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Published by Philip Martin Gallery with Hal Fischer, 2015
Soft cover, 56 pages, Reprint of legendary 1977 book
Since 1977—when the first exhibition of the this series took place in San Francisco—Gay Semiotics series has been recognized as a unique and pioneering analysis of a gay historical vernacular and as an irreverent appropriation of structuralist theory. Taken directly from Fischer’s personal experiences living in the vibrant gay communities of San Francisco’s Castro and Haight-Ashbury districts, Fischer’s photo-text deconstructions are laced with humor and a formal photographic esthetic indebted as much to textbook and advertising images as it is to the photographs of August Sander. Proud, unapologetic, humorous, and purposefully banal, the work drew immediate critical praise. In both its theoretical underpinnings and conceptual approach, Fischer’s work shows the influence of Lew Thomas, San Francisco photographer and catalyst for a California-based photography and language movement. Gay Semiotics is recognized as one of the first conceptual works to bring the language of structuralism and linguistics into photographic practice.