Photographs by Jason Langer.
Nazraeli Press, Tucson, 2006. 64 pp., 44 duotone plates, 11x13".
Jason Langer’s first monograph is a journey through damp-lit streets of anonymous cities, an experience that could be frightening – alone, in the dark – but is here infused with poetic sensibility and intrigue. His subjectivity and privateness seem to harken back to the symbolist photographers such as Alvin Langdon Coburn and Steichen in his early years. The beauty and romanticism are a lure, asking questions and probing one’s psyche. There is a strong feeling that Langer finds adventure exploring a side of the world that many would choose to avoid: a world of shadows and portents, where he openly faces and challenges the powers of the night. In Secret City, the viewer can choose to travel with him as he guides us to our own underworld, or be content with looking over his shoulder. Either way, these pictures are a reminder of the place within ourselves that is solitary, private and has a touch of fearlessness and yearning. Superbly printed in Japan on uncoated natural paper, Secret City is limited to 1,000 casebound copies. The book opens with an introduction by Michael Kenna, for whom Langer apprenticed some 15 years ago.
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