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Download Shards of America eBook

by David Harris,Phil Bergerson

Download Shards of America eBook
ISBN:
1593720106
Author:
David Harris,Phil Bergerson
Category:
Social Sciences
Language:
English
Publisher:
Quantuck Lane Pr & the Mill rd; First Edition edition (September 30, 2004)
Pages:
136 pages
EPUB book:
1914 kb
FB2 book:
1188 kb
DJVU:
1729 kb
Other formats
doc azw azw txt
Rating:
4.4
Votes:
391


Phil Bergerson has been a professor of photography at Ryerson University in Toronto since 1972. In his introduction, David Harris writes that SHARDS OF AMERICA is in the tradition of Walker Evans's "American Photographs"

Phil Bergerson has been a professor of photography at Ryerson University in Toronto since 1972. In his introduction, David Harris writes that SHARDS OF AMERICA is in the tradition of Walker Evans's "American Photographs". According to Harris, the photographs have been arranged to communicate, or spark, ideas about American civilization and culture. The "governing principle", per Harris, is "juxtaposition-the deliberate placement of two or more objects in close proximity for purposes of comparison.

Shards of America book. In Shards of America, Canadian photographer Phil Bergerson has gathered richly detailed images from neglected corners of American's towns and small cities, and created a fascinating mosaic. Businesses, religious sects, and community groups announce their pr A shard is a fragment of broken pottery, often used by archaeologists to reconstruct objects from past civilizations.

In Shards of America, Canadian photographer Phil Bergerson has gathered richly detailed images from neglected corners of American's towns and small cities, and created a fascinating mosaic.

A shard is a fragment of broken pottery, often used by archaeologists to reconstruct objects from past civilizations.

Phil Bergerson’s book Shards of America explores the culture of the United States through an investigation of. .

Phil Bergerson’s book Shards of America explores the culture of the United States through an investigation of its streets. In twenty years of road trips across America, Bergerson photographed window displays, everyday objects and street scenes in a formalistic, documentary style. The resulting book is a unique look at the things that make up American society. Although he is from Canada, Bergerson was drawn to photographing America because Americans seem to have no problem speaking what they think, at any time, and will actually put it out in public for all to see, and in my case, to photograph.

Best of LensCulture Book.

Phil Bergerson’s book, Shards of America was published in 2004 by the New York Publisher – Quantuck Lane . Kodak Lecture Series.

Phil Bergerson’s book, Shards of America was published in 2004 by the New York Publisher – Quantuck Lane Press. Left: Phil Bergerson – New York, New York, 2001, American Shards, Right: Phil Bergerson – Richmond, Indiana, 1998, American Shards. Phil Bergerson taught photography at Ryerson University from 1975 until his retirement in 2005.

Phil Bergerson finds the answers in these snapshots of American places, things, and windows. Phil Bergerson’s images seen here can be found in a book entitled Shards of America. The United States of Burgers. Map of every stream in the United States. Punk Rock City USA (American Malls in the 1980s). Photos of American malls in the ’80s by Michael Galinsky.

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A shard is a fragment of broken pottery, often used by archaeologists to reconstruct objects from past civilizations. In Shards of America, Canadian photographer Phil Bergerson has gathered richly detailed images from neglected corners of American's towns and small cities, and created a fascinating mosaic. Businesses, religious sects, and community groups announce their presence, offer their services, and pitch their messages, while commercial signs, graffiti, posters, and public notices blanket the surfaces of buildings and public spaces. Paintings and movie posters, dime-store novels and daily newspapers, figurines and mannequins, decals and stenciled graffiti, and children's letters and drawings are laid out as artifacts of a greater whole. Patriotism, consumerism, censorship, nostalgia for a simpler past coupled with a desire for a less complicated present...touching on all these themes, Bergerson's quietly ironic but empathetic tone encourages the reader to imagine how our own ordinary world might appear to viewers in a hundred or more years' time. 119 color photographs.
  • Tholmeena
Phil Bergerson's square color photographs show that he has a sensitive eye for the unusual, the intriguing, the ironic in American life. His sensibility brings to mind that of other contemporary photographers, Elliott Erwitt and Lee Friedlander. The book is a delight.
  • Nirn
This is one of the best books of photographs I have encountered. Between 1991 and 2004, Phil Bergerson, a Canadian photographer, crossed the United States taking color photographs of cultural ephemera. SHARDS OF AMERICA contains 119 of his photographs.

The first photograph is of the exterior ticket window to what appears to be an Art Deco theater. Above the window is the word "LIFE", and stretched across the window itself is a blue neon light that reads, in script, "Welcome". That singular photograph introduces the viewer to fifty-nine pairs of photographs, printed one photograph to a page, with no identifying information other than location and year ("Springfield, Missouri, 1998" in the case of that first photograph). More than a third of the photographs are of storefront windows and odd displays of knick-knacks, leftovers, and messages (commercial, political, and religious). There are a fair number of photographs of urban exterior walls, almost all from seedy neighborhoods and almost all sporting graffiti of some sort. Ten of the photographs record responses to 9/11. Others show such things as drab interiors with kitsch art, roadside signs, and city news stands.

In his introduction, David Harris writes that SHARDS OF AMERICA is in the tradition of Walker Evans's "American Photographs". According to Harris, the photographs have been arranged to communicate, or spark, ideas about American civilization and culture. The "governing principle", per Harris, is "juxtaposition--the deliberate placement of two or more objects in close proximity for purposes of comparison." I can easily recognize that "each pair of photographs is keyed to a single color or range of colors", but beyond that I find Harris's explanation of the organization of the book somewhat hifalutin. I also think fanciful the notion that the book as a whole communicates some sort of valid comprehensive view of America and its culture. (If there is such an overarching take on American culture, it is a very shallow and tacky one.)

But most of the individual photographs are very striking and rich in visual details and potential explanations/meanings. If you are like me, you will devote on average twice as much time looking at, deciphering, and assimilating each photograph as you typically do when going through a book of photographs. Moreover, you will be much more likely to want to share images with friends as well as to return to the book a second, third, and fourth time.

The photographs themselves are square. They were made with a Hasselblad camera and various Kodak negative films and papers. They are technically superb, as is the production of the book by Quantuck Lane Press.
  • Hi_Jacker
Canadian Phil Bergerson continues the American tradition of photographing messages in public places. The sixty photo spreads in the book all contain some sort lettering: either commercially printed or hand created which appear in shop windows or in the environment. David Harris writes in his excellent intro that the flow of images creates a visual framework with each spread deliberately contrasting their two photos. Some of this is not immediately apparent in the same way that not every photo in 'William Eggleston's Guide' slots into place on the first look through.

So many of Bergerson's photos pull you into the composition. Page forty-eight shows a cash register and liquor bottles in a bar with various printed messages on the wall behind and on the register, or the roadside on page eighty-eight with a vertical pole almost splitting the photo in two and various signs stretching into the distance, all the compositions with their cropping and the deep saturated colors just seem so right. I thought the amount of detail in each photo very impressive, all the more so because every shot has been taken in a public place where anyone could have seen what Bergerson has seen but mostly we just pass it by and it's only when the same view is placed on a page that the ordinary reveals more.

Overall I thought this was a wonderful set of photos and the book is typical of the high standards you would expect from the Quantuck. Laura Lindgren (who has designed other Quantuck titles) does the usual impressive layout and typography and the Italian printer Mondadori (on matt art with a 175 screen) completes the package.

***SEE SOME INSIDE PAGES by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.