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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

We are all photographers/masturbators now

Brian David Stevens sent me his latest Cafe Royal Book, Mayday. It's black and white protest (nostalgia? Sort of) from the times when flicking the vs amounted to sheer poetry; poetry that came from the wrist - nowadays, if you're talking poetry from the wrist, you might be in more masturbatory territory; forget the 'we are all photographers now' cliche, it's more like 'We are all masturbators now'.

And not in a good way, but in this kind of virtual, technological way. I really enjoy Ingrid Berthon Moine's videos. They are short, funny, punchy and very direct. They are also rather discomfitting in a good way. This one is i touch, this one is Alors, tu m'aimes? and this one is Midriff - Version 1.

Back to Cafe Royal Books. These are published by Craig Atkinson who is interviewed on The Photographers' Gallery Website here. This is what he says about the books he publishes - but read the whole interview for direct and simple answers to direct and simple questions - in a good way. I get the feeling there is a rise in the direct and simple (demystifying) photo/art nerd as opposed to the (deliberately mystifying) precious and pretentious photo/art-nerd. That's the way I like it. It's not masturbatory.

I like to create affordable, limited edition, well-finished publications. Generally they document change in one way or another, and often social change in Britain. The books are collected by many museums and galleries, and are seemingly popular with individuals. This makes me feel I’ve achieved something because the books are often discussed, exhibited and cited. This, along with the gallery collections they are part of, makes me feel they’re locked-in somehow – it gives them historical value, at least in my mind. I think that’s what I’m trying to create.

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