Arnold Odermatt: Off Duty
Published by Steidl Photography International.
Edited by Urs Odermatt.
Even with the advent of the digital camera and the electronic storage of photos, every family still has at least a few family snapshots, and many have album upon album and box upon box. Individual snapshots are often glanced at casually before they are set aside and vanish from memory, but in this private sea of photographic uniformity, Arnold Odermatt's family pictures, collected here, manage to convey a signature style, standing out for their clarity and order, and for the oddly detached demeanor of their subjects. Odermatt, a Swiss police officer and crime photographer, achieved fame with his black-and-white journal of 1940s-1990s car accidents, Karambolage. His second book, On Duty, documented the daily life of the small police corps with which he worked for many years, effectively advertising their skills and services. In Off Duty, Odermatt shows life after the officer has parked his cruiser in the garage, turned off his scanner and hung his uniform in the closet, creating a wonderful document of life within a small village, in which the civilian side of the off-duty police officer is allowed to emerge.