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Book Review A Parallel Road Photographs by Amani Willett Reviewed by Blake Andrews “We live in a world in which we are bombarded by images. Thousands of them hit our eyeballs every day through various channels: TV, Internet, video games, print, vernacular reality, and good old-fashioned photographic prints. The deluge is so constant that it might be hard to remember a time when reality’s mediation was less pervasive..."

A Parallel Road. By Amani Willett.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ603
A Parallel Road
Photographs by Amani Willett

Overlapse, 2020. 112 pp., 5x7".

As I write this, my family is preparing for our annual spring break road trip. We have made such a journey almost every spring since the kids were small (the 2020 trip was cancelled by the pandemic). Each year we choose a new destination somewhere within driving distance, pack into the mini-van, and then spend a week making a slow loop there and back, exploring along the way.

Many other American families engage in something similar. The U.S. is a huge contiguous canvas. Cars are endemic and the highway system penetrates into every corner. Road trips have embedded themselves deep into the national fabric, almost as a rite of passage. This is especially true of photographers, many of whom have used driving expeditions to scaffold important projects. Robert Frank, Stephen Shore, Joel Sternfeld, Justine Kurland, Alec Soth, Bernard Plossu… the list goes on. There are enough examples to fill an entire book, as David Campany ably demonstrated with his compilation The Open Road.

All of the examples listed above (including myself) are white. But for Black Americans, road trips can present a more foreboding prospect. “Driving While Black” has long been a health risk, as Black people have been disproportionately subjected to traffic stops, harassment, profiling, and sometimes worse. Although the situation has improved since the Jim Crow era, it still holds true today. If you are white, you may have only a hazy realization of the hazards. But for Black American travelers, the threats are concrete and ever-present. Coming from a mixed-race heritage, the photographer Amani Willett has a view into each world, and he found the disconnect striking. The title of his recent book A Parallel Road is an explicit reference to the divergent experiences of Black and white road trippers, who may start out pursuing a similar goal but encounter different circumstances along the way.

The book opens, as all road trips do, with a tantalizing sense of possibility. An old roadmap depicts a web of highways crisscrossing the Eastern U.S. Against this backdrop, Willett uses the first few pages to lay out a spread of archival road trip photos. They show Black families and white ones (many comically caricatured) hanging out near their cars, filling the tank, or peeking at the map ahead.


All is fine and dandy for a few dozen pages, until two dark spreads mark an ominous turn. It’s here that we first encounter The Negro Motorist Green Book, in the form of a 1940 facsimile cover and its opening pages. A crowd-sourced compilation edited by Victor H. Green, The Green Book was a popular travel guide for Black motorists, listing various businesses, inns, and restaurants along the highways which were known to be friendly to Black people away from home. Listings were organized by state and city, soliciting input from readers, and revised annually to maintain currency.


Pages from The Green Book (tinted appropriately in faint green) form the backdrops for A Parallel Road’s middle passage. This is the book’s primary and largest section. In fact the physical form of the entire book is modeled after The Green Book. Both are smallish paperbacks, easily transportable, and saddle stitched by hand, with a measure of healthy defiance baked into the structure. “If you put the book down you will notice that it won’t stay closed,” comments Willett. “The book literally won’t let the viewer put these issues aside any longer.”

Against the backdrop of reproductions from The Green Book, Willett scatters photographs. Most are archival, some are shot by him. If the business listings provide a glimmer of promise, it is quickly quashed by the photographs. Pictures of proudly segregationist signs set the initial tone. Then we see auto accidents, Klansmen, police shootings, and headlines describing racial profiling. A picture of Sandra Bland is followed by nasty footage of a Freedom Rider bus under attack, more Klansmen (from Charlottesville, 2017), a cop beating a motorist, and worse. The U.S. has a long and appalling history of racial disparity. Willett recontextualizes its imagery to great effect, rubbing the nation’s brutality right in the reader’s face. If the book stirs conversation and reassessment, which it surely will, the shock value is justified.

