws, well, that would be interesting, since Locher creates staged photographs depicting criminal offenses for each of them. Rebel Locher! I fought the law! Eh. . . But as I began reading, I enjoyed the silliness of it: *In Arizona you may not have more than two dildos in a house [and of course, bad girl Locher shows us a dildo collection) *In California nobody is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool. *In Florida a person may not appear in public clothed in liquid latex. *In Utah no one may walk down the street carrying a paper bag with a violin. So, okay, some are smile-worthy, maybe, in a middle school kinda way (of which as a parent of middle schoolers I generally approve), but then you never know which stated laws are actually laws and which are not, to which the absurdists Locher and Goldsmith would just say: Oh, you don't understand, think Andy Warhol, you are thinking too much, you are asking the wrong question, just smirk ironically and buy the book. (To which I say: Nope.) [Oh, and if you have middle schoolers in your actual house, there is enough actual nakedness and sexual references, don't leave it around).[yep, that happened. Sorry, but it's Art kids! One of your Dad's Art Projects!] Augh, with the daily onslaught of this Current Administration (today is the "s**t storm" incident, day two) and its machination and its own absurd legal machinations, I just need a laugh once in a while, but now I am just wincing, confused about the "intellectual" purposes of this stuff. Augh! Farce

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    Was not sure of the junction of what was really against the law and what was not - hence I could not embrace this work as the absurdist commentary I thought it was. Photos are nice enough.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kate Buechler

    I enjoyed this

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    An interestingly artistic examination of laws in each of the 50 US states.

  5. 5 out of 5

    April

    This, um, project could have been so much more.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Trike

    I don’t know what the point of this lazy exercise is. This is purportedly a book about photographs depicting absurd laws, yet most of these aren’t currently laws nor were they ever laws. The ones which ARE laws, such as it being illegal in Massachusetts to take upskirt photos, aren’t absurd, unless you’re a creep or a pervert, violating a woman’s privacy. To make matters worse, the photos aren’t very good. It’s seriously freshman-level Intro to Photography amateurishness. It’s baffling on every l I don’t know what the point of this lazy exercise is. This is purportedly a book about photographs depicting absurd laws, yet most of these aren’t currently laws nor were they ever laws. The ones which ARE laws, such as it being illegal in Massachusetts to take upskirt photos, aren’t absurd, unless you’re a creep or a pervert, violating a woman’s privacy. To make matters worse, the photos aren’t very good. It’s seriously freshman-level Intro to Photography amateurishness. It’s baffling on every level.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    This what we used to call a coffee-table book. The forewords and interviews at the beginning of this book of photographs give an excellent background of how the idea came to be. Some of the photos are beautiful, some are clever, and some I would not want to show to my grandchildren. There is one for each state and reflects a law in that state--however, you find out from her foreword that some are not real. It would have been much better if there had been a note on each photo stating whether this This what we used to call a coffee-table book. The forewords and interviews at the beginning of this book of photographs give an excellent background of how the idea came to be. Some of the photos are beautiful, some are clever, and some I would not want to show to my grandchildren. There is one for each state and reflects a law in that state--however, you find out from her foreword that some are not real. It would have been much better if there had been a note on each photo stating whether this was a real law or just myth or just made-up.

  8. 4 out of 5

    R.K. Cowles

    3 3/4 stars

  9. 5 out of 5

    Seb Wocial

    If you like playful, well-executed photography projects; a collection of 50 light-hearted and thought-provoking images, of alleged laws, that are teasingly iconoclastic and colorfully disobedient.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    Blech. What a disappointment. Did you catch the subtitle? "Photographs by Olivia Locher of the Strangest Laws From Each of the 50 States" LIES! Well, that might be a little bit of an overstatement. Partial lies! In the Introduction, the author/photographer tells the reader that she collected the strange laws from social media and actual lawbooks, in combination. She said that she found that some were actually just urban legend. BUT THEN SHE PHOTOGRAPHED THEM ANYWAY. And doesn't tell the reader wh Blech. What a disappointment. Did you catch the subtitle? "Photographs by Olivia Locher of the Strangest Laws From Each of the 50 States" LIES! Well, that might be a little bit of an overstatement. Partial lies! In the Introduction, the author/photographer tells the reader that she collected the strange laws from social media and actual lawbooks, in combination. She said that she found that some were actually just urban legend. BUT THEN SHE PHOTOGRAPHED THEM ANYWAY. And doesn't tell the reader which are for real and which are urban legend! So this book is a weird one that'll be filed under both "fiction" and "nonfiction" in my Goodreads. Second: the author/photographer definitely went for shock value. A good handful of the pics are borderline pornographic. I know, I know.... it's art! Even if the subject is nude its just art and not pornography! And I swear I'm not a prude. (Despite this being my second review in a week claiming too much blushing!) But I'll give you an example: one of the laws she photographed stated that it was illegal to have more than three *ahem* sexual aide toys in one house. Would you want to see a photo of that? Anyway, the bulk of the book was photos with very little text, so I didn't waste much time on it. Oh well.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bethany Woodcock

