Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

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i just finished reading victor burgin's Some Cities.

it's a book of photography and prose, though the prose mainly seems to deal with burgin's rambling thoughts on his childhood, on cities his visited, and the film and novel Vertigo (the book has a french title, but i cannot be bothered picking it up right at this instance).

what interested me most about it, was that when burgin was talking about london and kings street (or road), he talks a lot about the people. his photographs are mainly about the people there, including an amusing series of english men and women enjoying the sunlight. amusing to me, because the idea of construction workers walking down a street without their shirts on isn't that strange a vision, although the line of pale, construction muscled men making their way down the street with the english skin was a bit different. but hardly the cause for the photographs that burgin thinks. (to me, i repeat again. to burgin it obviously did.) however, back to my premise, it is here, in london, that it is about the people.

in the places he visits, which range from america, germany, australia and a couple of others, the photographs are sparsely populated with people. they are secondary. the city takes precedence, the look of it, the play of the buildings, the grass, the volcano and the strippers room (though the stripped, in one photo, is relegated to the point of being an object inside the room, like the cushions or glass that burgin looks at with his mechanical eye). impersonal, the city takes on precedence, the people hardly considered.

which is interesting, this distinction.

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