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Stephen Shore
A Road Trip Journal
HC, 36 x 27 cm., o.pp.
Phaidon 2008

"I was interested in a culture in transition," Shore said by phone from Venice, Italy, where he had just finished a shoot for Elle magazine. "It was the beginning of the strip culture, strip architecture, fast-food restaurants, but there was also a lot from before that still had a presence then."

Through Shore's lens, shabby motel bedrooms and bathrooms, ramshackle storefronts, solitary houses and derelict spaces endure in detached isolation. Some are uncannily Edward Hopper-ish, a reflection perhaps, Shore said, of his interest in the artist's work: "Not so much the narrative aspect of it, but more the kind of psychological meaning of architecture and the way a building sits in light."

While Shore used a large-format camera on a tripod, his goal was the observational snapshot effect of his "American Surfaces" series, shot the year before. The best of those 35mm images had no pretense to art and communicated an experience of the world without an overlay of visual convention, Shore said. However, he added, what a photographer chooses to include, or not, unavoidably conveys meaning and portent.

"The idea behind this project was to take the selecting process beyond photography," he said. "There is an old Arab saying that I like -- 'The apparent is the bridge to the real.' " Lynne Heffley, Los Angeles Times

Please also check out the conversation Darius Himes had with Stephen Shore, on:


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