Friday, 9 November 2012

Video fun times!

I was cleaning a load of old photos and documents off my phone the other day, when I came across a few videos I'd obviously taken on my phone and completely forgotten about.

In chronological order:

1. The light parade which launched last year's Lumiere Festival in Durham, which was AWESOME!

2. Some wicked tunes by an insanely crazy bone people orchestra thing in the most brilliant Swedish building that's a sort of rip off of Rome's Pantheon, during the Stockholm Furniture Fair.

3. Josh from Blanch & Shock swearing profusely while trying to flip out a bacon mousé from a teddy-bear shaped mould, during a photoshoot for the Pilot Issue of Pages Of Magazine.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

You're Not From Around Here

Photobucket I've only been to Tennessee once and it hardly counts as a visit since it was little more than a look out the window of Memphis airport on a layover between a Phoenix to London flight. I don't remember anything about the view other than that the landscape was flat as a pancake. The only other thing I have to go on when it comes to Tennessee was a pre-teen best friend who was obsessed with the movie The Thing Called Love. "Look out Music City," the heroine shouts off the top of a building when she finally arrives in Nashville, "cause here I am and I ain't never leaving." Needless to say, the two of us never made it to Tennessee and our dreams of country-music stardom came to naught. But that's probably for the best.

During a San Diegan visit to my paterfamilias in 2006, one afternoon I dropped by the amusingly-named Museum of Photographic Arts where an exhibition of photographs by Mike Smith were on display. I don't know what suddenly brought Smith's photos back to mind, but I loved the images then and I still love them now.

Here, the classic visual trope of an outsider looking in, framing the oddness of an odd place with the surprising sensitivity of a very good storyteller. Smith moved to Tennessee via New Haven and Boston in 1981 to take up a professorship at East Tennessee University and spent his time travelling around the region, documenting the strange transformation of rural Tennessee as suburban tendencies took root.

The book - You're Not From Around Here - was published in 2004 and then toured various locations as the exhibition I saw in San Diego. I stupidly didn't buy it at the time and now wish, of course, that I did. Luckily, it's my birthday in a few weeks and if no one buys the book for me, well then I'll just have to get it for myself.
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