PHOTOBOOK REVIEWS, INTERVIEWS AND WRITE-UPS
ALONG WITH THE LATEST PHOTO-EYE NEWS

Social Media

Book of the Week: A Pick by Christopher J Johnson


Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Christopher J Johnson Christopher J Johnson selects Inappropriate Repetitions by Katrien de Blauwer as Book of the Week.
Inappropriate Repetitions . By Katrien de Blauwer. Red Fox Press, 2012.
Christopher J Johnson selects Inappropriate Repetitions by Katrien de Blauwer, published by Red Fox Press as Book of the Week.

“Katrien de Blauwer’s works are densely associative for all their minimalism – they are like edifices within our memory shrouded in a constantly thinning and thickening fog, something that is familiar, but changing shape with every encounter... Inappropriate Repetitions is no exception to this, save that it seems to convey a singular memory within the forest of these edifices.

The book, the more I engage with it, is something like the story of an affair, but not as experienced by two individuals or (just following the math) four individuals, but it is the cultural experience of the act of an affair. Faces are obscured; we get portions of them and the backs of heads, a solitary eye peaking out from the center of a collage – they are fragments of the actors involved in the story unfolding and their anonymity isn’t so much their secretiveness or caused by any attempt to be discreet, but conversely it is our own ego. What comes through in the work is not the hidden nature of an affair, but the idea of its hiddenness which is, more often than not, a trick our egos play on us through our perception of ourselves, versus the world that observes us and objectively experiences us – and we are never as hidden and invisible as we feel.

It is difficult for me to think of an art form more suited to the explorations of Katrien de Blauwer than that of photo-collage, the simple use of old images which, by default, is the use of strangers who have become unstuck from time – being caught in the image, always travelling forward, always ascending the stairs, always brushing the hair aside from an unmoving eye – it is this infinite act on a stage of timelessness that comes through in all the images, the time in which the photos she uses were taken is irrelevant, because the act being portrayed is itself infinite and not confined to individuals, but rather is part of an unending cultural act, an inappropriate repetition.

Obviously this book fills me with thought, and that is such a reward in-of-itself that I feel no reason to continue to elaborate on the contents of the book, however – I do feel a need to elaborate on the design and construction of the book.

This is my very first Red Fox Press book and I was lucky enough to find it at the New York Art Book Fair; the quality of this publication is impeccable. Printed in an edition of 100 and hand-stamped with the edition number and all the images printed on a thick, off-white paper-stock this book lends itself to being coveted, which, of course, only deepens the theme of its work.” – Christopher J Johnson

Purchase Book

Inappropriate Repetitions . By Katrien de Blauwer. Red Fox Press, 2012.
Inappropriate Repetitions . By Katrien de Blauwer. Red Fox Press, 2012.


 Christopher J Johnson lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a resident writer for the Meow Wolf art collective and book reviewer for Garth Clark’s Cfile Foundation. His first book of poetry, &luckier, will be released by the University of Colorado in November 2016. He is, as of 2016, Manager of photo-eye’s Book Division.

No comments:

Post a Comment