This year, in the true spirit of Christmas, we’re doing the Miniclick Photobook Advent Calendar where we’ll look at a different photobook, newspaper, magazine or ‘zine we like by someone we’ve worked with in the last 12 months, right up until Christmas Day. To view the Advent Calendar picks so far,click here.
Day 15 – December 15th
Chris has done a few events with us in the last couple of years and we like to invite him to be involved as much as possible, particularly in panel discussions where his opinions and insights are always well thought out. Back in July when we launched Portrait Month to coincide with our portraiture themed Publication#2 we did an all-dayer, featuring photographers discussing their portraiture work, and in particular Tim Andrews’ “Over the Hill” project that all of them had been involved with. Chris was one of them, and his “Things May Change…” book is behind door number 15 in The Great Miniclick Advent Calendar…
“Two or three years ago I made a small number of books from a series of photographs that I took over a six month period in 2001. I titled the series ‘Things May Change But This Will Stay the Same’. I don’t really know why I called it that, it just felt right. It’s strange how some things one does can be explained in an entirely considered way, while others are utterly beyond the reach of explanation and there is simply no point in stretching one more inch in their direction.
The pictures themselves, I had forgotten all about them until I was re-organising my film and print archive after moving into a new studio in 2010. In a box was a handful of envelopes with negatives and contact sheets, all the pictures on them were of a girl I once knew with whom I had once fallen in love. I sat down on the floor right there and could not believe that I had let the memory of their existence slide to an outlying island of my mind. Immediately I could see the whole arc of my feelings towards her playing itself out in that slim collection, from beginning to end.”
The body of work seems incredibly personal, it almost takes you back a bit. These seem like private moments we’re being invited to look into for a brief glimpse. The old adage of there always being two people in every photo – the subject and the photographer – is true of course, but here the feeling is multiplied. When the subject, the girl Chris travelled America with in in 2001, is looking to camera, she isn’t. She’s looking at Chris.
As you’d expect, the images are stunning, but it’s this feeling of intimacy and that we’re being granted a look, that really makes the book. Not to mention the edit, which is spot on as it takes us on a journey, mixing photographs of the girl, the inside of hotel rooms and images taken on the road.
Chris’ great talent is to make it all so personal but so accessible – reminding us we’ve all been in similar situations before (and then maybe regretting we didn’t photograph them with such an elegant and light eye…).
I didn’t realise it’s being published through Magcloud (an on demand magazine / ‘zine printing service) until I started researching this post. It’s an interesting platform I’d like to see explored more. The copy we have is one that Chris had printed himself by FE Burman in London (on a matte paper) and the quality of print, stock and the binding (46pages, perfect bound) is really strong. I’d be interested to compare to the MagCloud version as I’ve heard good things. You can buy the print version, or go for the digital version for a fraction of the price.
You can buy ‘Things May Change…” on Magcloud for $15 in print, or $2 for the digital version, here.