Industrial ReDevelopment #2, photograph copyright of Douglas Stockdale
Today I completed my submission for Photoludica’s annual Critical Mass (version 2008). Since I had already complete my series Re:Development, I just had to tweak some of the triptychs in the series, including this one, Industrial ReDevelopment #2. More about this image and my artistic statement, below.
Hutong Re:Development #10, photograph copyright of Douglas Stockdale
After I had completed the assembly of the 40 triptychs for my series Re:Development, I knew that I needed to give the “finished” series some breathing room. Set them aside and work on some other things and then come back to them with a little bit of new perspective.
While trying to resolve some editorial issues for the other on-line journal I write, The Photo Exhibit, I decided to break out and start another on-line journal about photography books, called The Photo Book, www.thephotobook.wordpress.com
Not much there yet, but over the next week, I will start exporting all of my writings about photographic books over to that site. Thus my discussion of the Robert Frank – Paris book that I picked up in Philadelphia will have to wait just a little longer, but that is where my thoughts on this book will go.
Independence Hall Square, Philadelphia, Sept 2008, copyright Douglas Stockdale
We dropped into Philadelphia Saturday night for a five day stay inside the city (Saturday night at Alma de Cuba – a very highly recommended resturaunt downtown off Walnut and 17th). I had been thinking about my Re:Development series and more about how the images flow.
I was not really thinking that I had enough time to develop a photographic series about the downtown part of an older Eastern city like Philadelphia. But I knew we were going to be walking about, so what could I do to create a visual reflection my fleeting impressions?
In between things in Philly this week, I picked up a copy of Steidl’s publication (2008) Robert Frank – Paris, which is the Swiss photographers work made in Paris between 1949 – 1952, before finally settling in the US and creating The Americans.
And funny, I was walking past the section of books that were the big photographic books about the wonderful cities and countrysides of US and Euorpe and I spied this little book tucked amongst them and the photographers name just jumped out. This book was filed in the wrong section, and it was going to be a long time probably before it sold, because it sure was not one of the colorful picturesqe books of Paris like all of those surrounding it. I found that funny, worthly of a picture if I had a camera.
Hutong Re:Development #17, China, 2008, photography copyright of Douglas Stockdale
Last week I essentially finished the last of the 40 color triptychs for my series Re:Development – China, Business as Usual (Zhou Chang Ying Yeh). And over this week I have been looking and re-examining the triptychs that I assembled to be sure of the emotional content and conceptual concepts that I was trying to pull out of this body of work.
“cour 7 rue de Valencia“, 1922, Eugene Atget, courtesy of MOMA
Always interesting in how one thing leads to another. So how does this all start, eh?
Recently my work has been likened to the photographs of Walker Evans and a use of space similar to Eugene Atget. Which is very interesting, in as Atget is usually thought of as proceeding the work of Walker Evans. And now I understand that this direct way of photographing (seeing) was subsequently a part of the photographic way of seeing as that of Robert Frank and then Gary Winogrand, but perhaps not with the same way of using space.
I had a broad collection of books that may have had an image or two of Atget, but now I really wanted to have a dedicated resource to read and study to further understand Atget’s way of looking at something.
Thus I recently purchased a “used” copy of the 2001 MOMA book by John Szarkowski titled Atget. I say “used” because it was off the used sales page of AbeBooks, but essentially the book had never been opened or read in its entirety (a bit of book binding glue holding together the very top edge of the last eight pages, which would not be intact if someone had at least read the book once). So thank you for the referral to Abebooks by the nice folks at the Joesph Bellows Gallery and I can recommend AbeBooks for at least having a good first experience.
So I have walked through the photographs twice in this book and just completed my first read of Szarkowski. At first I had hoped for a little more analysis or deconstruction of the photograph by Szarkowski, but now realize that Szarkowski was helping to frame the external context of the photographs as much as describing the photographs attributes.
I sense that after I go through my Walker Evans book, that I will be coming back to this one again. And I will not be writing notes in the margins of my photobook this time either ;- )
Best regards, Douglas
“Arizona Monsoon” photograph copyright of Douglas Stockdale, folio Foundations
With the May 2008 bankruptcy of the Camera Arts magazine by Tim Anderson, Publisher/Editor, I thought that the magazine was a goner. Which was sad after I had a great conversation with Tim at the Palm Springs Photo Festival during my portfolio review session. And a request from him to submit my folio Foundations for his publication consideration. So I had dutifully mailed to Tim the whole package of evaluation prints and CDs, the works.
Then to find out that it would probably not every be published with this magazine. darn and double drat.
Well, I still do not think that my folio Foundations will be published in Camera Arts, but the “magazine” is getting a second (third?) life. Doing a random check of odd things on the web, I just found that Steve Simmons who had owned Camera Arts and sold it to Tim, is now getting the magazine title back. Steve is currently the Publisher of View Camera magazine.
But this time, it appears that it is coming back only as an on-line internet magazine. And supposly sometime late this month. So check here from time to time and see what might be happening.
Best regards, Doug
I just received a photograph of my clam shell artist proof for the Limited Edition In Passing book and folio. This is being constructed by Transient Books, but before a I provide a full endorsement, I will wait until the end of next week when I receive it and review the worksmanship.
So far, they have been wonderful to work with as we tweak out the design details and materials of construction. This photo is the open clam shell, and the hard bound signed book will nestle in the cavity. There is a white ribbon to assist with pulling the book out of the cavity. The folio folder will then be sitting on top of the book with a little space between the two. I will probably need to add a sheet of archival tissue between the two to elimiate any rubbing.
What you do not see is that I have a slight recessed area on the front of the clam shell to add (tip in) a cover photo with book title. So far, so good. Once I put this together as my final artist proof, then a road show to the local galleries to hear about their interest.
I am already thinking about developing a clam shell and Limited Edition book for my earlier retrospective natural landscape folio Foundations. I am in the process of converting this folio into a Limited Edition of 10. I will be soon following up with those who have already purchased this folio to inform them of the change and send them an updated Certificate of Authencity. And find out their interest in adding a Limited Edition book along with the accompanying archival clam shell to the folio.
Best regards, Doug
11/18/09 Update: Second edition of In Passing is now published and available here.
Hutong Redevelopment #5, China, 2008 photograph copyright of Douglas Stockdale
As I complete the 37th triptych for my series Re:Development, it felt like this series was coming together and I was getting some traction. As a result, I completely reworked my web site for my China portfolio Business as Usual, renaming it Re:Development and deleted all of the singular images.