John Irvine – ‘Partition’

Growing up as a purple-haired punk rocker in the 1990s, I was aware of the divisions between the Catholics and Protestants, (the winding down of) the Troubles, Bobby Sands, the IRA, the Sinn Féin, the Good Friday Agreement, and all that, but had no idea, beyond what I read in some Punk and Anarchist zines, what things were like in Ireland. To be honest, I still don’t, but John Irvine‘s Partition opens a window to part of the landscape and social organization by presenting contemporary (2017/18) landscape views of the 20 miles of partition walls that divide Belfast to this day. Continue reading “John Irvine – ‘Partition’”

Harry Gruyaert – ‘East/West’

When I first flipped through East/West, I was convinced something had gone wrong with the printing. Everything looked much more saturated and contrasty than the 2015 Harry Gruyaert monograph, and I felt disgusted and ripped off, and I shoved East/West onto the shelf, determined to wait a few years (until it went out of print) and then sell it.

Imagine my surprise, when I went back to it for this review, compared duplicate shots from East/West and Harry Gruyaert directly, and found that they’re very close, if not identical, and that the two books (East, shot in Moscow a couple of months before the Berlin Wall fell, and West, shot in 1981 in Las Vegas) present more complete and unified projects/collections than does the monograph. I’m not sure if it was the overcast window light I viewed the books in for the unboxing, or if maybe the year or so on the shelf caused some mellowing, but I’m much more impressed by East/West now than I was then. Continue reading “Harry Gruyaert – ‘East/West’”

Todd Hido – ‘Intimate Distance’

I’m a Todd Hido fan. His work has something, a suggestive, narrative, open-ended quality that I find fascinating and intriguing. I’ve thusfar been unable to acquire any of his monographs—House Hunting,  Excerpts from Silver MeadowsKhrystyna’s World, etc.—so, for now, Intimate Distance: Twenty-Five Years of Photographs, A Chronological Album, a retrospective of sorts, will have to do.

Continue reading “Todd Hido – ‘Intimate Distance’”

Harvey Benge – ‘One Day’

In November of 2009, Harvey Benge struck up a conversation with Gerry Badger about print on demand publishing and the opportunities to produce a photobook, start to finish, in one day. The idea gestated for awhile, as Benge talked with other photographers and thought about it some more, and by May 2010, at the Kassel Photobook Festival, he had gathered together 9 other photographers and settled on a date to all shoot together, wherever they were.

One Day is the result.
Continue reading “Harvey Benge – ‘One Day’”

Ioana Marinca – ‘Home is Somewhere (and everywhere in between)’

Home is Somewhere (and everywhere in between) is a collection of Ioana Marinca‘s photographs taken in Romania, Ireland, and England, with some text and poems from Yann Ryan, exploring the idea of ‘home.’ Is ‘home’ your place of birth? your parent’s house? your first apartment? a dorm room? Is ‘home’ a town or city, a country? Is it “whenever I’m with you?” Is there anyone else there? What do the people look like, or all you all alone? Is it where the heart is?

When you move around a bunch, ‘home’ starts to become fluid, but you know when you long for it, and you know when you arrive after a long time away. And you can find it with strangers, in a strange land too. Continue reading “Ioana Marinca – ‘Home is Somewhere (and everywhere in between)’”

Wai Wai Wonderful!

Just before I ran off to Arkansas for the (not-a-)vacation, I loaded a roll of Superia 400 into the Wai Wai, with the intent of shooting some nice fall color in the mountains. Alas, it wasn’t a vacation after all, and I didn’t shoot much at all while I was there. And there wasn’t much fall color there, even if I had, and I wouldn’t have had so much fun on a quick after-work photowalk in the park one day after I came back. Continue reading “Wai Wai Wonderful!”

Zak Waters – ‘Birdmen’

Prior to the arrival of Zak Waters‘ Birdmen, I was wholly unaware of pigeon racing. My grandfather kept pigeons for awhile near the end of his life, and I feed dozens of pigeons who roost in the neighbor’s roof tiles and hang around my neighborhood for most of the year. And my mother in law looks at them and remarks what good eating they are, but racing them? I had no idea. Not that I remember, anyway. Continue reading “Zak Waters – ‘Birdmen’”