This middle passage is emotionally charged. For many it will be hard to stomach. Thankfully A Parallel Road’s coda offers a glimpse of reconciliation. The Green Book facsimiles end, and are replaced with a few spare pages of color, a short poem, and a wall of names reminiscent of Maya Lin’s Vietnam Memorial. There is some breathing room here, where the reader can let the previous photos sink in and meditate on their meaning.


The final image is improbably upbeat. A dirt road receding into bright trees seems to offer a ray of hope, portending a more positive future for those who do the hard work of internal reflection. “I hope this work encourages engagement and dialogue,” writes Willett in the afterword, “surrounding the ubiquity of violence toward Black Americans on roadways that has persisted alongside the romantic depictions of what, historically, the road has purported to offer.”

This is the third monograph so far by Willett, and it builds on the tradition of his previous titles Disquiet and The Disappearance of Joseph Plummer. In both earlier books, Willett used family photographs and relationships to explore social issues with universal resonance. A Parallel Road follows a similar track, using a mix of material, including photo contributions from family members, archival news footage, and Willett’s personal images, to create a thought-provoking study. The scrapbook style helps the pictures flow into a cohesive work. None are captioned in the main body, but a handy list at the end helps to sort everything out. It is a marvelous book that fits easily in a glove box. I think it will accompany my family on our upcoming road trip.

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Blake Andrews is a photographer based in Eugene, OR. He writes about photography at blakeandrews.blogspot.com.
photo-eye Gallery Steve Fitch: American Motel Signs 1980 - 2018 photo-eye Gallery
photo-eye Gallery is excited to announce Steve Fitch: American Motel Signs 1980 - 2018, an online solo exhibition by renowned photographer Steve Fitch. This exhibition corresponds with Fitch's recent photobook American Motel Signs II 1980 - 2018, published by The Velvet Cell.

Steve Fitch, Gallup, New Mexico, March, 2002, archival pigment print, 15 x 15 inches, $650

photo-eye Gallery is excited to announce Steve Fitch: American Motel Signs 1980 - 2018, an online solo exhibition by renowned photographer Steve Fitch. This exhibition corresponds with Fitch's recent photobook American Motel Signs II 1980 - 2018, published by The Velvet Cell.

In American Motel Signs, Steve Fitch documents the changing landscape, capturing the bright neon motel signs littered across long highway expanses throughout the West.

The delightful photographs in this series, map out Fitch’s extensive journey to seek out a typology of visual relics that are quickly fading into the American collective memory. For Fitch, these motel signs carry an unquestionable enchantment in their folk originality — the blocky fonts and garish designs. His work is a road trip to the past, down lonesome highways where these emblems of roadside American culture, despite their declining numbers, still remain.

Steve Fitch: American Motel Signs 1980 - 2018 uses photo-eye’s new VisualServer X website builder and is the fifth in photo-eye's series of online exhibitions.
 
 

I am attracted to photographing motel signs because they are like trail markers for my highway explorations.

"The signs I photographed are all one-of-a-kind, designed and fabricated by local sign shops that employed skilled craftsmen such as metal workers, neon benders and painters. They were signs found mostly along our country's two-lane highways before the onslaught of motel franchises with the exact same sign at dozens or hundreds of locations throughout the country. All Motel 6 signs, for example, are identical, whereas the signs that I discover and like to photograph are each unique — there is only one.  In some ways, they are like folk art to me.

It also doesn't particularly matter that they are motel signs. What does matter is the idea of theme and variation, how a collection can be interesting because of the variety of specimens. A collection of butterflies illustrates this idea, for example, and photography is such a great medium for "collecting and comparing," which is what my motel sign project is ultimately all about. I can make photographs of signs that exist in different locations and display them together in a manner that allows the viewer to make his or her own comparisons. The contemporary word for this is 'typology,'  I believe."
 
— Steve Fitch


 
Steve Fitch, Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 1980, archival pigment print, 15 x 15 inches, $650
 
 



Steve Fitch at work

 
 
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All prices listed were current at the time this post was published.


