Leigh Ledare: Pretend You're Actually Alive



First edition, first printing. Soft cover. Printed white wrappers, no dust jacket as issued, contained in a photographically illustrated cardboard slipcase. Photographs, facsimile texts and video stills by Leigh Ledare. Designed by Leigh Ledare, Andrew Roth and Triboro. Unpaginated (244 pp.), with 87 four-color plates (many are two-page spreads), 13 duotone plates and numerous additional illustrations printed by The Studley Press, Dalton, Mass. 10-1/2 x 8 inches. This first edition was limited to 1000 copies. From the publisher: "Composed in its entirety of photographs, written anecdotes and ephemera, Leigh Ledare's first book, Pretend You're Actually Alive, is a searingly intimate investigation of the artist's relationship with his mother, a once-promising prodigy ballerina. Both a revealing family album, and an unfolding of the relationship between Ledare and his muse/mother, Ledare's photography and video work involves creating strategies to navigate the themes embodied within this extraordinarily complex relationship. Pretend You're Actually Alive can be viewed as an archive of a mother and son's shared, private moments amidst the desperate attempts to renew her identity as a dancer--this time working as a stripper in a club beside her parents' apartment. Pretend You're Actually Alive is also a mapping of Ledare's mother's efforts to commodify herself--initially through her precocious childhood talent, later through her overt sexuality, and eventually through the portrayal of herself as an archetypal victim--in efforts to find companionship, attention, financial security, and a benefactor before her youthful, marketable currencies expire. Pretend You're Actually Alive is foundational to Ledare's continuing investigations around portraiture, issues of authorship, collaboration, performance, authenticity, and an ongoing inquiry into the ways in which personal boundaries complicate subjectivity."


Ledare Leigh. Leigh Ledare: Pretend You're Actually Alive. PPP Editions, in association with Andrew Roth, Inc, 2008. ISBN: 9782742776191