Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Pendulum / The Photography Book 2014 / Back To Me

An extremely eventful year that 2013 was.
And here we are in April 2014.
If I survive this week it'll be a miracle.
Not to worry, I say that all the does everyone.


The thing that keeps the world turning and keeps us putting one foot in front of the other each and every day is the idea of the pendulum swinging. Lisa's theory, borrowed by me, and now applied to everything.

What once struggled is now on top. What once was locked-in to top tier success is now gone. Photography as a concept seems to be taking a beating : Is it dead? Is it better then it has ever been? I'm not answering that one, but it is clear the Golden Era of the photography book is now. The pendulum has swung and look what came with it.

There was a time when any self published book / indy press book by a photographer had to be a failure. No editor, no insight, no critical thinking: just someone with enough money to push the button on the press and sign a check. The other day, after buying my second copy of  Back To Me by Christina Riley via Straylight and trying and failing to buy a second copy of Tim Soter's Electronic Music New York City 1995 book out on CafĂ© Royal because it was sold out, I realized the this pendulum has swung. Every penny spent on photography books during the past two years has been spent on an indy press creation. And I've never been more excited about what's ahead.


Arriving site unseen this week was Back To Me by Christina Riley.

A quiet story, told in your ear. Not sad, not tragic at first glance. No high drama. It feels like introspection.

Just the data, shared by the storyteller as if it happened to someone else. Rich with color, rich with grain, warm and tangible- not like you are drugged, but just like you are very tired, but your senses are working overtime.

There are a few characters: a man, a woman, maybe something standing in for our conscience, or our inner voice. There is a bridge. And then there is our judge: the stars, the universe, you know it never stops watching you. You can't and you won't fool Mother Nature, your Higher Power, your Intimate.
Slowly you realize the stakes are high. This isn't just a moment, it's a defining moment.


The balance and efficiency this book displays is it's power: it tells us more and shares more with us with as little as possible. No fat, no fluff. Every word included has a purpose, every photograph is key to the understanding of the whole. You see the cover and you are there. By the time you close the book, you have taken in as much as you can for the day. All within 52 pages and 30 photographs.

I just bought my second copy for my friend who is in high school. This book speaks to me at 46 and will surely speak to her as well.

This voice would be silent in book form before now. The pendulum has swung and we are all better for it. Enjoy it now...cuz it'll swing again.

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