For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Patricia Martin, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202
 
Book Review Process – People – Product Photographs by Henry Leutwyler, Timm Rautert and Juergen Teller Reviewed by Brian Arnold "The company photobook is a genre in and of itself, given an entire chapter in the great history of photobooks by Gerry Badger and Martin Parr. There are many legendary examples by photographers as diverse as Lee Friedlander, Andrea Modica, Man Ray, Lewis Hine, and O. Winston Link..."

By Henry Leutwyler, Timm Rautert & Juergen Teller.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=DU082
Process People Product
Photographs by Henry Leutwyler, Timm Rautert and Juergen Teller

Steidl, Gottingen, Germany, 2021. 272 pp., 11¾x8¾".

“The subject of the company photobook is interesting because it is so rarely discussed. Photographers would rather talk about their political commitment, their social awareness or their artistic integrity than about their links with raw commerce and filthy lucre.”

— Gerry Badger and Martin Parr, 


“The natural sciences provide the most solid foundations available to us for such fundamental doubts in a world full of semblance and opinionating.” 

— Sibylle Anderl, Process People Products

The company photobook is a genre in and of itself, given an entire chapter in the great history of photobooks by Gerry Badger and Martin Parr. There are many legendary examples by photographers as diverse as Lee Friedlander, Andrea Modica, Man Ray, Lewis Hine, and O. Winston Link. Many of these books were developed to highlight the technical and scientific achievements of the companies behind them, but also serve as markers of our cultural development. Think of the great book by Lee Friedlander, Cray at Chippewa Falls, which documents a specific hi-teach company in Minneapolis, but also shines a light on the emerging computer and technology industries that reshaped American culture during the end of the 20th century.


The new book by Steidl, Process People Product, seems timely in a similar way, as it documents the 150th anniversary of Sartorius, an international pharmaceutical and laboratory equipment supplier based in Göttingen. Despite this publication being about Sartorius, it also offers a look at the medical supply industry while the world is still trying to grasp the impact and magnitude of the COVID pandemic. Process People Product was developed collaboratively and includes photographs by Henry Leutwyler, Juergen Teller, and Timm Rautert, with text by Sibylle Anderl, a science writer, editor and philosopher based in Germany.

The design and production of the book are superlative (no surprise coming from Steidl). It comes housed a white box with a small handle, which could easily be mistaken as a first-aid kit or a box for collecting specimens. The book is actually a collection of three books and a saddle-stitched paper pamphlet, all bound together in a linen slipcase. Each photographer has his own book, with Rautert photographs illustrating Process, Teller’s People, and Leutwyler’s Product. Like the slipcase, each book is bound in high-quality linen, wonderful to the touch. Anderl’s text pamphlet is similarly luxurious, printed on a rich, tactile paper. Each of these is also produced to anticipate the content of the books and the mission of Sartorius; the linen, while soft to the touch, is a humble, institutional grey, presented cleanly and efficiently, much like a laboratory. The text pamphlet is illustrated with microscopic imagery of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and non-small cell lung cancer, printed in light, ghostly tones. Bound together in the gray slipcase, Process People Product appears like a solid grey block, and could be mistaken for an industrial building block.


Process
, the book photographed by Timm Rautert, documents the facilities and resources at Sartorius. The photographs in this section show the labs and equipment used for producing medical and pharmaceutical products. Trained as a photojournalist, and with a particular interest in how people work, Rautert opted to work entirely in analog processes for this project. In his statement, he suggests that the steps necessary for producing chemical photographs reflect the processes illustrated in his pictures, equal parts science and magic. The pictures are all black and white, and presented with cool objectivity, as though the photographer wanted to distance himself from the pictures and allow the objects and facilities he photographed to speak for themselves. This is quite effective, as the equipment used in manufacturing medical devices and materials is complex and fascinating. The pictures in Process are presented in a consistent and predictable manner; printed in one size and with one photograph per page, they mirror the systemic rigor of the environments depicted.


