Grain destined for export stacked on Madras beaches (February 1877) I've started writing a series of posts on photography on World...
Monday, 24 November 2014
Everyone Loves a Gimmick!
picture by Ren Hang from The Brightest Light Runs Too Fast
Everyone loves a gimmick!
Don't be silly. Loads of people hate them but fiddle-dee-dee!
My top 3 gimmicks of the year
A smoky smelling book by Melinda Gibson
A book that has been shot through with a Glock .45 by Brad Feuerhelm and Michael Salu.
A book with a thermodynamic cover.
Two of the books go with quick-fire projects, at least one of which is essentially photographic slapstick, and they carry those projects forward into different territory through ideas borrowed from the artist's book world (in the craft sense)
But the gimmick works with longer projects as well, tying the short term to the long term and visualing that connection as in everything will be ok.
The great thing is all the gimmicks work completely with the concept of the book. Does that stop them being gimmicks? Heck no!
But just because something is a gimmick doesn't mean it's a bad thing. It would be a joyless world if that were the case.
Of course there's a sell by late. There have been two thermodynamic covers this year (Martin Amis tells me Ren Hang's latest has a faster acting thermo-cover), I'm guessing by this time next year even I will be heartily sick of daft photobook designs.
But then if those designs go with the content and retain a freshness about them, why not. Despite everything there is still room for some instant, smart-alec mischief making that works in the short-term. It doesn't all have to be anguish and agony!
THe Brightest light runs too fast by Ren Hang.