books & prints

Danielle Denham: the doorway to an abandoned little bookstore near the hamlet of Odell, Oregon, (2013)

   I have a fair few photography books but I never open them, some are still in shrink-wrap. I don't have photographs on walls either. All the photography that's been most important to me is held experientially, and that seems the place where it belongs.

   For me the really vital part of appreciating important photography comes at the beginning. It is those moments of first impact when leafing through a book that mattered and will remain indelible from that initial first occasion or two. And like contemplating a significant print on a gallery wall it's not particularly necessary to live with it afterwards or have it to refer to it. The book or print gives what it can then becomes largely irrelevant as a physical object - it is the idea provoked by them that matters. Admittedly on occasion this realisation is not immediate and some pictures (usually what will be the most significant ones) will demand time. They become almost an itch that can't be ignored and what begins as an irritant has to be re-visited until the finally a connection is made and something is finally revealed, an exultant moment, an epiphany. After that the reason for having an image around would just be for any decorative or sentimental value, the original revelation now exists elsewhere, internalised.