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 Post subject: Geoff Dyer, The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:15 pm 
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In March of this year the British writer Geoff Dyer was scheduled to speak at the Getty Center, to introduce a new publication of photographs by Garry Winogrand which Mr. Dyer curated. I noticed the event here at LVL and put it on my calendar. Regretfully, I caught the flu (yes, the one that everyone seemed to catch and that seemed to hang on endlessly) and was unable to attend the Getty program. I got myself down to Book Soup and purchased the copy you see in the accompanying photo (with my apologies for the image distortion caused by the mylar cover).
In addition to writing novels, Mr. Dyer writes about photography. He brings to that subject dry wit and a penetrating vision. He is the author of The Ongoing Moment, which I reported on earlier in LVL. When I think I have found all there is to find in a photograph, he often reveals very significant aspects I missed, whether in the composition, the relations among the subjects, the action/inaction and so much else. These are not necessarily aspects intended or even thought of by the photographer, either at the point of taking the photograph. Often, they are are simply matters of serendipity.
If you need someone to curate a retrospective of the street photography of Garry Winogrand, Geoff Dyer is your guy.
And indeed, Mr. Dyer was the guy for the University of Arizona's Center for Creative Photography when it planned - with the University of Texas Press - a book of Winogrand's photographs selected from the Center's archive in which each photograph would be printed opposite a short accompanying essay, like John Szarkowski's Looking at Photographs.
The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand presents Mr. Dyer's selection of 100 photographs, some iconic, some never before published. Most are in black and white, some are in color. The offset printing, which was done in Germany, is excellent, as is the overall design of the book, including the endpapers and the cloth binding. If you are an admirer of Winogrand as I am, you will almost certainly find it does him justice. If you are interested in street photography as a genre, you should consider this book if only for Mr. Dyer's enjoyable revelation of just how much there can be to see on the street.
The book traces the development of Winogrand's photography chronologically. By the book's end we reach the stage where the photographer was no longer proofing or even developing the thousands of rolls of film he was shooting near the end of his life. Winogrand famously said that he photographed to see how the world looked in a photograph. Yet in his last months, as Mr. Dyer notes, Winogrand was living to photograph, and no longer seeing the world in photographs. I find this a profoundly touching observation, and, as with so much else that Mr. Dyer writes, deeply thought-provoking.
Mr. Dyer dedicated this book to the late John Berger.
The Street Photography of Garry Winogrand, 239pp, hardcover, University of Texas Press, Austin (2018).

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