Juergen Teller’s contribution, People, offers a much more playful and spontaneous approach. Rather than making formal portraits of the people working at Sartorius, Teller gives a broader perspective of life on campus, complete with people, flowers, cafés and ice cream. It’s easy to imagine a medical research and manufacturing facility as being only stoical and sterile, but instead, Teller shows an environment full of color, laughter and friendship. The pictures in People are arranged in a fast-paced, syncopated manner, reproduced in a variety of sizes and arrangements across the page spreads. By juxtaposing pictures of the labs, campus grounds, snacks and researchers, Teller portrays a collegial and celebratory environment behind the scientific rigor.

The third book of this publication, Product, is photographed by Swiss photographer Henry Leutwyler, who is most well known for his portraits of luminary figures such as Michelle Obama, Iggy Pop, and Tom Wolfe. For this publication Leutwyler presents a series of still lives showcasing the goods produced by Sartorius. In many ways, I find these the most beautiful pictures of the group, presented simply and clearly with beautiful lighting (provided only by a ring flash) and minimal backgrounds. Much of the beauty comes from Leutwyler allowing the objects to present their own formal elegance, inventiveness, and utility. I’d be hard-pressed to identify any of the objects or their functions — though a list of all the items photographed is included in the back of the book — nevertheless, they are presented with great curiosity, and like the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, their utility also creates wonderful and unexpected shapes and configurations. Leutwyler was given access to the Sartorius archives, and photographs the products and innovations they developed over several decades. In the book, they are presented in reverse chronological order, with the newest products. This book closes with photographs of early patents by Sartorius, dating back to 1875 and 1890, which adds a remarkable perspective to all of the books in this set, suggesting that the history and importance of the work presented here goes well beyond the here and now, and that all of it is part of a much larger process of discovery, understanding and invention.

Collectively, the three books that compose Process People Product portray an innovative clinical environment that produces cutting-edge medical technologies — and is run by ordinary people. With a history spanning 150 years, Sartorius has been involved in the medical and pharmaceutical industries for most of the modern era, and has both witnessed and aided in many of our most difficult medical issues and advancements. Throughout Process People Product, I was reminded of a wonderful quote by the iconic American scientist — a fan favorite during the pandemic — Dr. Anthony Fauci: “I consider myself a perpetual student. You seek and learn every day: from an experiment in the lab, from reading a scientific journal, from taking care of a patient. Because of this, I rarely get bored.” While still reeling from an unprecedented year of life under a global pandemic and medical crisis, I found it refreshing and educational to look through these books, to get a fuller grasp of the magnitude of medical research, discovery and invention behind the scenes of so many of the issues at the forefront of our current dilemmas.

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Brian Arnold
is a photographer and writer based in Ithaca, NY, where he works as an Indonesian language translator for the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University. He has published two books on photography, Alternate Processes in Photography: Technique, History, and Creative Potential (Oxford University Press, 2017) and Identity Crisis: Reflections on Public and Private and Life in Contemporary Javanese Photography (Afterhours Books/Johnson Museum of Art, 2017). Brian has two more books due for release in 2021, A History of Photography in Indonesia: Essays on Photography from the Colonial Era to the Digital Age (Afterhours Books) and From Out of Darkness (Catfish Books).
Book Review Cherry Hill + The Boys Photographs by Jona Frank and Rick Schatzberg Reviewed by Kim Beil "I can’t help but imagine the photographers Jona Frank and Rick Schatzberg as neighbors. Frank grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Schatzberg on Long Island. Both were bedroom communities of major cities, Philadelphia and New York respectively. Both were suburbs built in the postwar boom. Both promised success and security, but enforced social conformity. Both Frank and Schatzberg found an emptiness there, yet a plenitude in memory. They weren’t neighbors then, but they are now, on my bookshelf. Reading their photo memoirs, I felt as if I was triangulating between them. I could see my own suburban hometown hovering just north of them on the map..."

