le 22 octobre 2012
“Nomad Two Worlds” is a book that is not easy to categorize. It looks and feels like a “regular” coffee-table book, but it turns out to be much more than that. It combines elements of travel, fashion, and art photography with some original art and socially conscious message. It is the brainchild of Russell James, a displaced and itinerant Aussie photographer with an unusual and interesting life story. The impetus for the book came from the attempts to reconcile Australia’s two heritages that have for generations been at odds with each other: the ancient aboriginal culture and the recent colonizing European one. The clash of these cultures has often been painful and at times violent, and has left the deep scars on the Australian psyche. It was James’ hope that through photography and art he can bridge the gap between these cultures and bring them closer to each other. Over the years he has branched out to the other potential areas where there is a disconnect between the marginalized culture and the modern world, and in particular Haiti and the native North America.
Most of the photographs in this collection have been altered with the original art by a few of James’ collaborators. If you are looking for a pure photography book you may be disappointed. This is not to say that there is anything wrong with James’ photographs; to the contrary, they are very fascinating in their own right and his raw photography talent clearly comes through. However, the main aim of this book is to present a particular narrative – a merging of two worlds into a unique juxtaposition. James goes beyond the two worlds of aboriginal and European-decent Australians and generalizes this to include the contrast in general between the modern and traditional world, as well as between the art forms of photography and native art. It is definitely an interesting and bold project, and James ought to be applauded for undertaking it. How successful he has been, however, is ultimately the matter of individual tastes and preferences. Personally I am more than impressed with this book and would warmly recommend it.
le 19 juillet 2013
I loved this book at first sight... I am found of everything that's Australian and these pictures do have THE Australian Spirit. No surprise, Russel James and Hugh Jackman being among the Australian greatest artists.
Plus, it supports a wonderful association involved in the aboriginal cause.
So I bought one book for myself - and another one as a present for my best friend Annie's birthday.
2 happy women, thank you Mr Russel and Mr Jackman, we love you.