By October 27, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

UNCOMMON PLACES

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Stephen Shore.  Uncommon Places:  the Complete Works.  Aperture, 2004.

One of my passions is photography and I took a continuing education course recently that included a stop at the Haggerty Museum of Art on the campus of Marquette University to see a traveling exhibition called Biographical Landscape:  the Photography of Stephen Shore, 1969–1979.I realized as we walked amongst the photographs that each image created its own discussion, not unlike a book discussion.  One of the powerful things about Shore’s photographs of common places turned uncommon is that each seems to write its own story. 

If the images are not enough, Shore himself is a fascinating person to discuss.  At age fourteen, he had three of his photographs sold to Edward Steichen at the Museum of Modern Art.  Three years later, Shore was hanging out at The Factory with Andy Warhol.  The photographs that make up the exhibit I saw were created on a number of odysseys taken back and forth across the country in an automobile, making the average and unremarkable into time capsules of who and what we are as a nation. 

The question becomes:  could you schedule a book discussion on a work of photographs?  I think Uncommon Places may lead to an uncommon book discussion. 

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About the Author:

Gary Niebuhr is the author of Make Mine a Mystery (2003), Caught up in Crime (2009), and other readers' guides to mystery and detective fiction. He was a Booklist contributor from 2008-2014.

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