John Szarkowski – ‘Atget’

John Szarkowski’s Atget was recommended, or, rather, referenced in Geoff Dyer’s The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand, if I recall, as the model on which Dyer based his 100-comments-about-100-pictures arrangement of that book. It’s quite similar to Szarkowski’s classic Looking at Photographs, which I picked up cheap at a Half Price Books years ago, but still haven’t worked all the way through, and shame on me.

In brief, Atget is Szarkowski’s pick of 100 images from MOMA’s Atget collection, paired with essays that speak around the photographs and Atget’s life. It had me laughing and looking closely, and I wholeheartedly recommend you get one through interlibrary loan or something, if you have any interest at all in writing about photography (or writing in general).

But allow me to go on a bit…

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Two Rivers: Joachim Brohm / Alec Soth

Two Rivers. Joachim Brohm / Alec Soth is an exhibition catalog from an exhibition of the same name at the NRW Forum, Dusseldorf, 29 March – 7 July 2019. I don’t recall who or what recommended it to me, and I have all of the Soth works included in their full books (mostly reprints), but was unfamiliar with Brohm and wondered what sort of conversation their works might have with one another.

After reading the essays (three, from Ralph Goertz, Vince Leo, and Wolfgang Ullrich) and looking through the selected photographs from about 25 years of image making from both artists, well…

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Majd Taby & Sara Kerens – ‘Displaced’

For Displaced: Stories from the Syrian Diaspora, Majd Taby and Sara Kerens (writer and photographer, respectively) traveled alongside Syrian refugees, fleeing war and the Islamic State, from Turkey to Greece and up through Europe during the height of the refugee crisis. The book weaves together narratives, interviews, and photographs to tell a more human, individual story than the quick takes we got from the western media.

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Joshua Dudley Greer – ‘Somewhere Along the Line’

Mix one part Robert Frank, one part Uncommon Spaces-era Stephen Shore, and two parts Joel Sternfeld, toss in a pinch of Alec Soth, shrink it down to 1/4 size, then blow it back up again and fast forward 30 years, and what do you have? It’s Joshua Dudley Greer’s Somewhere Along the Line.

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