Tuesday, January 27, 2015

David Cook - Meet Me in the Square


David Cook is a photographer whose work I like and admire. David is a lecturer based at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand. Most of his projects deal with contested space, community and ecology.

Meet Me In the Square is David Cook's new bookwork which is his response to him hearing the news of the earthquake which struck his hometown of Christchurch on 22 February 2011. David recalls... When I heard the news... I flew back to see my family and to survey the damage. Much of the central city had collapsed, or was damaged beyond repair. Returning to Hamilton I unearthed an archive of around 6000 photographs I'd made in Christchurch during the mid 1980's. Mesmerised by these images I started to rebuild my version of the city.

Meet Me in the Square is a stunningly realised work both in content and design. David Cook's photographs are a lovingly objective gaze at a city he called home. The images present a quietly uninflected view of the city with none of the lame jokey image making that still seems to persist in this sort of photography. Cook's images seem effortless as if the photographs just appeared in front of a locked-off camera. The work is intelligent, thoughtful and rewarding. It deserves a wide audience.

The Christchurch Art Gallery will be exhibiting Meet Me in the Square, opening 31 January, running until 24 May.

And the book: 
Meet Me in the Square: Christchurch 1983-1987 / Published by Christchurch Art Gallery /
Designed by Jonty Valentine / 180 pages / 275mm x 210mm / hardcover and flexicover

You can get a copy from the Christchurch Art Gallery shop HERE.

You can check out more of David Cook's work on his website HERE.

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