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Seeing Now

February 22, 2009

I’m fascinated with Paul Graham’s a shimmer of possibility at the MoMA. Photographing everyday life is nothing new. Graham is working with a narrative style that draws on graphic storytelling. This series, and more, were originally published in 12 sequenced volumes last year by Steidl. Here is an installation view from the MoMA followed by a view of the same show in Paris last year. It is a pleasure to see the static line of photographs broken up with appropriate dips and curves. I often find photography exhibitions too static and formal. Unless they are intended to be part of an “art” installation, photographs always end up in long rows with too many straight lines. Graham’s pictures, with their size and height variations, are a pleasure for the eye.

from the Museum of Modern Art exhibit

from the Museum of Modern Art exhibit

from Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire

from Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire

Graham’s a shimmer of possibility is a view of America photographed with “affection and curiosity.” That’s a quote from the MoMA. Last week I took my photography students down to the flats of Holyoke where we wandered around with our cameras. I felt filled with affection for, and curiosity about one of Massachusetts’ most beautiful and most depressed cities. Here’s a picture from our field trip.

Shoe Tree, South Holyoke, Frank Ward 2009

Shoe Tree, South Holyoke, Frank Ward, 2009

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