When I select books to review for photo-eye, I often favor those by photographers whose work I don’t know. If I can come at a publication with no pre-conceptions, I feel like I can initiate a conversation or a line of inquiry that may lead to increased awareness. With the more widely noted artists, I feel obliged to consider the whole weight of their oeuvre and engage with other commentaries. I like to plant a flag in an open field and draw attention to a vision and a book that move me, for better or worse.
Most often, though, I feel like I’m just a bibliophile Spalding Gray, a monologist in conversation with myself.
Well, when has the apparent lack of an audience ever kept someone from continuing to opine, type, and post?
Self-deprecating musings notwithstanding, I am pleased to have discovered and had a chance to prompt some interest in this book by Anders Edström. As I point out in the review, linked below, Edström builds a purely visual narrative, bit by wistful bit, about the impulse to improve and the consequences of those decisions. I think it’s rather brilliant, in fact. Though you have to get passed an opening spread that looks like this:
(Trust me, it all makes sense later.)
So, if you would, please click over to my review, published on photo-eye earlier this week. Edström, who lives in Tokyo, has been busy exhibiting photography, making films, and getting written about in Europe and Japan for almost twenty years (Check out his bio via the link below). But I bet most people reading re:photographica at the moment haven’t heard of him. Neither had I.