Sunday, March 4, 2012

Joerg Colberg reviews The Auckland Project

Perceptive as usual, Joerg Colberg has just reviewed The Auckland Project on his site Conscientious. The Auckland Project was the bookwork collaboration between John Gossage and Alec Soth when they were my guests in Auckland for the AUT School of Art and Design workshop in January 2009.

Joerg writes:  “Working alongside John [Gossage] was stressful, but it was also life changing. After learning so much from this master of the medium (and friend), I began the process of dismantling my career.” write Alec Soth about his contribution to The Auckland Project. The book, or rather set of books, was “a trip of departures. Gossage has been working 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.” (quoted from the press blurb) Soth, in turn, left behind his 8x10 camera, to bring a digital one. Since I have been ignoring discussions of cameras on this blog for years now, I’ll continue doing that for this review. Instead, I want to talk about the two photographers’ approach to photography - I do believe the books offer an opportunity to do that.

If anything, for me The Auckland Project reflects the differences in these two photographers’ approaches to photography. One, John Gossage, is only too happy to walk around with his camera, looking for (and finding!) chance moments to take photographs of. The other, Alec Soth, essentially is most comfortable doing the exact opposite: Having a plan, or at least a list of things to look for. So one, Gossage, is fine, and shooting in colour essentially makes no difference whatsoever. The other one, Soth, ends up dismantling his career. Now that might be too simple a view. Of course, I don’t know what went on in New Zealand. I only have the words on the blog and this set of books.

You can read the full review on Conscientious HERE

1 comment:

Brandon Chik said...

hi harvey, do you know if this book is available to buy in new zealand anywhere? or who the best international vendor might be that offers economical shipping rates?