Jason Fulford’s Favorite Book from 2019

Slant by Aaron Schuman.   Published by Mack.

Aaron Schuman's book, Slant, has the things I love most in an artwork—maximum simplicity that unpacks into something complex, with layers of meaning, humor and heaviness. The content comes from a small town in the United States, Amherst, Massachusetts, where Schuman grew up. There are black-and-white pictures that he made there; excerpts from the Amherst Bulletin's Police Reports that are funny and bizarre; and a poem about Truth by Emily Dickinson, who lived in Amherst. The flow is musical with a mix of absurdity and humanity. Schuman's quiet pictures, beautifully printed in tri-tone, are charged by the reports of Suspicious Activity, Larceny, Animal Complaints, and Disturbances. And the newspaper clippings, printed on a different paper stock that calls to mind newsprint, are filled out with a sense of place by the pictures. The associative play between the words and pictures is entertaining, while also making the reader think about deeper issues like community, truth and perspective.

Jason Fulford is a photographer and co-founder of J&L Books. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, a frequent lecturer at universities, and has led workshops across the globe. Fulford’s photographs have been described as open metaphors. As an editor and an author, a focus of his work has been on the subject of how meaning is generated through association. His monographs include Sunbird (2000), Crushed (2003), Raising Frogs for $$$ (2006), The Mushroom Collector (2010), Hotel Oracle (2013), Contains: 3 Books (2016), Clayton's Ascent (2018), The Medium is a Mess (2018), and the forthcoming Picture Summer on Kodak Film (2020). He is co-author with Tamara Shopsin of the photobook for children, This Equals That (2014), co-editor with Gregory Halpern of The Photographer’s Playbook (2014), and guest editor of Der Greif Issue 11. jasonfulford.com