Soft Cover70 Pages216 x 279 mmFrench Folded, Perfect boundPrinter: GrafiPlazaPrinting: Colour Photographs 4/0 offsetText and Index photographs 1/0 offset
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Reflective light illuminates the isolation of people crossing this Auckland intersection. Like cardboard cutouts they lift away from the tar-seal. As I tried to organise shifting shadows and followed people falling in and out of reflected sunlight, my interpretation of this space shifted. Standing here reminded me of the photographic experience. How through the subtle twisting of light we can experience a common scene in a new way.
The proliferation of photography as a means of communication today encourages us to experience life with a photographic eye. We’re able to segment, distill and project instantly. I wonder if this framed output, now that we all do it so often, acts as a barrier or new point of connection to our environment? A border equally separates and joins things together.
Over two summers I travelled the same route from suburban Auckland to this central intersection. Passing the same scenes, the same plants, the same buildings, sometimes seeing the same people.
Civic Surreal records a heightened participation in our everyday, but also the softening of authorship I started to feel around individual photographs at this time. Through this repetitive process my photographs started unfolding in a new way. More transparent, traces of connection to my environment and onto my next photograph - they became stepping stones into a more comfortable, more settled, time and place. The act of photographing gave me my point of connection.
The book's soft cover blurs its boundaries, the impression of entering and exiting the object is lightened. Vulnerable paper, creasing and marking, makes object ownership less pronounced. The text is all presented in one font size, flattening the hierarchy of content. Air floats into folded pages confusing the space between frames. Civic Surreal is the material extension of my photographic experience, it reflects the central idea that participation over ownership encourages connection.
CopyrightMaya Handley, 2019
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