“There comes a point when it is no longer a question of an art that is over here, in a pristine volume, or Out There, on a pristine gallery wall … but an art that has become how you see the world. You no longer merely look (up, out) at it; it is inside you like a lamp, which illuminates all the details spread out below in what might otherwise be an unmitigated darkness.” - Ian Penman, Storylines
With But Still, It Turns, Paul Graham curates a subtle thesis and revitalising manifesto for photography. The dynamic and diverse work gathered here advocates an unashamed, but not uncomplicated, dedication to the brilliant tangle of reality. Without being tempted by the artifice of the studio or the restrictive demands of conventional documentary, these artists tell open-ended stories that shift, warp, and branch, attuned unfailingly to life-as-it-is. Included are Gregory Halpern’s Californian waking dream ZZYZX; Vanessa Winship’s peripatetic exercise in empathy she dances on Jackson; the human assemblages of Curran Hatleberg’s Lost Coast; Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa’s rich and multitudinous One Wall a Web; the mortality-tinged America of Richard Choi’s What Remains; RaMell Ross’ visionary documentary work South County; the collaborative project Index G by Emanuele Bruti & Piergiorgio Casotti; and Kristine Potter’s disorientating exploration of the American landscape and masculinity in Manifest. All these works are brought together in harmony and enlightening dissonance, as Graham teases out a new photographic form. Its title is the words allegedly murmured by Gallileo after being forced to withdraw his observations of the world; what can be seen here, in Graham’s words, is “all the world’s infinite consanguinity”.
The book includes essays by Paul Graham, Rebecca Bengal, RaMell Ross, and Ian Penman.
Published in conjunction with an exhibition at the International Center for Photography (ICP), New York, in January 2021.