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Book of the Week: A Pick by Donald Weber

Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Donald Weber Photographer Donald Weber selects Almost There by Aleix Plademunt as Book of the Week.
Almost There by Aleix Plademunt
MACK, 2013.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from photographer Donald Weber who has selected Almost There by Aleix Plademunt published by MACK.

"I recently visited my father and together we went through an old trunk that belonged to my grandfather. I always remembered the blue trunk in the basement of my grandfather’s house and then in the basement of my father’s house, all the time thinking, we must open that. So we did. Inside, he kept old letters I had written him from summer camp. Birthday cards, mementoes from his day as the owner of a large ice cream manufacturer (he was the mascot for their advertising campaigns in the 1950s), IOU’s from my father, my aunts and business associates. In other words, the usual raft of things that we accumulate over time, small bits of ephemera that remind us of our past, a random event in the lives of others. Through his belongings, I pieced together my own hazy early life as a child, the funny, stupid, sad things we all do as kids. My parents divorced when I was quite young; I do not have many memories of us as a family, just separate entities — at one moment with my father, another with my mother. Through these small pieces of paper, I could trace a familial history, back and back and back. I realized that these small pieces of paper were my lifeline, my bloodline, to a larger shared history that could be endless, that I could drift and begin new histories, new connections, all from this very finite thing — my grandfather’s trunk. And that is what Aleix Plademunt’s Almost There is about — our finite, sub-atomic history in a cosmological world made up of small pieces of paper or particles, of mutations and dreams that perpetually carry us from one human to the next. I flip through his book as though it is a visual manifestation of what it means to be of this earth, that I become, floating, like a small piece of paper myself. And I wonder, what stories and memories and dreams will my future reveal? It’s perfect." —Donald Weber

Purchase Book

Almost There by Aleix Plademunt. MACK, 2013.
Almost There by Aleix Plademunt. MACK, 2013.

Prior to photography, Donald Weber originally trained as an architect and worked with urban theorist Rem Koolhaas’ Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Weber is the author of four books. Interrogations, about post-Soviet authority in Ukraine and Russia, has gone on to much acclaim; it is included in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger’s seminal The Photobook: A History, Volume III. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lange-Taylor Prize, the Duke and Duchess of York Prize and two World Press Photo Awards. His diverse photography projects have been exhibited as installations, exhibitions and screenings at festivals and galleries worldwide including the United Nations, Museum of the Army at Les Invalides in Paris, the Portland Museum of Art and the Royal Ontario Museum. He is a dedicated teacher and is noted for his ongoing series of lectures and workshops and a frequent trainer with World Press Photo. Currently Don is working on his next projects, War Sand, about historic sacrifice, and the meaning of war in our modern world and The Drowned City, which explores the City inundated by its technological future. He is a member of the acclaimed VII Photo and is represented by Circuit Gallery in Toronto.

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