(Corinne Day)(Diary)

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Hamburg: Kruse Verlag, 2000, Hardcover

Condition: New,sealed copy,1st edition

Famous for her 1990 photographs of a young Kate Moss resplendent in Native American head-dress and little else, self-taught photographer Corinne Day has come to epitomise the late-20th century "heroin chic" look. Shunned by Vogue magazine after a photo-shoot showing Moss in less-than-salubrious surroundings, Day has spent the last decade graphically photographing her friends in a London of damp squats, peeling wallpaper, drug taking, sex and endless sticky summers. The result is a Diary: a series of candid, astonishingly intimate portraits of a group of young people a world away from the aspirations of New Labour's Britain, at the centre of which is Day's close friend Tara. We see Tara crying, smoking, nursing her baby, having sex, wrapped in tinsel and little else at a party, emptying her daughter's paddling pool with a look of absorbed parental concentration and on an earlier occasion exhausted but laughing in a bathroom with a filthy sink. All the ages of woman are evident in these images, which is a towering achievement for Day. The photographs would be deemed voyeuristic were it not for Day's proximity to and involvement with her subjects; in a harrowing few entries she documents her own brain-tumour diagnosis in 1996, preparal for surgery, and later recovery. Some of the most poignant portraits are those of Day's friend Yank who died early in 2000, and to whom the book is dedicated. Following on from the groundbreaking 1970s work of New Yorker Nan Goldin (I'll Be Your Mirror), Diary is a significant contribution to the documentation of the London demi-monde at the end of the 20th century. The book accompanies Day's first solo exhibition at the Photographers' Gallery in London. And rumour has it that she is now working with Kate Moss and Vogue again, as heroin chic comes full circle.