What's All This Then?
What's All This Then?
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Sound Opinion's Jim DeRogatis and The Daily Show's Ben Karlin
review literary experiences at Field-Tested Books.
Today's featured photographer is Brian Rose. Tackling massive thematic series with a view camera, Brian's pictures are individually stunning for their simplicity, detail and composition, but it's when you view them in groups, dedicated to single subject and/or idea that you appreciate the ambition behind the projects. Selections from his series Lost Border: the Landscape of the Iron Curtain are featured today and have just been published in book form by The Princeton Architectural Press.
"I began working in color with a 4x5 view camera in 1980 photographing the streets and architecture of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. It was big step for me, having previously used only a 35mm camera. I had always been adamant about staying with the small format, but the idea of an ambitious and unified project appealed to me. Suddenly, the view camera seemed a requirement for the kind of descriptive photographs I envisaged taking."
"Since then I have continued to use a view camera, and I have also continued to work within somewhat tightly conceived projects. I've often thought that without such a structure, I could photograph anything and everything around me. But I don't do that, and rarely carry a camera unless I am working."
"Although I've done quite a number of projects, the Lost Border has been the biggest and most important. The book is now out, and it spans 19 years of history--from a time when the border appeared a permanent fixture of the political landscape to the opening of the Berlin Wall to the rebuilding of Berlin. The most recent pictures were made in February 2004."
"As a student I got into photography because I saw taking pictures as way of engaging in social and political issues. I've come a long ways away from the notion of that engagement being a direct one. I certainly don't consider myself a photo-journalist. But I do believe strongly in the idea of stepping back and looking--repeatedly--at places and things. That's what I try to do as a photographer, and out of that, patterns emerge, the texture and architecture of the world becomes more apparent, and hopefully, one sees something essential in what is built or left behind on the landscape."
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