Europe: Where Time Has Stopped (Yoropa: Seishi shita jikan). Photographs by Ikko Narahara. Essays by Narahara and Jun Eto. Kajima Kenkyujo Shuppankai, Tokyo, 1967. 204 pp. Tall quarto. First edition. Full cloth with printed spine label. Photo-illustrated paper over board slipcase with printed acetate jacket. 135 black-and-white and color gravure reproductions. |
Included in Japanese Photobooks of the 1960s and 1970s Ivan Vartanian & Ryuichi Kaneko
. An undisputed classic among the photobook cognoscenti!! Records Narahara's travels in Europe pre-Provoke, yet using the William Klein-influenced high contrasts and wide-angle composition. Breaks with the prevailing documentary style and reaches for a subjective & poetic vision. The book earned Narahara the Japan Photo Critics Association Photographer of the Year award when it was published in 1967. Cited in Vartanian & Kaneko's reference Japanese Photobooks of the 1960's & 70's
Like other members of the short-lived but highly influential Vivo agency, Narahara broke with dominant modes of documentary photography, which emphasized clear story telling, and pursued a more individual and subjective vision. In his famous essay "About My Method", he stated, "Even if a subjectivity abstracted from concreteness called human society is once again plunged into the reality of concrete human society of this land, it should not diminish its meaning as a document." A travelogue of sorts, Where Time Has Stopped records the photographer's travels in Europe from 1962-1965. The off-kilter, expressionist compositions bear the unmistakable mark of William Klein--whose influence on post-war Japanese photography cannot be overstated--yet are entirely more stark and surreal. Rather than giving the viewer a sense of the photographer as plunged into the world, Narahara's compsitions possess an uncanny sense of vertigo--of the camera as almost disembodied, floating through the scenes it observes. "More than once," Narahara has said, "I had the impression that the spirit of my photographs achieved a detachment and freedom of the soul close to nothingness: what is called Zen"
Nice tight binding (often a problem with this book); a few spots of foxing to cloth; spine lightly faded; case with very slight bump at foot of spine; a few tiny chips to acetate.