Stephen Shore at SFMOMA…

I hope some ‘Club readers were able to get tickets to Shore’s talk at SFMOMA last week, for those that did not, luckily Stan Banos was in attendance and has written about the talk and Shore’s style over here. Also in attendance was Mark Wilson who, after enjoying Kurt Easterwood’s extended writing on ‘West Fifteenth and Pine…’ got the photograph below of Shore with said image. Big thanks to Stan and Mark!

IMAGE: MARK WILSON

If you haven’t checked out Kurt’s fantastic piece on this image, you can do so by reading the PDF below.
PDF – Kurt Easterwood on ‘West Fifteenth’

I should also point out that due to all the great contributions this year, we may run slightly into March with this book! Not even the added February day of the Gregorian calendar can help us here. (And as a heads-up, following the weekend, we will be looking at Sally Mann’s ‘Immediate Family’)

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

Synopsis: Stephen Shore’s ‘Uncommon Places’

Before writing this synopsis and heading into the month long look at Shore’s book, I should point out that there are two books called ‘Uncommon Places’ by Shore, although to give the second it’s full title ‘Uncommon Places, The Complete Works’.
The original 1982 publication would set you back between £6-900 for a book in good nick and so there will be no book-bias here. Whichever copy you have, we would love to hear your thoughts.
– Myself, I will be looking at a copy of ‘Uncommon Places, The Complete Works’ and occasionally the original from my local library

Title
Uncommon Places/Uncommon Places, The Complete Works

Author
Stephen Shore

Publisher
Aperture 1982/Aperture 2004

From the publisher:

Published by Aperture in 1982 and long unavailable, Stephen Shore’s legendary Uncommon Places has influenced a generation of photographers. Among the first artists to take color beyond advertising and fashion photography, Shore’s large-format color work on the American vernacular landscape stands at the root of what has become a vital photographic tradition. Uncommon Places: The Complete Works presents a definitive collection of the original series, much of it never before published or exhibited.

Like Robert Frank and Walker Evans before him, Shore discovered a hitherto unarticulated version of America via highway and camera. Approaching his subjects with cool objectivity, Shore’s images retain precise internal systems of gestures in composition and light through which the objects before his lens assume both an archetypal aura and an ambiguously personal importance. In contrast to Shore’s signature landscapes with which “Uncommon Places” is often associated, this expanded survey reveals equally remarkable collections of interiors and portraits.

As a new generation of artists expands on the projects of the New Topographic and New Color photographers of the seventies—Thomas Struth (whose first book was titled Unconscious Places), Andreas Gursky, and Catherine Opie among them—Uncommon Places: The Complete Works provides a timely opportunity to reexamine the diverse implications of Shore’s project and offers a fundamental primer for the last thirty years of large-format color photography.

At age twelve, Stephen Shore’s work was purchased by Edward Steichen for the Museum of Modern Art. At twenty-four, he became the first living photographer to have a one-man show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Other one-man show venues include the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. He has received two National Endowment for the Arts Grants and a Guggenheim Foundation Grant, and has been the Chair of Bard College’s photography department in upstate N.Y. since 1982.

 

Synopsis: Ken Schles – ‘Invisible City’

Title

Invisible City

Author

Ken Schles

Publisher

Twelvetree Press, 1988

For a decade Ken Schles watched the passing of time from his Lower East Side Manhattan neighborhood. His camera has fixed the instances of his observations, and these moments become the foundation of his invisible city. Friends and architecture come under the scrutiny of his lens and, when sorted and viewed in the pages of this book, a remarkable achievement of personal vision emerges.

For the next month we will be looking at Invisible City with its author Ken Schles adding comment and context throughout. After you have seen the book and text using the links below, perhaps you would like to put a question to Ken?

Getting a copy of Invisible City is not easy, hence our video and text posts, but you can get your hands on Ken’s latest release ‘Oculus’ from kenschles.com or from the publisher, Noordelicht here.

Resources:

Invisible City: The Images (VIDEO)

Invisible City: The Book (VIDEO)

Invisible City: the Text

Ken Schles’ Website

Review by Guy Trebay

Review by Thomas Beller

 

 

 

One half of the photo Book Club at London Design Festival

As already announced last month, I will be speaking at the London Design Festival’s ‘Story of Books’ event this September in London. The event has some great speakers lined up and will promote discussion around the future and changing form of the book.

