Peter Granser

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Peter Granser, Signs. 2008

Foreword by Karen Irvine, text by Barry Vacker
German, English
132 pp., 99 color ills., 2 foldouts
30,20 x 30,40 cm
Hardcover, clothbound
Hatje Cantz
ISBN 978-3-7757-2157-8

“Since the foundation of the US it was often Europeans who cut to the chase of America’s sentiments. The classics range from Alexis de Tocqueville’s studies of ‘Democracy in America’, to Robert Frank’s photo book ‘The Americans’, to Wim Wenders’ ‘paris texas’. In a country, which so consistently works on a homogeneous cultural identity, the view point of outsiders is so focused because they discover so much in the every-day life that is very basic. The German photographer Peter Granser also has been traveling across the US for years.  In his two stunning photo books “Sun City” and “Coney Island”, with his melancholic view point he reduced the colourful side of the US to sun bleached ruins of the American dream. With his new book “Signs” he now presents an essay about the conservative America, which in its minimalistic directness deeply penetrates the mood of the country that is at a historic turn-around point. The photos were taken in Texas, that is in the very state, which George W. declares to be his home and in which strict piety and defiant combativeness combine to a unique attitude that is so alien tous Europeans. Granser avoids becoming polemic. His photos are guided by the sometimes subtle, sometimes confrontational signs left by this society in the empty Texan landscape; they are guided by the clear view of the outsider who knows a lot, but claims nothing.”

© Andrian Kreye, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 5.6.2008

See more on the BUFFET.

A special edition of Signs is also available:

About the print: “Job Well Done!” was photographed in Fort Hood, Texas and shows plastic cups pressed into holes of a fence in front of supply containers. The spell out a welcome for soldiers returning from Iraq.

The edition is 33+3 ap – the folder size is 42×42 cm, the print size is 40×40 cm.

Archival pigment print on Hahnemühle fine art pearl paper.

Price: 550,- Euro

order at

Peter Granser, Coney Island. 2006 (out of print)

Foreword by Martin Hellmold, text by Vicki Goldberg
German, English
2006. 100 pp., 72 color ills.
28,70 x 28,70 cm

Hatje Cantz
ISBN 978-3-7757-1776-2

……… Coney Island´s American dream of technologically engineered leisure and spectacle looks slightly forlorn through Peter Granser´s lens, which registers a mix of sweet smiles and emptiness, dry humor and melancholy that he refers to as its “wonderful morbid charm.”

If you know anything about the history of Coney Island (and the history of the eternally optimistic American dream), these photographs quietly comment on social change and on the character of today, which yesterday inevitably turns into.

Excerpt from the esaay „The Democratic Paradise“ by Vicki Goldberg.


Peter Granser, Alzheimer. 2005/2009

2005  ( 1. edition out of print)
2009 ( 2. edition )

Foreword by Martin Hellmold, text by Vicki Goldberg
23 x 23 cm
96 pages
39 color photographs

Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg
ISBN 978-3-86828-038-8
25 Euro 

There are not many photo series about Alzheimer’s. The reason seems obvious. This is a disease that is first and foremost about language. That’s what makes it so frightening: Alzheimer’s attacks its victim’s cognitive and intellectual faculties, starting with the ability to communicate…….

Granser’s portraits nonetheless manifest a breathtaking immediacy. It is almost impossible to escape the fascination of these faces, to resist getting caught up in contemplating the life stories they represent…..

There are few portrait series by contemporary photographers in which the protagonists are granted so much dignity and so much authority. It is true that, at the moment the shutter closes, Granser knows much more about what is going on than his subjects. He does control a situation that they do not comprehend. But what is the alternative? When journalists and literary figures write about Alzheimer’s patients, they are operating on the basis of a much more blatant incongruity. The author exercises the full range of his language skills to express himself, to make his points – whereas the patient by contrast seems to be an inferior being, because he has veered away from the world of language…..

Granser does not promise us a comprehensive panorama. His series does not claim to constitute a scientific study. Cautiously, soberly and optimistically, the pictures embark on a dialogue, directing our gaze toward faces and gestures that no one would have otherwise taken the time to observe. Overstatement is not Granser’s métier. Once again: this is only one story about the traces that Alzheimer’s leaves behind. It’s about loss. It’s about dignity. And about the radiant contradictions in the human face.

Excerpt from the essay „Where I did lodge last night“ by Christoph Ribbat.

Peter Granser, Sun City. 2003 (out of print) 

Text German/English
128 pages
50 color photographs
21 x 22,5 cm
ISBN 3-7165-1303-2
€ 24,80

Peter Granser´s project “Sun City”, is a series about a retirement colony in the American southwest. In this strange, artificial city of spunky senior citizens, where you are only allowed to live, when you are over 55 years of age, he took wrinkles, cacti, hair dryer hoods and plastic flamingos and compiled them into a basically true and only slightly exaggerated story about the future of aging. In “Sun City” being a senior doesn’t mean sitting in a rocking chair on the porch, looking back at the past, gradually taking one’s leave of life. Quite the opposite: Granser’s picture story is peopled by men and women who without any compromises or sentimentality have radically reinvented themselves in their latter years.
© Christoph Ribbat

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