    A short, humorous photography book depicting ‘silly’ laws in American states (although, some of the laws were pretty sensible, like upskirting). Could have included more context or history about the laws or if they’re just a bad interpretation.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lili

    This small volume is the collision of two of my favorite things: modern photography and legal studies. The three introductions frame the body of work appropriately: the project was the result of the photographer's thought experiment based on internet research; therefore, not all of the laws depicted are still on the books or even existed. The bulk of the volume consisted of a two-page spread for each of the fifty states: a full color photograph of the "strange law" on one page and a brief captio This small volume is the collision of two of my favorite things: modern photography and legal studies. The three introductions frame the body of work appropriately: the project was the result of the photographer's thought experiment based on internet research; therefore, not all of the laws depicted are still on the books or even existed. The bulk of the volume consisted of a two-page spread for each of the fifty states: a full color photograph of the "strange law" on one page and a brief caption on the facing page. I appreciated the thought that the photographer put into composing the volume. Most of the photographs were stunning, although some were explicit (so this is NOT an appropriate gift for children). The captions were clear. In some instances it was an interesting thought exercise to relate the caption to the photograph, although in most instances the relationship was obvious. What I would have preferred to see is an epilogue of some sort that explained in just a few lines which laws were still on the books, which laws were off the books, and which laws were mythical. Just like the photographer's introduction had a few lines about the origin of the law in the cover photo, I would have appreciated that type of information about the rest of the laws. Nothing too detailed or over the top. The absence of such an epilogue, however, gave me an interesting thought project as I paused on each state and wondered whether the law was real, whether it was still on the books, and what its origins might have been. Some were very easy and straightforward to imagine - no fishing with dynamite, no dressing in latex in public, no drinking perfume. Others were conundra - pickles must bounce. Overall, I enjoyed the book for its lovely photographs and for making me think creatively. While I would have preferred to have been educated rather than creative, it was still fun to stretch the creative muscles for a spell. And if I feel the need to find out the true state of affairs, I can always do what the photographer did and turn to my good friend Google.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Peter Geyer

    This is a book you look at rather than read, with photos and captions regarding a strange law in each of the 50 American States. The front cover has an ice-cream cone in someone's back pocket, illegal apparently in Alabama and you can't wear shoes in bed in Oregon or put an American flag on a bar of soap in Nevada. I could go on, although not all are as amusing to me as these, and some may actually have a point, like not being able to deface rocks in New Mexico. For me, the point of having a book This is a book you look at rather than read, with photos and captions regarding a strange law in each of the 50 American States. The front cover has an ice-cream cone in someone's back pocket, illegal apparently in Alabama and you can't wear shoes in bed in Oregon or put an American flag on a bar of soap in Nevada. I could go on, although not all are as amusing to me as these, and some may actually have a point, like not being able to deface rocks in New Mexico. For me, the point of having a book like this, or showing it to others, is to stimulate thought about what being law-abiding can mean as well as how far a person can adjust to the prevailing society, even if the laws may have had a particular use in the past.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

    Funny with very insightful opening essays

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    While the pictures are illustrative of the alleged laws and are interesting to look at (though nothing really special), the fact that the photographer states at the beginning that not all of these are currently or were ever laws is misleading and just plain lazy. Some of the laws she chose to depict as strange make absolute sense: The law illustrated for South Carolina, outlawing fishing with dynamite (also called blast fishing) is common globally (it's illegal in EVERY state in the US, and is l While the pictures are illustrative of the alleged laws and are interesting to look at (though nothing really special), the fact that the photographer states at the beginning that not all of these are currently or were ever laws is misleading and just plain lazy. Some of the laws she chose to depict as strange make absolute sense: The law illustrated for South Carolina, outlawing fishing with dynamite (also called blast fishing) is common globally (it's illegal in EVERY state in the US, and is legal only in about 40 countries worldwide). Blast fishing is incredibly destructive to not just the animals, but also the habitat and people in the area of the blasting. Clearly, what Locher thinks of as "strange" does not have bearing on reality, and her ignorance shows in her choice to use rumors/urban legends (without notations, sources or, you know, doing the work), as well as her selections. This book is a total fail, and not worth picking up.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Roy

