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The Whiteness of the Whale brings together Paul Graham’s three bodies of American photographs: American Night, a shimmer of possibility and The Present.
Released between 1998 to 2011, these 3 remarkable photographic series reflect upon the social fabric of contemporary America, whilst trying to find something closer to the experience of being and seeing in the world today.
American Night (2003) examines the social fracture of America – the great divide between have and have-not rendered through the dichotomy of light and darkness, presence and absence. The images oscillate between high-key near invisible photographs in bright light, and the antithesis – deeply saturated colour images of freshly minted homes glowing under California’s blue skies.
a shimmer of possibility (2007), is an American epic of the small and incidental. Originally published as twelve photographic visions of everyday life, the stuttering sequences form a kind of 'filmic haiku', revealing the flow of life found in quotidian America, where we share moments with people waiting for a bus, cutting the grass, or smoking a cigarette. a shimmer of possibility was winner of the 2011 Paris Photo Book Prize for the most significant Photobook of the past 15 years.
The Present (2011) taken in the streets of New York, and unfolds two images of the same scene separated only by the briefest fraction of time. Here the present is revealed to be a fleeting and provisional alignment, glimpsed as part of an ever flowing continuum of life: before/after, coming/going, either/or.
About the Photographer:
Paul Graham (b. 1956, United Kingdom) is a British photographer living and working in New York City. In 1981, Graham completed his first acclaimed work, A1: The Great North Road. His use of color film in the early 1980s, at a time when British photography was dominated by traditional black-and-white social documentary, had a revolutionizing effect on the genre. Soon a new school of photography emerged with artists like Martin Parr, Richard Billingham, Simon Norfolk, and Nick Waplington making the switch to color. Over the past three decades, Graham has travelled widely, producing twelve distinct bodies of work. He has been the subject of more than eighty solo exhibitions worldwide. In 2012, Paul Graham received the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, regarded as photography's top honor.
Published in August 2015 by MACK Books, UK in collaboration with Pier 24, San Francisco
Hardback book with tipped in image, housed in a printed mailing box
Texts by David Chandler, Herman Melville and Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa
24 cm x 30.5 cm