Wednesday, June 16, 2010

John Gossage and Alec Soth - The Auckland Project

When John and Alec were in Auckland in January last year for the annual AUT St Paul St workshop they worked on a book project which originated broadly from the book Obvious and Ordinary that Martin Parr and John had made in Memphis in 2006. John tells me that Darius Himes at Radius books has picked up the project and the book should be available at Paris Photo in November. Already, John tells me, the book is Number One on Photo-Eye's current best selling list.

Photo-Eye has this to say about the book.

The Auckland Project.
Photographs by John Gossage and Alec Soth.
Radius Books, 2010. 160 pp., Two volumes, 80 color illustrations, 9x11½".

In the Spring of 2009, John Gossage and Alec Soth traveled together to New Zealand to work on a joint photography project. For both, it was a trip of departures. Gossage has been creating photographic literature in black-and-white for over 40 years, and this trip yielded one of the first bodies of work he had ever produced in color. Soth’s work with the 8×10 view camera has inspired an entire generation of his contemporaries, and leaving it behind was key to approaching the world from a fresh visual perspective. The results represent a major shift of vision for these two vastly important American photographers.

This publication represents the culmination of that trip. Both the concept and the content of the book have been driven by the uniqueness of the collaboration and the primacy of the photobook to the artistic practice of both Soth and Gossage. Essentially two books in one, The Auckland Project showcases a playful attention to materials and presentation that marks all Radius Books projects. Unlike 2007’s Obvious & Ordinary in which Martin Parr (in his signature color) and John Gossage (using black-and-white) published the results of a road-trip across the American South, this volume presents the two photographers’ work separately, creatively combined through the device of the book and its housing.

The photograph is by Alec Soth made in downtown Auckland minutes before heading to the airport to fly home.

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