Photographs by Roman Signer.
Steidl, 2012. 120 pp., 46 color illustrations, 9x6½".
This book presents photos taken by Roman Signer on a 2005 journey through the Carpathian Mountains, which took him to the Ukraine and Romania. The photographs evidence brief stops at the side of the road and present subjects that fall into two distinct catagories: home-grown fruits, vegetables and other produce for sale, carefully displayed on stools or small tables; and loving memorials of flowers, crosses and wreaths for deceased family members and friends who were road casualties. The similarity between each composition – the landscape format, the colourful centred arrangement, the consistent distance between photographer and subject - belies a deeper message: the produce suggests sustenance, growth and plenty; while the memorials are a sign of tragedy and grief. Karpaten / Carpathians is thus not only a collection of travel photos, but a reflection of the human need to shape events, and a succinct story of life and death – both realities along the metaphorical road on which we all travel.