Holding. Photographs by Anna Clarén. Journal, Stockholm, 2006. Unpaged. Quarto (10 x 11 in./25.5 x 28 cm). First edition. SIGNED on title page. Clothbound with tipped on cover image. Color reproductions.
Anna Claren's new book, Holding has no text-only the supposed biographical imagery of a sad, long-lost photo album. In this album, the light is harsh and the colors are faded. Some of the same characters appear again and again, including a blond woman, who we assume to be Claren or perhaps a model representing her. In one picture, she stares into the camera over wine and a bland dinner; in another she closes her eyes to the camera-not allowing the viewer in. Roland Barthes explored the photograph of his mother in a chapter of Camera Lucida. He states "I want to enlarge this face in order to see it better, to understand it better, to know its truth." He flips the image, just as the reader of Holding does with the pages of this album, to delve into the papers depth, only to find the grain of the image.--Melanie McWhorter