I am in the end stages of a new photobook. It’s titled Not Landscape. I am hoping the print run of 20 copies will be here in time for the photo 2022 weekend photobook fair 21st and 22nd of May. This book came together relatively quickly. After discovering a website of obscure avant garde art UbuWeb, I watched a rare video by John Baldessari, titled “I shall not make any more boring art”. Baldessari had also made a series of photographs in the 70s that poked fun at the “rules” of photography, seen here on his website. Also here.
Concurrently I had been mulling over how I made an earlier book using Blurb. ‘What’s the ugliest part of your body?’. When making it. I had decided to compromise on its layout and not crop the images resulting in a book that few people handled correctly as it was landscape orientation. As a consequence it had lots of wasted white space. I feel this didn’t add anything to the idea. This time I decided that I would print full bleed, and use pictures that were portrait in orientation. I also wanted to add some text to engage the reader. So after perusing my library and searching the internet I found of series of snippets of text and quotes that posed pointed questions about landscape, landscape art, and landscape photography. With these two ideas in mind I collated as many images as I could that were portrait in format, ie Not Landscape, the book’s title, printed out a set of them. Then started editing them into a book.
I have some copies of my ‘What’s the ugliest part of your body?’ left. These are $15.00 each, and after making them now consider it unlikely I will make a second edition.
I have one copy of my book Contact for sale as well.
So pop on down to the Melbourne Art Book Fair this weekend 17th to the 20th of March, to purchase a copy of either ‘What’s the ugliest part of your body?’ or Contact. Hopefully Not Landscape will be on offer as well. Our stand is Melbourne Photobook Collective.
Alternatively the Photo 2020 is running a photobook weekend there will be some of my books there too, 21st May [12 to 7pm] and 22nd May [12 to 4pm] at PSC 37-47 Thistlethwaite St, South Melbourne.
Eight years after I began making the same picture on each day I was at work. Always at 8:30. Always from the same position. The project has now ended.
The changes in the scene that were most notable, were the weather. Others included the tree.
Often the picture made at 8:30 in no way reflected the weather for that day either before or after 8:30. Which isn’t reflected in the imagery itself.
The linchpin, that helped me decide to end it was the removal the tree. The tree had suffered some damage in the storms we had 10 days or so prior, and in the interim someone decided it needed to be removed entirely.
Here’s the first picture made in February 2014.
And the last made in December 2021.
A week or so ago, I made some pictures of the houses in Wright Street Sunshine that may disappear in the next few years. With one empty block and 2 for sale signs in a strip of a dozen or so house this makes for some big changes afoot. What I neglected to mention or perhaps didn’t recognise was that most of these buildings follow a similar style and appearance. I’m guessing that at some point a government agency was involved with these house’s construction.
Thirty years ago there was an active RAAF base on a site that is now light industry and shopping centre a couple of Kilometres down the road. The site was sold to private developers in 1983(1)
There are some existing buildings of a similar style near the old site and they share similar characteristics to the ones I photographed in Wright Street. The common denominators that connect them are the materials. Fibre Cement is common. Small footprint and tiled roofs others.
The current formula that seems to be being applied to these old buildings, is the old houses are demolished. Then if the site permits several small units are built in their place. While these new units are dotted around the suburb, the danger of a homogeneous streetscape looms large.
Given that Wright Street is an arterial road then I doubt there may be that much new development going up. Keeping an eye on planning permits and council notifications will enable me to track these changes. Thereby producing a meaningful record of the suburb as it changes.
(1) Moca, P. 2015, Forty years ago May 28, 1975 Sunshine’s town clerk, Mr Bill Deutschmann,…[Derived Headline], Airport West, Vic.
What impact does a visual trope like a sunset have in this day and age of the networked image. Especially if it was made before flickr, facebook and probably google? This sunset was made circa 2002. It was made from the edge of the site where I worked from 1994 to 2013.
I’m thinking of posting sunsets fairly frequently as a kind of response to the current pandemic sweeping the world.