    The book is only photographs. There is no exposition on the laws whatsoever. No historical background and especially no social context. Thus, the monograph is deaf as well as mute on these relevant lenses of the human experience in America. The work has no force; it distills to vanity. The author lazily sidesteps the opportunity to highlight the tragic and comedic in the "laws" the book expounds. For it is left to the reader to research if what appears in the book is true or a lie. From the introductio The book is only photographs. There is no exposition on the laws whatsoever. No historical background and especially no social context. Thus, the monograph is deaf as well as mute on these relevant lenses of the human experience in America. The work has no force; it distills to vanity. The author lazily sidesteps the opportunity to highlight the tragic and comedic in the "laws" the book expounds. For it is left to the reader to research if what appears in the book is true or a lie. From the introduction, "I gathered my fifty favorite alleged laws...[and] decided to withhold whether a law is fact or myth because [blah blah]." I am saddened my library spent money on this book instead of a book (or several!) on STEM education that could actually help disadvantaged members of my community improve their station. Review of I Fought The Law, a art photography book by Olivia Locher 2017.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cath Ennis

    I thought this was a cool concept for a photo collection, and the thoughtful foreword about how even seemingly trivial laws can be used to perpetuate injustice raised my expectations further. However, the photos themselves fell flat for me. They're well executed and some of them did make me smile, but because they're all studio shots there's no real sense of place - any photo could relate to any state, which seems like a lost opportunity. Also, a few of the "quirky" laws seemed quite sensible - I thought this was a cool concept for a photo collection, and the thoughtful foreword about how even seemingly trivial laws can be used to perpetuate injustice raised my expectations further. However, the photos themselves fell flat for me. They're well executed and some of them did make me smile, but because they're all studio shots there's no real sense of place - any photo could relate to any state, which seems like a lost opportunity. Also, a few of the "quirky" laws seemed quite sensible - surely some of these things are illegal everywhere?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    This was my bad, but going in I honestly thought that the photographer traveled to each state and took the pictures there, which would have added to the statements. Most were taken in a studio - some were interesting, some I really hated. I was a little underwhelmed but I knew what it was going to be going in.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    Ugh! I thought this was an interesting premise, but it’s so poorly executed — it feels lazy and noncommittal. The law “In Maine it is illegal to mail prescription drugs unless you are a licensed pharmacist” isn’t a strange law...unless I’m missing something. And then “In Massachusetts photographing up skirt photos may be considered a crime” how loosely is that worded and again, not strange.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cindelu

    I won this book on Goodreads. I was kind of glad I didn't pay for it. I was totally bummed when I read it and found out that some of the laws were never really laws or were no longer laws. The photographs were interesting and it was obviously a quick read. I won this book on Goodreads. I was kind of glad I didn't pay for it. I was totally bummed when I read it and found out that some of the laws were never really laws or were no longer laws. The photographs were interesting and it was obviously a quick read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Luna

    I think this is a cool idea, but it seems like she just googled laws and threw them together with photos. She even says in the beginning that some of them are not laws and some are Urban legends but doesn't bother you tell you if each of the 50 are real or not. I do enjoy some of the photos. I think this is a cool idea, but it seems like she just googled laws and threw them together with photos. She even says in the beginning that some of them are not laws and some are Urban legends but doesn't bother you tell you if each of the 50 are real or not. I do enjoy some of the photos.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tena

    I won this in a GOODREADS giveaway. A wonderful coffee table book full of slightly risque and quirky photographs and one-liners. Urban myths and obsolete laws create the focal point of this artsy montage.

  23. 4 out of 5

    kasia

    USA, you weirdo -1 star for made up laws. not fair.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Reyna Cojab

    I read it with my grandmother who’s a baby-boomer and who’s also a photographer. We enjoyed it so much... the pictures are so colorful and odd.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Serna

    A collection of photos illustrating some of the crazy out dated books still on the books in different states .

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    DNF

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Monrad

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ks

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Jackson

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christine Albrecht-Buehler

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