As much as I’d like to shine a spotlight on an unknown photographer or a new publishing house, to my mind there was no better 2018 release than Gossage’s new Steidl book. The pictures are ten years old, and not “timeless” exactly but rather not of a time. Topicality is never much of an element in Gossage anyway because his pictures don’t rely on subject matter for meaning; rather they are new things in the world that engender their own authority. This is truer than ever in the fable at hand, in which we gain access to the ineffable: the combination of strangeness and comfort in the first exploration of a place well known to a friend. And if that’s not enough for you: this book is the greatest — the most luscious — feat of black-and-white printing I’ve ever seen and (thrillingly) felt. It is to be experienced in person and at length.
Tim Carpenter is a photographer and writer who works in Brooklyn and central Illinois. He is the author of Local objects, township, and Still feel gone, among other books, as well as a co-founder of TIS books. www.tisbooks.pub/