Thursday, June 10, 2010

American Surveillance.

American Surveillance. Someone To Watch Over Me. Photographs by Richard Gordon. Forward by Jason Francisco, afterword by Richard Gordon. Chimaera Press, Emeryville, 2009. 104 pp., 85 duotone illustrations, 11½x9¼".

"Sleuthful towards appearances, photographer Richard Gordon is drawn to the collateral meanings of things as they are. In this case, the unnoticed uniquity of visual surveillance within contemporary urban spaces.

In the black-and-white pictures that comprise this book of images, Gordon is locked in a game of wits with the public as it conceals within itself an infrastructure of unsolicited private observations, what amounts to an omnipresent regime of legitimated social distrust.

The point is that we don't really know what is and is not a camera, where cameras are and where they are not."

"The elegant, masterful photographs in this book are clear-eyed, devastating, and occasionally laugh out loud hilarious. There is fascination, beauty, horror, kitsch, pathos, amusement, wit, grace, and intelligence, as well as numerous echoes and references to a wide range of critical realist street photography of the twentieth century.

Gordon's four decades of photographing 'in the street', his three decades of book making, and his mastery of his craft - the shooting as well as the printing of black and white photography - are apparent. Gordon’s photography is literate and authoritative."

First quote from the Strand bookstore ; second quote from the photo-eye magazine review by Alex Sweetman.

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