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Papageorge – At the beach

Papageorge Tod
Papageorge – At the beach

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Editeur Stanley/Barker
Date de parution 2023
Langue Anglais
Type de reliure Relié sous jaquette
Pages 112
ISBN : 9781913288594

In 1975 Tod Papageorge made a cross-America trip that ended on the beaches of Los Angeles. There, taken by the blinding light, he produced some of his first medium-format (6 x 9 cm) photographs. In 1978 he returned to Los Angeles to expand on those first pictures and, in 1981 and 1988, on shorter visits, added yet again to this body of work. Here, he writes about “At the Beach”:

“I think that part of what these beach pictures are about is the difference between our preconceptions of a place and what, when we get there, that place turns out to be. In this case (of Los Angeles and its coastline), I think it’s also fair to suggest that those preconceptions are particularly strong, shaped as they irresistibly have been by the movies and popular music. So, as a first point, what I wanted to do on this project was examine those preconceptions (at least as I conjured them) through the descriptive power of photography in order to pin down what two semi-myths – the world of surfers and the life of southern California beaches –‘really’ looked like.

“To describe a place and yet at the same time reinvent it is a double intention on the part of the photographer that we should be used to by now when we look at and think about photographs. It seems to be a contradiction built into interesting pictures, if not the medium of photography itself. With these pictures, then, I worked with the belief that the closer I came to describing the literal nature of the place and people I was photographing, the more surprising the pictures that came out of that process might be. All while transforming (I hoped), the casual, unselfconscious physicality of these beachgoers moving from the boardwalks onto the sand and back again into form and meaning.

“I’m speaking of what I hoped for the photographs, of course – they may not describe these things at all. But whether I’m right or wrong about these particular pictures, it should go without saying that a good photograph must, in some palpable sense, distinguish what it describes.”

Tod Papageorge is an American photographer and teacher who began his photographic career on the streets of New York City in the middle-1960s. Between 1979 and 2013, he directed the graduate photography program at the Yale University School of Art. He is well-known for his photographs of Studio 54, a body of work from the late 70s that was published by Stanley/Barker in 2014.

Tod Papageorge was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1940, and began photographing during his last semester of college before graduating with a degree in English literature in 1962. His work has been widely exhibited and is represented in over 30 major public collections. Steidl has published Papageorge’s Passing Through Eden: Photographs of Central Park (2007) and Dr. Blankman’s New York (2018).