I will be looking closely at the photography book in particular and ways in which I see it developing, as well as the huge support we have had for the Photo Book Club, and for the physical books and stores that we all love.

I would be keen to hear Photo Book Club readers thoughts on the state/future of books and so you can get involved with discussion via the twitter hashtag #storyofbooks or in the comments section below.

If you would like to attend, you can get your tickets from this website. The talk takes place on September 17th at the Department of Anthropology, University College London from 10.30am – 3.00pm.

– Matt

Invisible City: The images and the book

‘For a decade Ken Schles watched the passing of time from his Lower East Side Manhattan neighborhood. His camera has fixed the instances of his observations, and these moments become the foundation of his invisible city. Friends and architecture come under the scrutiny of his lens and, when sorted and viewed in the pages of this book, a remarkable achievement of personal vision emerges.’

As we have previously mentioned, come September we will be looking at Ken Schles’ ‘Invisible City’ with Ken himself agreeing to take part in the discussion and be available to answer any questions.

In order to do this we need to ensure as many people as possible can see this very rare and often expensive object. And so we have produced two videos which are shown below. The first displays all the images from ‘invisible City’ sequenced as they are in the book. The second video shows the book as an object in itself to give an idea of the layout, typography, size and feel of the book.

You can also flick through the book at your own pace with the slideshow at the bottom of the page (Click to advance)

We would love to hear first thoughts upon seeing the images and book as well as any questions which we can put to Ken when he joins us in September: email mail@photobookclub.org or find us on twitter – @photobookclub







[slideshow id=1]

Photo Book Club Meet-up Map

A Photo Book Club suggests physical meetings, and it is something we have always wanted to be part of, and help facilitate. And so you can now find a map on the ‘Meet-ups’ page which we hope to get populated with people and meeting places.

Wayne and I will take part in potentially the first meeting this September as part of Photobook London although if anyone has a meeting before let us know!

The map can be seen below and can be edited by anyone



View The Photo Book Club ‘Meet-up Map’ in a larger map

Cafe Lehmitz, a personal reflection by Matt Johnston

The following is a personal reflection from Matt Johnston on his first viewing of Cafe Lehmitz, if you have a reflection you would like to add, then do so in the comments below or email mail@photobookclub.org

I should have first seen Cafe Lehmitz back at university when my tutor suggest I see Petersen’s view of a single beer house in Hamburg for inspiration. I have to confess i didn’t see it then (sorry Jonathan!) as I was quickly distracted by the bright lights, ball parks and endless roads of American photography.

©ANDERS PETERSEN

And so my first viewing of ‘Lehmitz’ was only a month ago. The raw power of the striking, rich-black images grabbed me straight away, but it was the refreshingly honest and simple premise of the story that most appealed. I loved the idea I was seeing someone who first came as a visitor and soon became embraced by the seemingly dysfunctional family he depicted.

©ANDERS PETERSEN

I would never had made the images Petersen made here, and I don’t know many photographers who would have. The technical skill can be taught, but the way he went about gaining trust, meeting people and producing this ‘family album’ is something only Petersen knows.

– Matt Johnston

 

August’s book is……

Actually, there is no book for August! We were planning to look at Nan Goldin’s ‘Ballad of Sexual Dependency’ but have recently agreed to several events in September, and so are going to take a month out.

We will be looking at Goldin’s masterpiece in October now, and September itself will be a special month, with Ken Schles joining us to get involved with the discussion of his book ‘Invisible City’.

And so what are these events? Well, more details will follow shortly and be posted here, but for now we can say they involve the two following exciting projects.

– Matt Johnston

 

Erik Saeter Jorgenson – The Valley is my favourite photobook

The Valley is my favourite photobook. It’s the one I wish I had made. As a European, San Fernando Valley is pretty much my idea of the American dream. Equal opportunities in jizzneyland. I think the first image I ever saw from the book was the one with the lady in the killer heels, and the dogs following here. I was hooked. Then I read the essay and was blown away. It was so vivid, I could feel the Cali sun (and the dried cum too). The pictures themselves are so subtle and quiet, businesslike even. At the same time, they’re more cinematic than any porno I’ve ever seen. Porn is all about putting the viewer in the film, but Sultan manages to both be really present, and seemingly invisible at the same time. I still don’t understand how he made some of his shots. Sultan was there, and from first page to last. No book has thinner pages. There have been many books about porn and the performers, but The Valley will always be my American dream.