VIDEO: Stephen Shore’s ‘Uncommon Places’ (The Complete Works)

For those who may not have access to either the original book, or ‘The Complete Works’ edition, I have made a video of my own copy (Complete Works) which can be seen below.

We would love to have as many people as possible to share their thoughts, whether this is your first viewing or you have owned and treasured a copy for decades! Please leave any comments in the section below and I shall post them towards the end of the week.

– Matt

0 replies on “VIDEO: Stephen Shore’s ‘Uncommon Places’ (The Complete Works)”

When I first opened my own copy of “Uncommon Places” I was so breathlessly excited by the images that I could not finish my viewing and had to close the book. It still has a huge impact on me.

It is still one of my favourite books of the many I own. His photography is so very different from my own (which was first inspired by my discovery of André Kertész) but that is why Shore still seems to me so mysterious.

Eggleston’s Guide along with Shore’s Uncommon Places were THE two sources most often studied, cited and emulated back in those heady days of “New Wave Color.” They were the bibles; both were a sea change on how we perceive and appreciate the medium to this present day. And while Guide launched color to the forefront of photography, Shore’s work reinforced the move to large format as the legal tender of the fine art photo world- a move which not only had far reaching effects in how we see and relate to photography in terms of composition, and in terms of size, but also in economic terms. Photo galleries could now display art work that could rival the size of painting, and thus gain more handsome, desirable profits (I often wonder how those ’80s C-prints have survived). It helped “legitimize” photo galleries from the relative cult status of the art world’s poorer siblings, to the Upper East Side venues of the mainstream. Fine art photographers could now wield the more formidable tools of large format loaded with the new art market weaponry of color film. It was a potent combination that drove a stake through the then still beating heart of small format, B&W “art” photography- as well as through the aspirations of those who could not afford the expenses that large format entailed.

I’ve only realised after reading these articles on photobook club that my copy is “uncommon places 50 unpublished photographs 1973-78” not the full book, non the less I still love it. There’s something about Shore’s work that excites me, something about the everyday, the normalcy, maybe it’s a nostalgia effect, maybe it’s the romanticism of Americana (for me), I can’t quite say.

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