I was commissioned to write this a few years ago for the Central European House of Photography in Bratislava (and thank you to all the photo...
Monday, 1 October 2012
Based on a True Story
It's lovely to get excited by a book. That's what happened when David Alan Harvey's book, ( based on a true story) arrived in the post.
I had seen the video of the book (see above) and was already impressed, if a bit doubtful - it is just a bit too slick.
Then the book came and I was blown away. There are few words in the book. Most of them are found on a postcard which gives you clues how to use it. And they are great clues, succinct and to the point. The design is incredibly well-thought out. Nothing has been left to chance here.
It's a book that tells its own story, but then invites you to rearrange it. It makes you rearrange it. It cuts pictures in half and makes you put them together again.
Normally when a book lets you make the story, it's because of laziness, because the photographer can't really be bothered to go to the final effort of actually laying things on the line (and I like to have things laid on the line - as long as I can still have the freedom to interpret, question or relay that line) and creating a solid narrative. Think of it as the curse of the stream of consciousness - the kind of stream that spurts out of your ass after you've eaten the chicken that spent those days too long in the fridge.
(based on a true story) isn't like that. The narrative is there, in big bold (cliched perhaps, but what the heck) David Alan Harvey Colours. And then you are invited to reinvent things.
It's bold, fun and just the best book that I have seen for a long, long time. And it's not earnest, boring or dull! Bonus times in photobook world.
Not sure about the brackets in the title though.
Read my Photo-Eye review here.