Tuesday, 25 October 2016

On a street where you live

On the book's spine it says 'The human clay -- Volume 3' with no other reference anywhere about volume one or two. It is in fact a series of six titles to be released over the next two years. Volume one was portraits (2015) two was children (2015) and this third one has 208 photos of street photography taken from 1959 to 2015 in twenty cities.

These excellent street photos are familiar territory for Friedlander. In his 2004 book 'Sticks & Stones' he playfully created all manner of shapes and pictures within pictures just by using street furniture, vehicles and buildings, layering them from front to back. In this book it's mostly people that tend to be up front (and big) with street furniture and buildings providing the middle and back. I thought the best photos are those that have the frame full of people going in different directions, as on a busy city street corner.

Friedlander takes advantage of anything that'll give him extra credence, like using a van's side mirror to create a picture in a picture, reflections in shop windows, inside looking out or outside looking in, pedestrians shot through a car's windscreen, patterns created by posters on supermarket windows.

The format is one photo a page (plus a caption for city and year) with several spreads having two similar images, people on street phones, blind beggars, teenage boys with girlfriends, street musicians, eating in a reastaurant shot through the window. The last twenty-four pages feature protest marches and bystanders watching.

As with other Friedlander books he gets the usual professionals to produces the perfect book: design by  Katy Homans; mono seperations by Thomas Palmer; Danny Frank supervised the printing (with an impressivel fine screen -- possible three hundred) at Medidian, Rhode Island.

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