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Thursday, 18 December 2008

Solitude of Ravens

5B4 reviews the wonderful Solitude of Ravens here. The interesting thing is the information contained in the comments section. Depending on who you believe, Fukase made the book

a) after his wife he got divorced from his wife

b) after his wife died

c) after he woke up from a coma

d) whilst he was trying to give up smoking

e) after he became colour-blind

One guy reckons the ravens are mynahs and Jeffrey himself reckons it's all irrelevant what he made it for because it's not referred to in the book. Mmm?

According to The Photobook History (are Parr and Badger the Richard and Judy of the photobook world - Parr the Richard naturally) "The book was generated out of the purely personal: a trip that Fukase made in 1976 to his birthplace, the northern island of Hokkaido, following divorce from his wife of 12 years. Such painful rites of passage inevitably lead to reflection. In Fukase's case, this took the form of shooting pictures from the train window. In many of the photographs, flocks of ravens were visible and these became Fukase's obsessive subject. The raven is a symbol of ill-omen in Japan as in the West, and its ominous presence became... a metaphor for unease."

Anyway, Solitude of Ravens is still available at the Photographers' Gallery Bookshop in London. Lovely!

And read more about Fukase here.

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