American Surfaces probably needs no introduction. Produced during a road trip from NYC to Amarillo, TX in 1972 (with a jaunt to the England and the US Virgin Islands) and exhibited at the LIGHT Gallery in October 1972, it’s part of the photography canon now. It took what Robert Frank (and Walker Evans before him) started—the elevation and celebration of the everyday—to new heights and didn’t receive publication until the late 1990s, and then only in a wildly abbreviated form.
The first Phaidon edition (2005/2008) expanded the original 174 photographs to 320, and this new Phaidon edition includes an additional 40, previously unpublished photos, with entirely new scans, crops, and color-correction, so while it’s a sort of reprint, it’s also something more.
Transparencies: Small Camera works 1971-1979 collects, for the first time, Stephen Shore’s work with small cameras (mostly Leicas) during the period just before the American Surfaces period through the transition to large format and the vast majority of shooting for Uncommon Places. It’s interesting to see how Shore’s vision changed from the American Surfaces period through the end of the decade, and also to compare the scenes he captured with 35mm vs. those shot on 8×10.
Matthew Genitempo’s Jasper was, I believe, the January 2019 photobook-of-the-month selection from the Charcoal Book Club.* It was beautifully printed and lovingly published by Twin Palms, and is a really beautiful portrait of a really beautiful place.
The Spring 2020 Polaroid Week went down, as usual (I think), in the last week of April, and I started a day or two late and ended up rushing through most of every pack on the last day… Now, two weeks later, I still haven’t scanned everything, but I’m itching to share some photographs for a change, so let’s go!
Poulomi Basu’s Centralia is a disturbing and violent book of a disturbing and violent subject. It’s not for the faint of heart, it’s equally not for the hard of heart. Basu calls it “an Indian docu-fiction” that “…push[es] the boundaries of my own documentary practice – to construct a narrative that borrows from the tropes of science fiction to create a hallucinatory reflection…” And I think she succeeded.
I’m something of a Nate Matos fan, I guess. I came late to his Serif & Silver series, and every 6 or 8 months, I pop into his website and buy most or all of the zines he has on offer, leading to the acquisition of his ‘Blandscapes‘ and a group of other zines.
Now, we have the ‘Resort Town’ series, three zines about three resort towns: Rockaway, NY, site of the long-gone Playland amusement park; Anaheim, CA, home of Disneyland; Bombay Beach, CA, who was one of the earliest casualties of human-caused climate change.*