It takes a lot for an image to shock in this age of visual (over) saturation but D'agata manages this again and again. His images are graphic in the extreme and it has taken a brave publisher to put this work to print.
D'agata is most well known as a Magnum Photographer who produces eerie photographs of blurred figures. However, with his relationship with Magnum stale and festering and his willingness to become closer to the subject matter than any photographer I can think of, he has crossed and blurred so many lines with this work that he has gone beyond being a photographer making images, to a man living a life that has, as a secondary consideration, been captured in images.
And what images they are, graphic, frightening, eerie. You name it, you feel a plethora of emotions plowing through this book.
I wouldn't say the images are pornographic, although they feature interactions too numerous and abasing to mention, these images (which make up the bulk of the book) show desperate people who seem, at times, disengaged from the world around them. In others, it appears as if the blurred and grainy figures are consuming each other.
This is a frightening and dark world of base instinct and people who seem on the verge of attenuating into the void.
Drug misuse and graphic sex do not make for easy viewing, I am still undecided whether I admire D'Agata or feel concern and disgust at how he lives his life. One thing is for certain though, despite abusing and misusing his body and brain he makes images that will burn themselves into your synapses.
Consider this book a rare tome, a dispatch from a dark world that neither you, nor I, wish to live.
Unsettling but essential.