Statement by the American photographer, Stephen SHORE
"Our country is made for long trips. Since the 1940s, the dream of the road trip, and the sense of possibility and freedom that it represents, has taken its own important place within our culture." (© Stephen SHORE)
"The road trip is an enduring symbol in American culture. Ever since cars became widely available, the road stretching over the horizon has represented a sense of possibility and freedom, discovery and escape—a place to get lost and find yourself in the process. After World War II, the American road trip began appearing prominently in literature, music and movies, but it has had an especially powerful influence on photography.
As photographers have embarked on trips across the United States with the express purpose of making work, they have created some of the most important photographs in the history of the medium: from images by Walker EVANS, Henri CARTIER-BRESSON and Berenice ABBOTT to seminal 1950s odyssey by Robert FRANK, 'The Americans'. However, he was preceded by Edward WESTON, who traveled across the country taking pictures to illustrate 'Leaves of Grass' by Walt WHITMAN; Henri CARTIER-BRESSON, whose 1947 trip through the American South and into the West was published in the early 1950s in Harper's Bazaar; and Ed RUSCHA, whose road trips between Los Angeles and Oklahoma formed the basis of 'Twentysix Gasoline Stations'. Hundreds of photographers have continued the tradition of the photographic road trip on down to the present, from Stephen SHORE to Taiyo ONORATO, Nico KREBS, Alec SOTH and Ryan McGINLEY. 'The Open Road', edited by London based American writer David Campany, is the first book to explore the photographic road trip as a genre. It is a visual tour-de-force, presenting the story of photographers for whom the American road is muse.
'The Open Road' by David Campany opens with a comprehensive introduction, which traces the rise of road culture in America and considers photographers on the move across the country and across the century, from the early 1900s to present day.
Each of the 18 chapters explores one body of work in depth through informative texts and a portfolio of images, presented chronologically - beginning with Robert FRANK, and including such renowned work as '1964' by Garry WINOGRAND, 'American Prospects' by Joel STERNFELD, 'Los Alamos' by William EGGLESTON, and 'Sleeping by the Mississippi' by 'Alec SOTH." (slightly adapted text, © Aperture, 2014)
- David Campany
- HC (no dust jacket, as issued), 25,5 x 30 cm., 336 pp., highly b/w & color illustrated, text language: English