I first saw this book in Arles Rencontres — the 'books of the year' presentation was hidden on an upper floor, at the back of a local supermarket, in a room well over 100 degrees. I thumbed through as many as time & perspiration allowed, then went straight online to order this. Happy to own it. Truth be told, I'm not entirely sure what is going on — it has images in black and white and color of suburban America — the post industrial landscape denuded of investment or real opportunity, and some intriguing portraits of Black Americans, going about their lives. Then there's a film screenplay interspersed between blocks of images. It's clearly about life in residentially segregated inner city America on the one hand, and about fiction (the screenplay) vs reality on another. Narrative vs the 'thusness' of life. At a time when narrative is thoroughly broken in America, this is very fertile ground to examine. It's a good size book, cleverly designed, but not so much as to overpower the art inside. There are about 4 or 5 books this year that have likewise intrigued me. Endeavors like these reaffirm my faith in photography and the photobook. The medium is far from exhausted. Bravo.
Paul Graham is an artist-photographer who has been active in Europe and the USA for nearly 40 years. He has exhibited widely from MoMA to the Tate Gallery, and published over 20 books, most notably 'a shimmer of possibility', a 12 volume compendium of nominal life across the USA, which won the Paris Photo's inaugural book award as the best photography book of the past 15 years. www.paulgrahamarchive.com