Cherry Hill. By Jona Frank.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=RH106
Cherry Hill + The Boys
Photographs by Jona Frank and Rick Schatzberg

I can’t help but imagine the photographers Jona Frank and Rick Schatzberg as neighbors. Frank grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Schatzberg on Long Island. Both were bedroom communities of major cities, Philadelphia and New York respectively. Both were suburbs built in the postwar boom. Both promised success and security, but enforced social conformity. Both Frank and Schatzberg found an emptiness there, yet a plenitude in memory. They weren’t neighbors then, but they are now, on my bookshelf. Reading their photo memoirs, I felt as if I was triangulating between them. I could see my own suburban hometown hovering just north of them on the map.

The best memoirs encourage this kind of identification and creative geography. Reading about someone else’s life inspires reflection on one’s own, no matter how distant they might be in time or space. In some ways, photographs are more emphatically first-person than any written text. We see through the photographer’s eyes, without the reframing or obfuscation of memory. Frank’s Cherry Hill: A Childhood Reimagined and Schatzberg’s The Boys combine text and image, playing on the rich associations of photography with truth and memory to tell personal histories.


Frank opens with a classic film sequence: a close-up of a telephone on olive green wallpaper, then a long shot of a young girl laying upside down on a teal couch. Then the surprise: an inverted photograph of a woman in a kitchen. This is a point-of-view shot, uncorrected. We are seeing through the little girl’s eyes. Cherry Hill is the story of Frank’s childhood told in written passages and elaborately staged photographs. Frank cast her friend Laura Dern as her mother and three different actors play Frank at different ages of her childhood.

Frank writes emphasis in all caps. Her narrative is colloquial, like a note passed to a friend: “Every night, and I mean EVERY night, we ate dinner at 5:30 pm.” The most resonant, familiar passages come early, before the drama of Frank’s inner life is replaced by the dramatic turn in her family’s life. She recalls her art teacher’s frustration when she preferred to dream images onto a blank sheet of paper, rather than draw. This early memory is beautifully mirrored by her later discovery of photography, that medium in which images do appear, dreamlike, on white paper.

Frank’s sequencing is often a story of its own. It continues past the end of the narration or it zooms in, leaving little Jona suddenly alone on a white page. Like a graphic novel, the story is told on multiple levels, the pacing controlled by page-turns and placement. The typographic choices also evoke the world of comics. Sometimes words float on their own, other times they caption images cheekily, as when Frank’s father tells her she could grow up to be either a nun (turn page) or a nurse (turn page). Both borrow costumes from central casting.


Even in memoir, the character of the self must be shaped. But, it’s by revealing one’s inconsistencies and failures that make readers trust the memoirist. Like watching a character in a horror movie enter a dark basement, I longed to cry out to Frank: Yes, you can go to college, no matter what your mother says! You must leave Cherry Hill!

The Boys. By Rick Schatzberg.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=PY375
Schatzberg also makes an art of revelation and reflection. The Boys tells the story of a group of 14 friends who met during childhood. They have now known each other for fifty years. Schatzberg started making the book after two of the group died. Two more passed away during the project. The book brings together vintage snapshots, enlarged and faded to the point of blurriness, and contemporary large-format portraits of the same men. Similarly, Schatzberg’s writing moves easily between a removed, poetic voice and a more colloquial one.

Joking around, partying, drinking and doing recreational drugs is nominally what brought them together. As one of the boys says: “We had some of our most meaningful early psychedelic experiences in the shade of those trees. There was a rope that hung down from one of the trees and we used to swing over one of the small streams. We were getting to know each other stripped down to the bare bones.”

And that is how they appear, literally stripped down in Schatzberg’s portraits. Several of the men appear shirtless. Surgical scars, sunspots, and sagging skin make their life histories visible. The book’s accordion-folded pages afford a comparison between the cool, objective light of the present portraits with the warm and grainy snapshots of the seventies. Often I struggled to see the similarities: a Casio watch, the shape of a nose or eyebrows. Difference is what Schatzberg sees in his friends, too. He writes: “Time’s unfolding is obvious: balder, grayer, folds and wrinkles, scars. There is an eternal present in a photograph, but I see past, present, and future all at once. Something recognizable, beyond resemblance. Brain scientists and Buddhists say there’s no essence or persisting self, only memories and character traits that infer continuity.”


