January 23, 2009

Robert Frank - Come Again and on the Train

I've been crap at posting for the last couple of weeks due to tax returns, my daughter's birthday and the wheedling brutality of the publishing industry, hoho. But yesterday I received through the post my copy of Robert Frank's Come Again, which gives me an excuse for writing something. Apparently it's been out of print for a few years, until the publisher found some additional unsold stock, which they've now made available. The photos are polaroid collages (usually just 2 photos per collage) shot in Beirut in 1991. The book is produced as a facsimile of the notebook Frank stuck the pictures in, the photos spot-varnished against the blue-squared lines of the notebook pages. It's beautifully done and a bit of a bargain. The pictures themselves are of derelict (bombed, shot up) buildings, completely devoid of people - very post-apocalyptic and still raw, what with recent events in Gaza. Just to add a bit of moving picture I've posted a clip above of Frank talking about trains: "I'm sorry about the movements but... it's all symbolic. It's all how much you get beaten up while being on that train. And then you hope when you get older that you can really enjoy it, y'know, and not have to fight anymore..."

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