Paul Graham

Europe: America


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"La Fábrica Editorial and the Fundación Botín have coedited 'Europe: America', a work that explores two crucial moments in the artistic career of Paul Graham through the juxtaposition of two of his series: 'New Europe' (1986-1992) and 'A shimmer of possibility' (2004-2006).
The first was the result of a trip made through Europe, and the second through the U.S.. The publication brings together photographs, diptychs, and polyp-tychs made between 1986 and 2006. The series 'New Europe', developed bet-ween 1988 and 1993 in a series of repeated trips through nine European countries, from Germany and North Ireland to Italy and Spain, explores the tensions that the artist and others felt with respect to the future of Europe, as well as the recent past, from the Second World War to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Graham investigated both the medium in which he worked and a culture in transition, challenging the genre of photography itself and investigating new forms of presenting images: mounting his photographs in color and on a large scale on aluminum grills, showing them in individual form as well as in diptychs and triptychs, without paying heed to the norms of conventional installations. For its part, 'A shimmer of possibility' (2004-2006) sets its gaze toward the U.S., where Graham currently resides. The twelve volumes that comprise the series (in Spanish, el destello de una posibilidad) sends us on an ostensible trip through Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Louisiana, Minneapolis, New Eng-land, New York, New Orleans, North Dakota, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Texas; at the same time, nonetheless, these journeys do not bring us any-where. The images reflect the indeterminacy of the fringes, of the traffic inter-sections, and of the shopping centers on the cities’ outskirts. Graham chooses public spaces in the U.S. such as residential streets, gas stations, bus stops, pharmacies, and liquor stores…transit zones, public places to which everyone has access. What Graham’s images transmit to us is a subtle meditation on the absence of a civic dimension that characterizes these places. Rather than an agora or a public meeting place, the streets and roadsides that Graham shows serve as a backdrop to people who live in isolation, passing each other by, whether alone or in groups, but in any case as though they were in parallel worlds, each one distinct and set apart." (publisher)