Friday, January 7, 2011

Todd Hido in Auckland for AUT St Paul Street workshop

Todd Hido arrives in Auckland next week for the annual AUT St Paul Street photography workshop.

Luc Sante writes about his work in Todd's book STRANGER.

Todd Hido finds the poetry in that strangeness, which consists of all the matter implied but unsaid in the margins of thrillers. It lurks in the high-tension wires. the high-intensity lights, the leafless trees and ambitious weeds. the hurricane fences and concrete knee-walls, the red night sky of light pollution. If in these pictures it is forever midnight and you are forever stranded and chilled and at a loss, you still have to pay attention to the way the prowler's footprints hover in the snow around the window. The jumble of cars around the bungalow may mean that many adults live there, but it may mean something else you really don't want to know about. These pictures might represent views from the undercover surveillance car, if the driver drinking endless coffee waiting for someone to leave or arrive were capable of appreciating the scene. The silence that permeates these pictures is before or after the fact, or a result of the muffling effects of weather, or else it is permanent, deathlike.

But such speculations are the ones that occur when it's night and you're a stranger. The shadows appear menacing only because those are not your trees. The wall would not look so horribly blank if it were the wall next door. You are a stranger, and that makes you jumpy and quick to spot imaginary dangers. People live here and go about their business. You the viewer is the one who is intruding. Todd Hido, for his part
is quietly finding beauty, where you can do nothing better than generate cheap fiction. You need to drink in these scenes, slowly. Nothing will happen to you. After all, at the end dawn comes up by the lake and you are still alive.

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