The Ongoing Moment.
Text by Geoff Dyer.
Pantheon Books, Westminster, 2005. 285 pp., black-and-white and color illustrations, 6½x9½".
In his most recent book, Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do It, Geoff Dyer confessed that not only did he not take pictures in the course of his travels but that he does not even own a camera. With characteristic perver-sity-and trademark originality-Dyer has now come up with an idiosyncratic history of photography.
Seeking to identify their signature styles, Dyer looks at the ways in which such canonical figures as Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Walker Evans, Andre Kertesz, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, Diane Arbus, and William Eggleston, among others, have photographed the same things (barber shops, benches, hands, roads, and signs, for example). In doing so, he constructs a narrative in which these photographers-many of whom never met-constantly encounter one another.
Great photographs change the way we see the world; The Ongoing Moment changes the way we look at both. It is the most ambitious example to date of a form of writing that Dyer has made his own: the nonfiction work of art.
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