A Shimmer of Possibility.
Photographs by Paul Graham.
SteidlMack, Gottingen, 2007. 360 pp., 160 color illustrations, 13x10".
Inspired by Chekhov's short stories-and by his own contagious joy in the book form-photographer Paul Graham has created A Shimmer of Possibility, comprised of 10 individual books, each a photographic short story of everyday life. Some are simple and linear-a man smokes a cigarette while he waits for a bus in Las Vegas, or the camera tracks an autumn walk in Boston. Some entwine two, three or four scenes-while a couple carry their shopping home in Texas, a small child dances with a plastic bag in a garden. Some watch a quiet narrative break unexpectedly into a sublime moment-as a man cuts the grass in Pittsburgh it begins to rain, until the low sun breaks through and illuminates each drop. Graham's filmic haikus shun any forceful summation or tidy packaging. Instead, they create the impression of life flowing around and past us while we stand and stare, and make it hard not to share the artist's quiet astonishment with its beauty and grace. The 10 books gathered here are identical in trim size, but vary in length from just a single photograph to 60 pages of images made at one street corner. Paul Graham's work has been widely exhibited and published for 25 years, most recently in the book American Night.
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