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Caveat Emptor
1981

While we lived in Detroit, in 1981, I extensively photographed the Michigan State Fair (the only state fair in the U.S. that takes place in a major city).

That same year a friend gave me a copy of the 1952 N.Y. State Civil Defense Manual. They had found it in the basement "fallout shelter" of an old apartment building.

It struck me that both the hucksters at the state fair and the writers of the Civil Defense manual were trying to sell me something - something that I might regret buying. I paired sections of the text with selected photographs of the fair and called the series "Caveat Emptor."

A progressive newspaper in Oberlin Ohio (the Local Paper) published the series as a booklet (not of fine-art quality). In 2021 I remade the booklet with higher quality materials and better reproductions. It is available for purchase - please see the Book Works tab.

All photographs on this site unless otherwise noted are by Blaise Tobia and are © Blaise Tobia