I have been looking at how to make a project about London. It’s a work in progress about both my relationship with it and how its like a machine that almost swallows us up. London has a network of surfaces, built environments and underground states, a human Habitrail. The idea is muddled at the moment, with occasional flashes of what I want (see my pictures above) – this is how projects usually are at their inception. Is it architectural? Is it street photography? Its it something else? What about the references to the photography of the 1920’s / 1930’s and 1940’s. Such as Margaret Bourke White pieces and how these work. I want this to come to fruit, but I’ll have to be very careful on how to proceed…
There are many other references to this that have been on my mind. Paul Graham / the Present, take on the street and the way our attention moves from moment to moment, it also often suggests our introversion while being in a city. (the printing and depth of colour in this book is stunning).
I also bought Adam Hinton / Shibuya – where he seems to talk about our personal relationships with city in terms of work, commuting and smoking. You’ll notice these two works have a very differing approach to the scale they operate on.
And then there’s the question of beauty, London can be beautiful, sometimes in a way that is terrible. But some opinions leave me feeling an image that shows beauty is often unjustly treated as a meaningless. This is a popular theory and something I disagree with, I dont really care if that’s unfashionable. To go back to Saul Leiters statement on the subject:
“I must admit that I am not a member of the ugly school. I have a great regard for certain notions of beauty even though to some it is an old fashioned idea. Some photographers think that by taking pictures of human misery, they are addressing a serious problem. I do not think that misery is more profound than happiness.” – Saul Leiter