Things left unsaid, petty grudges and annoyances, loom in Schatzberg’s memories. In recollecting conversations with his friends, he points to the things left out. These negative spaces in dialogue give shape to Schatzberg’s character. There are some things that are too hard to say, like details that are obscured in a photograph. For me, the punctum of the text lies in these absences. Schatzberg relays an encounter with his ailing father, who admitted to feeling as if he had lived a charmed life and that his cancer diagnosis seemed impossible. Schatzberg didn’t respond in the moment. But this book, which becomes increasingly a story of life and loss, is his response.

Memories acquire new shapes as we replay them in our minds. Even when aided by photographs, retelling these stories to ourselves changes them. Memory adapts with the changing sense of self. Both of these photographers’ books highlight such changes in perspective, which makes them more true to the experience of memory and, thus, more affecting than any objective picture would allow.

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Kim Beil is an art historian who teaches at Stanford University. She is the author of Good Pictures: A History of Popular Photography.

Book Review Saul Leiter: In Stillness Photographs by Yumiko Izu Reviewed by Allie Haeusslein “I met Saul Leiter for the first time in the kitchen at Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York,” writes photographer Yumiko Izu in her most recent monograph, Saul Leiter: In Stillness. She continues, “he invited me to his home, and as a great admirer of his work, I gladly accepted. I didn’t know yet that I would visit his enchanting and creative space many times over.” Three weeks after Leiter’s death in 2013, Izu received permission to photograph his home in the East Village; she completed the project in late 2019...
Saul Leiter: In Stillness. By Yumiko Izu.
https://www.photoeye.com/bookstore/citation.cfm?catalog=ZJ655
Saul Leiter: In Stillness
Photographs by Yumiko Izu

Libro Arte, 2020. In English, Japanese. 120 pp., 10¼x11½".

“I met Saul Leiter for the first time in the kitchen at Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York,” writes photographer Yumiko Izu in her most recent monograph, Saul Leiter: In Stillness. She continues, “he invited me to his home, and as a great admirer of his work, I gladly accepted. I didn’t know yet that I would visit his enchanting and creative space many times over.” Three weeks after Leiter’s death in 2013, Izu received permission to photograph his home in the East Village; she completed the project in late 2019.

Izu is perhaps best known for her meticulous platinum/palladium prints and adept use of large format cameras. Her previous bodies of work explore a variety of subject matter, all fundamentally coping with the conceptual concerns of the passage of time and life’s ephemerality. With Saul Leiter: In Stillness, she uses a 35mm camera and color film, a fitting change of approach given Leiter’s use of the same process and materials.

The home is undeniably alluring — an enchanting coalescence of sublime light, picturesque chipping paint on the walls, and innumerable objects, books, artworks, and mementos, the accumulation of which alludes to the kind of life he once led. Through Izu’s pictures, I built a rough picture of the man, whose photographs I can usually identify with ease, but whose life I knew virtually nothing about. I expected to see an abundance of prints, contact sheets, cameras, and undeveloped rolls of film, the likes of which are often found in the studios of other photographers of his generation. Less expected was the repeated appearance of Judaica (Leiter started training to become a rabbi, like his father), innumerable paintings (he trained as a painter and continued to paint as regularly as he photographed), and evidence of a wonderfully elegant woman through the years (his longtime muse and partner, Soames Bantry).


To say Izu “documents” the contents of Leiter’s living and working spaces is misleading. Her aesthetic — marked by considered framing and a shallow depth of field — creates a particular view of this world, one marked by dreamy, soft nostalgia; Izu’s pictures feel more like poetic vignettes than objective records. She imbues Leiter’s possessions and space with a beautiful, albeit wistful and melancholic, quality. Using full-bleed and nearly full-bleed spreads, Izu creates an immersive environment of intimate glimpses; it’s as if you too are looking down upon Leiter’s pocket watch, up at his perfectly cluttered mantle, or through his stunning picture windows. Her rambling sequence mimics the way one might explore an unfamiliar space, eyes darting from one object to another, pausing to take a closer look here and there.

