“Photo Journals is an exhibit of photographs used as primary sources in the recording of specific experiments and of the books in in which these photographs are organized. Elaborated in a variety of binding styles, collaged materials and captions, the books are personal reminiscences of time spent and provide factual accounts that comprise those experiences.
For the artists in this show, a photograph is not an end in itself, but raw material put to service toward a specific point of view. The worn drum head may tell the story of a soldier’s march into battle, but just as important to a chronology of events are the other non-photographic aspects o the picture: its apparent age, the names that may be written on the back, the frame, the book they are collected in. These make more specific the information contained in the image and the story begins to take in the fourth dimension of time.
While a photographic image can be duplicated many times over, these artists are interested in the singular visual experience as it unfolds before a viewer in the gallery. A Book is, after all, a physical an in many senses a sculptural object.
Scrapbooks and snapshots notwithstanding, the work of a number of photographers in this whos have receives significant praise. But the form a journal does not require each image to be considered for its relative merits compared to the photographs included, whether incidental or unequaled. The object is to tell a story. In fact, apparent deficiencies…are essential details in the retelling of the story. Similarly, the inclusion of collaged, drawn, and photocopied material visually pushes the photographs toward a statement of fact lacking artifice, assuming an innocence that has often eluded photographers.
All the nine artists in Photo Journals and the bookbinders and other craftspeople whoa helped some of them in creating their works bring a new dimension and interest to what was traditionally as photo journal.” -Excerpt from Photo Journal exhibition catalogue
Support for the Center for Book Arts’ visual arts programming is provided, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.