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After Dark (5 meters), 2010
Five meter long bookshelf in five parts containing 375 custom-made After Dark books
9 x 196 x 6 inches
Edition of 2

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After Dark, 2009
Stack of 5 bookshelves each containing 49 custom-made After Dark books
Overall dimensions: 68 x 23 x 6 inches
Each bookshelf: 9 x 23 x 6 inches 
Edition of 5

Inquire

After Darker, 2010
Bookshelf containing 434 custom-made After Dark books
51 1/2 x 39 x 6 inches
Edition of 5

Inquire

After Dark (5 meters), 2010
Five meter long bookshelf in five parts containing 375 custom-made After Dark books
9 x 196 x 6 inches
Edition of 2

After Dark, 2009
Stack of 5 bookshelves each containing 49 custom-made After Dark books
Overall dimensions: 68 x 23 x 6 inches
Each bookshelf: 9 x 23 x 6 inches 
Edition of 5

After Darker, 2010
Bookshelf containing 434 custom-made After Dark books
51 1/2 x 39 x 6 inches
Edition of 5

Image + Description

After Dark

Richard Prince, a devoted bibliophile, is an artist perhaps best known for his critique of the insidious myths of American consumer culture. After Dark is based on a series of 1960’s era pulp fiction paperbacks by the same name. The collection is part minimalist homage, part consumer culture critique, part interrupted absurdist American male fantasy. There have long been television advertisements for the “instant classic book library,” collections of books designed to instantly heighten the owner’s fantasy to be cultured, educated and refined. Prince’s instant After Dark library offers no pretense to culture and refinement. In fact, it seems to offer a total release from intellectual concerns. After Dark appears instead to offer the standard pulp-fiction promise that a book or collection of books can satisfy one’s need to transcend one’s miserable self; that in every corner of the world, no matter what the culture, religion or system of government, there is an abundance of easily attainable non-committal sex for purchase. A place for the American male to fantasize reaching the gates of a sexual utopia, the unrestrained id, far from the demands of a grueling and disappointing domestic life and demanding marital relations. The original After Dark books in Prince’s extensive pulp-fiction library sport covers with tantalizing cover copy announcing the sexual thrills to be experienced within. In Prince’s manipulated version, the titillating cover copy is replaced by dry non-sequitur commentary that Prince refers to as “bird talk,” the written words simultaneously masking and confusing the confrontation with true feelings and relations while the photo imagery speaks to liberating an unrepentant raging libido. After Dark revisits Prince’s main themes: the manipulation of appropriated imagery, gender issues, desire, fantasy, traditional mores and standards, and a dose of reality.

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