The book opens with two exterior views of Leiter’s apartment building, one where the façade is romantically covered in ivy vines, the other where bright green leaves appear sporadically on the trees in the building’s backyard. In the last three photographs, we see the garden once again, this time powdered in snow. The final picture is a memorial to Leiter, topped with a snow-covered, green wreath. By bookending the monograph with these pictures, Izu poetically reminds the viewer, once again, of life’s inexorably marching cycle.


In perusing Saul Leiter: In Stillness, I was reminded of how I felt awaiting entry to Casa Azul in Mexico City, Frida Kahlo’s home and studio. Accessing these otherwise private spaces feels like a privileged opportunity to become more connected to the creative processes that shaped the careers and lives of beloved artists. For an artist like Leiter, who lived at his East 10th Avenue home for over sixty years and made much of his photographic work within a two-block radius of his building, his home is all the more central to how he thought about art, the world, and himself. He once famously said, “I think that mysterious things happen in familiar places. We don't always need to run to the other end of the world.” Izu’s photographs captured a bit of magic, perhaps touching upon some of what sustained Leiter’s interest for all those years.

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Allie Haeusslein is the Associate Director of Pier 24 Photography in San Francisco.
photo-eye Gallery Amanda Marchand: Photographer's Showcase + Conversation photo-eye Gallery
photo-eye is excited to welcome Amanda Marchand to the Photographer's Showcase and feature her brilliant series The World is Astonishing with You in it: A 21st Century Field Guide to the Birds, Ferns and Wildflowers.

Northern Goshhawk (Child) (1st generation) (Illford MG V RC deluxe), 2020, unique archival pigment print collage, 22" x 16.5", edition of 3, price upon request

photo-eye is excited to welcome Amanda Marchand to the Photographer's Showcase and feature her brilliant series The World is Astonishing with You in it: A 21st Century Field Guide to the Birds, Ferns and Wildflowers.
 
In this body of work, Marchand examines the shifting environment through the impermanence of the cameraless lumen process. The suggestive photograms are made using vintage field guides from her library, and each references an endangered species described in the guides. 
 
Recently, as part of our video series photo-eye Conversations, Gallery Director Anne Kelly interviewed Amanda Marchand. They discussed her photographic practice, the process of creating The World is Astonishing with You in it, and other bodies of work, like The Lumen Circle Project. Watch this enlightening conversation below or on Vimeo.
 
 
 
"These are lumen prints from a larger, ongoing series Lumen Notebook. In these sun-prints, I explore ideas about our changing environment through the temporality of photography’s lumen process. These images are all made with expired and current black & white photo papers. This work employs three field guides — North American birds, ferns and wildflowers. I mark/expose the photographic paper, making one mark per quadrant or half, with an edge of the respective Field Guide book. Each photograph references an endangered or disappearing species (bird, fern, wildflower).

I have been making the work in nature, at different residencies, and my family's Canadian cabin, where the birds and ferns and wildflowers abound. This is a personal meditation — as each paper shifts color, slowly or quickly, in the variegated light of the sun."
— Amanda Marchand

The Lumen Circle Project - Work Statement

2017-2020: The Lumen Circle Project comprises an ongoing series of collaborative sun prints, made as a response to turbulent times. I invite collaborators to mark our time together on the planet, as we sit in silent meditation. We sit on photo-sensitive paper and for the duration of the sitting, the sunlight marks the paper leaving a lighter imprint where there is a human form. 
 
The First Lumen Circle at SFAI © Amanda Marchand, 2017

These large-scale images are titled "Lumen" prints, taken from lumen printing, the art of making simple images with the sun and photo paper. Everyone who participates signs the work and is gifted a small print.

Print collage from the Lumen Circle Project © Amanda Marchand

The first Lumen Circle took place on February 4, 2017, in San Francisco. The second Lumen Circle took place March 16, 2017, on Manasota Key, Florida. The third Lumen Circle took place July 2019, in Seoul, Korea.  



 
 
Amanda's Marchand Studio: Test Strips


 
 
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For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Patricia Martin, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202