Gregory Halpern ZZYZX + MACK pop-up store

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September 28th – October 29th, 2016

September 28th: talk by Michael Mack and opening of the pop-up store
September 30th : opening of Gregory Halpern’s exhibition and booksigning
October 1st+2nd : workshop with Gregory Halpern

The launch of Gregory Halpern’s new book ZZYZX offered the opportunity to invite both the author and the publisher to Micamera. A selected number of prints from Halpern’s new body of work realised in California was on display in the gallery, together with a bespoke selection of MACK titles available in the bookstore.

Michael Mack has been in Milan on Wednesday, September 28th at 7pm for the opening of the pop-up store and to introduce the independent art and photography publishing house to the Italian audience in the talk Translating Ideas (in collaboration with O’)
Gregory Halpern has been at Micamera to open his first exhibition in Italy, and sign copies of ZZYZX, on Friday, September 30th at 7pm. Over the following weekend he has taught the workshop Expanded Documentary. The Wonderful and Troubled Relationship of Photography and Realism.


The early settlers dubbed California The Golden State, and The Land of Milk and Honey. Today there are the obvious ironies – sprawl, spaghetti junctions and skid row – but the place is not so easily distilled or visualized, either as a clichéd paradise or as its demise. There’s a strange kind of harmony when it’s all seen together – the sublime, the psychedelic, the self-destructive. Like all places, it’s unpredictable and contradictory, but to greater extremes. Cultures and histories coexist, the beautiful sits next to the ugly, the redemptive next to the despairing, and all under a strange and singular light, as transcendent as it is harsh.

The pictures in this book begin in the desert east of Los Angeles and move west through the city, ending at the Pacific. This general westward movement alludes to a thirst for water, as well as the original expansion of America, which was born in the East and which hungrily drove itself West until reaching the Pacific, thereby fulfilling its “manifest” destiny.

The people, places, and animals in the book did exist before Halpern’s camera, but he has sewn these photographs into a work of fiction or fantasy – a structure, sequence and edit which, like Los Angeles itself, teeters on the brink of collapsing under the weight of its own strangely-shaped mass.



ZZYZX – Gregory Halpern
published by MACK
designed by Lewis Chaplin
printed by optimal media
silkscreen printed hardcover
book specs: 128 pages / 77 colour plates / 24 cm x 29 cm
Buy this book

Read about this book on The New Yorker
Read about this book on TIME
Read about this book in The Guardian

Gregory Halpern

Born in 1977 in Buffalo, New York. He has published three photobooks: A (J&L Books, 2011), Omaha Sketchbook (J&L Books, 2009) and Harvard Works Because We Do (Quantuck Lane, 2003). He collaborated with Ahndraya Parlato on East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Études, 2014). His fourth monograph is ZZYZX, a book of photographs made in and around Los Angeles, that will be released by MACK in September and launched in Milan. Halpern also edited, along with Jason Fulford, The Photographer’s Playbook: Over 250 Assignments and Ideas (Aperture, 2014) and wrote the introduction of Todd Hido: on Landscapes, Interiors, and the Nude (Aperture, 2014). He holds a BA in History and Literature from Harvard University and an MFA from California College of the Arts. In 2014 he was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He currently teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology. His website here.


Founded in 2011, MACK is an internationally renowned art and photography publishing house based in London. MACK works with established and emerging artists, writers, curators and leading cultural institutions to translate intellectually challenging ideas and content into the highest quality creative books. MACK has developed long-term collaborations with artists such as Thomas Demand, Paul Graham, and Broomberg & Chanarin.
The First Book Award, established by MACK in 2012 ‘for projects conceived in book form’, annually offers photographers who have not previously had a book published by a third party publishing house, the opportunity to have their first book published, and the possibility of exhibiting at the Media Space (Science Museum, London).

From the success of Christian Patterson’s Redheaded Peckerwood to Aleix Plademunt ’s exploration of time and distance, from Takashi Homma‘s fragments of multiple cities to Jungjin Lee‘s beautiful exploration of the landscape, MACK cultivates a collaborative process with individual artists to create each book.

The publisher of Guido Guidi’s Preganziol and Veramente, MACK has also re-issued Luigi Ghirri’s Kodachrome and recently published the first English translation of Ghirri’s The Complete Essays 1973–1991. This seminal title is part of its growing list of beautifully illustrated essay-based books by world-leading artists.
Buy MACK titles from Micamera bookstore in Milan or through the website here.

Date: October 29, 2016