Featured in this week’s newsletter, Towards a Warm Math by artist Lucas Blalock and published by Hassla Books is a series of photographs taken predominantly in the photographer’s studio. The title is a reference to Blalock’s approach to photography as a medium, one that is inherently mathematical rather than narrative. This concept extends the artist’s notion that photography is a process of subtraction (taking a thing out of the world) and results in the project becoming an equation through his process. Many of the images presented in this book contain simple objects bought at the dollar store or found lying around Blalock’s studio but often a mirror or digital manipulation is used to alienate the “natural” view of the subject in hopes that the viewer will engage more actively with the photograph. Copies of this unique monograph will be arriving soon and are available for preorder.
The Hudson Valley by seminal photographer Stephen Shore and published by Blind Spot presents a collection of intriguing images representative of a particular place and time in the United States. This project was commissioned by a grant from the Wallace Funds in 1985, but the photographs in this series — many of which largely remained unseen — have not been viewed as a cohesive collection until now. Known for his beautiful photographs of an often banal but captivating view of the American frontier, Shore adds another chapter to his strong legacy with this new publication. This monograph is the first book in the Blind Spot Series presenting a suite of images from a single body of work and is limited to 1,000 copies. Signed copies of this exquisite monograph are arriving soon and available for preorder.
Also of note, two new publications from Photolucida’s 2009 Critical Mass book awards. First, The Idea of North by Birthe Piontek is the culmination of a project that began while the photographer was at a ten-week artists’ residency at the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture in Dawson City, located in the Yukon Territory. A town known for its rough exterior, Dawson City attracts people interested in an alternative way of living and as a former Gold mining town holds its fair share of dark secrets. Piontek’s photographs engage an underlying dark tone that is consistent throughout this series. Unique portraits, dark interiors and landscapes weave together to capture an essence of a place, an essence that many may not want to find themselves living near, but to those who do, Dawson City is a haven of sorts. The photographs in this series are an absorbing account of the photographer’s ability to not only document a specific place, but to transform this collection into her own notion of North.
Second, Suburbia Mexicana by photographer Alejandro Caragena and co-published by Photolucida and Daylight Community Arts Foundation, is beautifully designed and slightly larger than previously published books from the Critical Mass competition. The photographer’s focus is on the suburban neighborhoods of Monterrey, Mexico, a city that has grown drastically in the last 60 years due to many American and Canadian companies setting up shop for profitable industry. The result has led to haphazard building and little planning regarding infrastructure, leading the photographer to focus on not only the homogenization of the suburbs, but also the environmental impact the rapid building of these small homes has had on the landscape. Portraits of families, children and lone individuals are also mixed into this series of images, rounding out a very well-edited body of work that is both informing and visually captivating. Copies of both The Idea of North and Suburbia Mexicana will be arriving soon and are available for preorder.
Read more about The Idea of North and Suburbia Mexicana on the photo-eye Blog.
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