Americans Parade is a parade of Americans. One after the other, from one community to the next, building up a picture of Americans in the United States in 2016, the year Donald Trump was elected, a year when Americas division have never been more pronounced.
I have visited the United States several times over the years and outside of the biggest cities, I would see very little street life and have no reason to stop; I would only know of a place by it’s reputation, it was like the local community was invisible.
The idea for the work came about when I went to a Martin Luther King parade in a neighbourhood I had been to before. Unlike my first visit, when the streets were empty, the streets were suddenly alive, full of people, families, movement and a sea of sound, a complex community was suddenly visible.
In 2016, I decided to criss-cross the country looking for parades that covered many of the different American demographics. The NYT’s magazine liked the idea and supported me throughout, publishing the work on the weekend of Trumps inauguration.
Throughout the year I visit 26 parades, in 24 cities across 14 states. From the very first parade, my visual approach was simple and deliberate. Moving alongside the parade I would follow the route, waiting for a clear view to photograph a section of the crowd on the other side.
I would look at the landscape and the overall composition, at groups that caught my attention, at fleeting moments, but I also embraced the generosity of the camera, it’s ability to record and freeze more than I could register. The crowd gives the photograph that element of chance, to create itself.
The details become important. A sea of faces, expressions, postures, gestures, a look, a touch, alongside, fashions and social behaviour and interactions. A narrative full of complexities and ambiguities, like a series of modern day tableaux.
Although much of America is segregated and separated by race or income, and this difference is exploited as a means to polarise and divide, it is far too simple to define a community through this narrow identity. What I have attempted to do is create a group portrait of multiple identities, where people stand together, in a company of strangers.
Americans Parade has an introduction by David Campany and a short story by Vanessa Winship.
"Although it is not possible to be as indifferent and mechanical as a camera, it is possible to place an image before a viewer as an invitation to look and think; an invitation to measure it carefully against one’s own experience and judgment, to confront one’s preconceptions, to conclude anew or to leave matters open." David Campany from the book introduction
Production and book.
I am again collaborating with printer, Ufuk Şahin and his team at Mas in Istanbul to produce the book. The biggest challenge has been maximising the size of each image without making a book that is oversized and unmanageable. To do justice to the photographs, we knew the images had to go across the double page. To overcome a traditional binding problem of breaking the image and thus losing people in the gutter (the space between two facing pages in the centre), Mas have perfected a "lay-flat" binding. Each image is printed whole on one side of the paper only and glued back to back. This allows for each image to have no interference and to lay completely flat.
To complete the book, designer Joao Linneu has designed a fantastic cover and index pages.
For a publisher this production would make no economic sense. The amount of work involved in this binding, the book would need to retail close to £100. By self publishing and funding the book through pre sales and extras, partly through Kickstarter and selling directly I can keep the costs (profits) down and make the book as affordable as possible.
Americans Parade will be printed in beautiful quad-tone, allowing for incredible tone separation and detail.
- Limited edition of 1000.
- 31x 23.5cm hard cover with lay-flat binding
- 128 pages with 60 photos
- Essay by David Campany
- Short story by Vanessa Winship
- Graphic Design by João Linneu
- Printed by Mas Matbaa, Istanbul.
A video flick through the whole book
As the book is only being printed on one side of the paper and all the photographs are whole. I am able to offer a number of beautiful 45.5cm x 31cm (18x12") quad tone offset prints from the book that look great framed. This is a very inexpensive way to get a high quality print at a good size.
The special edition book will be housed in a 48cm x 32cm custom made box with a large 45.5cm x 31cm (18x12") signed limited edition inkjet print. This represents incredible value for an edition print at this size. There is a choice of 5 prints, each in an edition of 10. No other prints will be made in this size. Photograph to follow.
An oversized 21cmx15cm postcard set.
I have a small number of copies of both Last Stop and Fault Lines/Turkey/East/West available during the campaign at a discounted price.
George Georgiou’s Tour of the Unfamiliar
"The anthropologist, the journalist, and (apparently) the travel writer seek, and if they are lucky find, explanations and solutions. But the artist may discover that every avenue of inquiry leads to another mystery, more complex and more interesting than the original question.
For Georgiou, these explorations often begin with curiosity about a place: its topography, geography, history, and culture, the ways its architecture and population reflect the friction between—and fusion of—the historic and modern." Francine Prose Aperture magazine Fall 2012
"Each one tells a story of the environment and the people in it, the economic and racial context of the parade. Then again, the anonymity and sheer volume of the different faces blur into a kind of abstract familiarity; in each picture we find ourselves searching, inadvertently, for somebody we know." Alice Zoo, BJP.
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Risks and challenges
There are no risks to completing the book. I am asking for the part funding of the book and I will use my own savings to make up the rest.
I am already a long way down the road, all the test have been made and it's very impressive, so no surprises.
- (28 days)