MACK, London

Allan Sekula
Photography Against the Grain : Essays and Photo Works, 1973-1983

 

Long out of print, this seminal collection of essays and photographs are by artist, theorist and filmmaker, Allan Sekula. Originally published by the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1984, in these essays and images Sekula sought to portray the inextricable bond between labour and material culture, drawing deeply on Marxist theory to argue passionately for a collective model of progress. Sekula taught at California Institute of Arts (CalArts) from 1985 until his death in 2013, and from that insider’s position he critiqued photography and the circumstances of its production and consumption, exposing what the medium failed to represent – women, labourers, minorities and the institutional structures that reinforce cultural biases.

Allan Sekula (1951–2013) was an American artist, whose work spans multiple media: long form photographic series (Aerospace Folktales, 1973; School as a Factory,1980; War Without Bodies, 1991/96), critical texts (The Body and the Archive, 1986 and Debating Occupy, 2012) and film (The Forgotten Space, 2012).

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Allan Sekula - Photography Against the Grain : Essays and Photo Works, 1973-1983
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Masahisa Fukase
Ravens

Consistently proclaimed as one of the most important photobooks in the history of the medium, Ravens by Japanese photographer Masahisa Fukase was first published in 1986 and the two subsequent editions were both short print runs that sold out immediately. This bilingual facsimile of the first edition contains a new text by founder of the Masahisa Fukase Archives, Tomo Kosuga. His essay locates Ravens in Fukase’s wider work and life, and is illustrated with numerous recently discovered photographs and drawings. Fukase’s haunting series of work was made between 1975 and 1986 in the aftermath of a divorce and was apparently triggered by a mournful train journey to his hometown. The coastal landscapes of Hokkaido serve as the backdrop for his profoundly dark and impressionistic photographs of ominous flocks of crows, which are said to serve as an allegory for postwar Japan.

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Roe Ethridge
Neighbors

Coinciding with Roe Ethridge’s first solo museum exhibition in North America, Neighbors presents more than 15 years of the American artist’s photographs, which typically and wryly collapse distinctions between commercial, conceptual and personal uses of photography. Divided into three “chapters”, the central section spans the American photographer’s entire oeuvre, from his early self-published projects to his most recent work, bookended by two almost inscrutable series in his signature deadpan style: family snapshots of grey, rural beach scenes, and images of farm animals – turkey, pigs, goats ­– to conclude. Rendering the mundane peculiar, hilarious even, Neighbors haphazardly traces the evolution of Ethridge’s attempt to bombard his viewers with a heady mixture of imagery, subverting the stylistic tropes of each genre as it relishes in the oddities of image-making and viewing. Included in the book is an essay by Kevin Moore, the curator of Ethridge’s mid-career survey Roe Ethridge: Nearest Neighbor, which leads the 2016 FotoFocus Biennial at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. The title of the exhibition refers to the photographic term “nearest neighbor”, a type of sampling used when resizing a digital image.

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Roe Ethridge
Shelter Island


Shelter Island comprises a body of work made by Roe Ethridge during a summer stay in Long Island, New York. Renting an all-American kit house, Ethridge and his family discovered objects stowed in the garage, things discarded by a different family and from a different moment in time. The faded objects, which are leitmotifs of an Americana of the past, speak of a lifetime of childhood summers: dusty Cola bottles, a plastic bat or fallen kite. In Ethridge’s work, the passage of time, and youth itself, is both acutely personal and stylised, in images that are at once synthetic and spontaneous, laden with familiar photographic tropes which are shown to us askance.

Roe Ethridge, born in 1969 in Miami, Florida, lives and works in New York. His work has been shown extensively at institutions around the world, including MOMA/PS1 (2000), Barbican Center, London (2001), Carnegie Museum of Art (2002), Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2005), The Whitney Biennial (2008), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2010), Les Recontres D’Arles, France (2011). Solo exhibitions include the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Garage, Moscow, and Le Consortium, Dijon, France (curated by Anne Pontegnie). In 2011 he was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize. Thanks to MACK (United Kingdom).

 

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