David Campany (ed.)

Open Road


€ 58,00
inkl. MwSt., zzgl. Versand

 

"The road trip is an enduring symbol in American culture.
Ever since cars became widely available, the road stretching over the horizon has represented a sense of possibility and freedom, discovery and escape—a place to get lost and find yourself in the process.
The American road trip has appeared prominently in lit­erature, music, and movies, but it has had an especially powerful influence on photography. As photographers have embarked on trips across the United States with the express purpose of making work, they have created some of the most important photographs in the history of the medium: from images by Walker EVANS, Henri CARTIER-BRESSON and Berenice ABBOTT to Robert FRANK’s seminal 1950s odyssey, The Americans. From Stephen ShHORE to Ryan McGINLEY, hundreds of other photographers have continued the tradition.

'The Open Road' is the first book to explore the photographic road trip as a genre. It opens with a comprehensive introduction, which traces the rise of road culture in America and considers photographers on the move across the country and across the century, from the early 1900s to present day.
Each chapter explores one body of work in depth through informative texts and a portfolio of images, beginning with Robert FRANK, and including such renowned work as Garry WINOGRAND's 1964, Joel STERNFELD’s American Prospects, William EGGLESTON’s Los Alamos, and Alec SOTH’s Sleeping by the Mississippi.
'The Open Road' is a visual tour-de-force, pres­enting the story of photographers for whom the American road is muse." (publisher's note)


"After World War II, the American road trip began appearing prominently in literature, music, movies and photography.
As Stephen SHORE has written, 'Our country is made for long trips. Since the 1940s, the dream of the road trip, and the sense of possibility and freedom that it represents, has taken its own important place within our culture.'

Many photographers purposefully embarked on journeys across the U.S. in order to create work, including Robert FRANK, whose seminal road trip resulted in The Americans.
However, he was preceded by Edward WESTON, who traveled across the country taking pictures to illustrate Walt WHITMAN's Leaves of Grass; Henri CARTIER-BRESSON, whose 1947 trip through the American South and into the West was published in the early 1950s in Harper's Bazaar; and Ed RUSCHA, whose road trips between Los Angeles and Oklahoma formed the basis of Twentysix Gasoline Stations.
Hundreds of photographers have continued the tradition of the photographic road trip on down to the present, from Stephen SHORE to Taiyo ONORATO, Nico KREBS, Alec SOTH and Ryan McGINLEY.

'The Open Road' considers the photographic road trip as a genre in and of itself, and presents the story of photographers for whom the American road is muse.
The book features David Campany's introduction to the genre and 18 chapters presented chronologically, each exploring one American road trip in depth through a portfolio of images and informative texts.
This volume highlights some of the most important bodies of work made on the road, from The Americans to the present day." (publisher's note)

Review:
"The road trip is a staple of the photobook business and this title does a decent job in giving an overview of the genre. David Campany, in his illustrated front of book essay, traces photo trips way back to the early years of the last century. Page nine reproduces a spread from fascinating Rand McNally photo-auto guide published in 1910 which used images of every significant corner and building to show the route from New York to Chicago. An oddity of the theme was a 1935 published book by Ilf and Evgeny Petrov, two Russians who used a ten week countrywide of America to take photos and write copy for the Moscow based Ogonek magazine (published in 2006 by the Princeton Architectural Press). Campany makes an interesting point that...'American culture still finds it difficult to shake the idea that its big cities embody the present and its small towns the past'...the open road (certainly not the freeway) leads back to a nostalgic past.

The book looks, historically, at the work of nineteen photographers though actually in eighteen chapters because the last one is a combined effort from Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs. Each gets a series of one to a page photos from between five (Victor Burgin) and seventeen (Stephen Shore). I think it's worth say that if you have books from Frank, Winogrand, Eggleston, Meyerowitz, Shore, Sternfeld and Soth you might well have seen their contributions in these pages. This book can be a useful introduction to lesser well known photographers who also have books in print.

I can understand using Robert Frank's The Americans as the starting point for the book though unfortunately it means that Berenice Abbott's remarkable photo study of US1 in 1954 doesn't get a look in and I wonder why Jacob Holdt is included, he did travel around the Nation but to me his work is more a collection of interior reportage. I would have included Joachim Brohm or Benjamin Swett. Victor Burgin is an odd choice too, mainly because he includes text in his photos and therefore has no control over the size of his published photos so that the text can end up as unreadable, as it is in two of his photos on page 215. The book's most intriguing images come in the last chapter with fourteen photos by Onorato and Krebs from their 2009 'Great unreal' book. Difficult to describe their work so Google them.

I enjoyed the 'Open road' as a worthwhile wrap-up of the highway photo genre. A handsomely produced book using a 200 screen for the photos on a quality matt art paper, a bibliography and index would have been useful." (Robin Benson)