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Our kind of people : American groups and rituals (Anglais) Relié – 1975
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
American clubs and groups is the theme for this book and Owens has photographed, primarily for a local paper in the San Francisco area, a wide range of gatherings from the predictable Rotary Club, Masons and American Legion to obscure gatherings of a few folk who have a common interest in some activity. These are newspaper style photos: no nonsense, information laden shots that project a positive image, photos that work hard for the viewer.
Looking through the photos in this book, Suburbia, Leisure and Working it's clear that here is a photographer who has brilliantly captured the American Dream in the Seventies but I think he has gone further because he has taken the trouble to provide some relevant text to most of his photos which gives a more complete picture to the viewer.
***SEE SOME INSIDE PAGES by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.
Owens has allowed these people to construct their own representations. Yet, when he puts the pictures side-by-side, it makes a very different statement.
If I could use one example to explain this book, it would be a photograph of a bible study group. The eight or so people, clad in 70s stretch pants, are praying in a living room. Their bodies are twisted, their effort at prayer full of intent. The caption reads "our informal bible study...read the Book of Job. We finished the story in about three months. After that, our group disbanded."
If you have been asked to take a group picture, you will understand the challenge. It is hard to make a meaningful comment about a group when they control the pose and the picture taking. These kind of photographs are often called "grip and grins" or "snaps." If you work for a community newspaper, you are asked to take them regularly. The problem is that the pictures often have very little story-telling ability.
That is what Bill Owens has overcome. Each picture provides a set of clues about what values matter to the subjects in his pictures. He has a unforgiving eye. He is not aiming to make heroes out of his subjects. To the contrary, in most cases, Owens is revealing them for their faults.
This book was made during the rise of suburban America. These photographs show a new social frontier that was being constructed, when people left the relative diversity of urban areas for the segregation of outer suburbs. This subtext is not stated by the author, but it is the larger message of his work, both in this book and in Suburbia.
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