In After the Fact, Tony Foushe attempts to capture “the feelings of anxiety that lurk behind the facade of the everyday… to our increasing uncertainty and fear and to the changing political and physical climates that we find ourselves in these days.” I think he succeeded.
Full disclosure: I helped kickstart After the Fact a few months back. Given the quality of the resulting book and the incredibly strong work and excellent edit it contains, my $48 CAD was well spent.
Foushe combines landscapes, portraits, and interior scenes, and the result captures much of the feelings of sleepwalking-through-a-nightmare that I feel in the last half of the second decade of the twenty first century, what with climate change too obvious to ignore, nationalism and far right politics on the ascendancy everywhere, everything we do or might ever have done always already on display for the whole world to see via social media and our willingness to call each other out from the safety of our keyboards. Viewed in sequence, as it was intended, the work is unsettling, and leaves me feeling wearied, but not alone.
Of the half dozen or so portraits in the book, only two subjects look at the camera: a rottweiler wearing a muzzle, and a young girl. Everyone else looks down or away or both, or has their back to us. The landscapes are ordinary, but disturbing: muddy tracks leading over a hill to some apartment complexes; a flock of birds or army helicopters pass overhead; groups of people at protests, in period, handmaid’s tale clothing (and, of course, with their backs to us or staring off into space); a yellow brick road, flooded; a bird statue that looks remarkably like the bird on old Weimar Republic-era German flags; concert security looking bored at a protest march that probably won’t turn violent, not unless he stops leaning on the fence and starts cracking heads or shooting; lone black block-type figures, standing proud against the barricades, but where are his comrades?
After the Fact is an excellent, cohesive work, and I’m proud to be one of its Kickstarterers.
You can view the entire project, in order, at Foushe’s website, or order up a copy of the book. It’s well worth having in your collection. He has several other projects on his site, and each one shows his excellent sequencing and editing skills, so spend some time there and maybe learn something. <–Advice to myself, first.