Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Story by Jennifer Shaw (Broken Levee Books)

A perfect book for a day like today. As New York braces itself for Irene, lets take a look a Hurricane Story, a photography book by Jennifer Shaw recently published by Broken Levee Books, an imprint of Chin Music Press. Readers of the blog will recall some previous posts on Chin Music--they're a wonderful press out of Seattle that focus their list on Japan and New Orleans. Although there are plenty of opportunities for Chin Music to dwell dolorously on the historically bad fates that these regions have recently endured, they manage to nurture these places with beautifully crafted, celebratory books that remind readers of all the good these places can offer.

Hurricane Story is composed entirely of Holga-shot toy photography that recreates the onslaught of Katrina and the birth of Shaw's son on August 29, 2005. Shaw's photography is hazy and deeply intriguing, and provides the kind of brief glimpses that make you want to see a wider scope with a heightened clarity.

I found myself reluctantly itching for more large-scale imagery, but then, if that happened her story would turn a bit more toward the likes of Jake and Dinos Chapman's "Hell":

By tightening her shots and limiting her canvas, Shaw makes Hurricane Story a much more personal book than a full-scale disaster chronicle. It's exactly what it should be: a very successful book of narrative photography, and one that will make viewers what to see what else she's capable of.

(This one I can very much relate to right now. Irene is on it's way--it's already looking a little dreary here in Brooklyn. We'll see what happens tomorrow...)

Currently reading:
There But For The by Ali Smith

Currently listening to:
"Tupelo", by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

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