Figure 1 Publishing

Art + Design

Yes Yes We’re Magicians

Jonah Samson. In collaboration with Presentation House Gallery

Celebratory, melancholic, surreal, and bizarre—a mesmerizing work of art comprised entirely of vintage found photography.


Estragon: We always find something, eh Didi, to give us the impression we exist?
Vladimir: Yes, yes, we’re magicians.

—Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

Book Description

Yes Yes We’re Magicians is a compilation of anonymous vintage black-and-white photographs mostly found on eBay from the personal collection of the Canadian artist, collector, and writer Jonah Samson. Titled after a line from Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot, the dominant mood of the book recalls Beckett’s tragicomic take on human existence. As an artist who often reworks found photographs, Jonah Samson brings a distinctive sensibility to this book and treats the form as an artwork in itself.



“It is impossible to talk about Yes Yes We’re Magicians without acknowledging the lavish production of the book itself: it’s gorgeous. […] Although it would be easy for a collection of found photography to feel either dully ineffectual or contrived, Yes Yes We’re Magicians manages to strike an impressive balance, being clearly meticulously organized without sacrificing the sense of eerie randomness central to found photography. Though every reader will have a different experience of the book, there is one aspect on which Samson deserves accolades from across the board: making it look so easy.”

Broken Pencil Magazine


  • Hardcover
  • 7 × 9 inches
  • 104 pages
  • 978-1-927958-86-5
  • $35 CAD / $28 USD