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Tall Poppy Syndrome
Amy Stein and Stacy Arezou Mehrfar

Tall Poppy Syndrome

Tall Poppy SyndromeTall Poppy Syndrome
Amy Stein and Stacy Arezou Mehrfar
Decode Books


Signed, Edition of 1500
96 pages
200 x 240 mm
ISBN 9780983394228


In 2010, American photographers Amy Stein and Stacy Arezou Mehrfar embarked on a month-long road trip throughout New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state. They were interested in investigating the Australian social phenomenon of tall poppy syndrome, in which successful people, or the “tall poppies,” get “cut down to size” and are resented or ridiculed because their talents or achievements distinguish them from their peers. Is the syndrome real? Can it be documented or observed? Stein and Mehrfar set out to explore quintessential Australian life and find what evidence they could of the existence of this phenomenon. They spent their days meeting and photographing everyday Australians—from schoolchildren in their plaid uniforms to young surfers playing at the beach to grandmothers meeting at their social clubs—all the while learning about the relationship between the group and the individual within Australian society. The resulting photographs in Tall Poppy Syndrome present their investigation into and observations of daily Australian life.

About the Artists
Stacy Mehrfar is a first-generation Iranian-American artist. Drawing from personal history, her photographs, video installations, and photobooks raise questions about how we build and sustain ‘community.’ Central to her practice is an examination of the interdependent relationship between the individual and the group and how landscape shapes identity.

Amy Stein (b. 1970) is a photographer and teacher based in Los Angeles. Her work explores our evolving isolation from community, culture, and the environment. Amy’s photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally. They are featured in many private and public collections such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, and the George Eastman House Photography Collection.

About the Publisher
Decode has been producing educational and cultural communications since 1991. Decode Books is the company’s publishing division which is dedicated to designing, producing and publishing books on contemporary art and photography.

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