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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Marc Asnin's Uncle Charlie

More family album work here in the form of Marc Asnin's Uncle Charlie. This is a very complex book that details the life and decline of Asnin's Uncle Charlie. Brutal and affectionate at the same time, Asnin's pictures are accompanied by Charlie's convoluted text; stories of his childhood, his intelligence, his wives, children and mental illness. It's not a clear cut story with no clear black-and-white narrative. Nor is it really about a Journey into Hell. But never mind, it's great work that is the kind of mega-project that Eugene Smith would have made if he'd photographed his family instead of going off to Pittsburgh.

The middle image is of Charlie after his son died of AIDS.

The text below is from an article in the Independent with that as a title.

Henschke has said he'll meet Asnin "in hell"… Is he really that angry about his portrayal? "On any given day he could have a different feeling towards me. The underlying thing though, I think, is that for 30 years he was interested because he shared those stories and, for whatever reason, it just happened to be that I was the guy he shared that with.

"I've been asked: did you ever hate your uncle? And I've said, 'Yeah, sure, all the time – but there were many days I loved him a lot'. I tried to tell his story. I tried over the years to be a good godson to him."

Read about it in the Independent here. 

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