A long-awaited, multivolume "documentary fiction" of photographs and documents portraying the Northern Ireland conflict
In 1972, at the age of 26, Gilles Peress (born 1946) photographed the British Army's massacre of Irish civilians on Bloody Sunday. In the 1980s he returned to the North of Ireland, intent on testing the limits of visual language and perception to understand the intractable conflict. Whatever You Say, Say Nothing, a work of "documentary fiction," organizes a decade of photographs across 22 fictional "days" to articulate the helical structure of history during a conflict that seemed like it would never end―days of violence, of marching, of riots, of unemployment, of mourning.
Accompanying each copy is Annals of the North, a text-and-image almanac to Whatever You Say, Say Nothing, also published separately by Steidl this season; the books are housed together in a tote bag.
Held back for 30 years and now eagerly anticipated, Whatever You Say, Say Nothing takes the language of documentary photography to its extremes.
Photographed in Zimbabwe and Kenya in late 2020, The Day May Break is the first part of a global series by acclaimed photographer Nick Brandt, portraying people and animals that have been impacted by environmental degradation and destruction.
The people in these photographs were all affected by climate change, displaced by cyclones and years-long droughts. Photographed at five sanctuaries, the animals were rescues that can never be rewilded. As a result, it was safe for human strangers to be close to them, photographed so close to them, within the same frame. The fog on location is the unifying visual motif, conveying the sense of an ever-increasing limbo, a once-recognizable world now fading from view. However, despite their respective losses, these people and animals have survived, and therein lies possibility and hope.
This Peanut Portfolio Book includes one signed and numbered original photograph and one signed and numbered hardcover book, 40 pages, 18 color plates.
Aline Smithson's award-winning portraiture has been shown in numerous exhibitions and publications internationally and is held in many public and private collections. Smithson has also exhibited her portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in London and was commissioned to create a series of portraits for the Smithsonian Art and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Fugue State asks us to think about the permanence of photographs. Both digital and analog images can be destroyed by time, and here, Smithson hastens the process herself. When has destruction been so beautiful?
If Cartier-Bresson's decisive moment reflects a situation perfectly in tune with the photographer's intuition, flawlessly combining the elements of composition and timing, then Ed Kashi's abandoned moment is the result of an imprecise instant of surrender.
This collection of photographs, made over a 40-year period, reveals imprecise glimpses of transitory events filled with frenetic energy – the chaos of everyday life. Embodying photography's intrinsic power, they preserve moments that can never occur again in exactly the same time and space. When geometry, mood, and possibility unite to unintentionally create something new, the magical and fictional qualities of still photography capture the unplanned essence of existence.
In contrast to my journalistic approach of deep personal connection and keen observation, this work is about capturing the untamed energy of a moment with abandon.