Tuesday, October 13, 2009

EVAN MANN: GOOD MORNING MIDNIGHT


The title of Evan Mann's collection of photographs, GOOD MORNING MIDNIGHT, you might know as the title of a song most memorably recorded by Billie Holiday. Or the title of one of Jean Rhys's novels.

Both these previous works of art are in my personal canon. Now Evan Mann's book is too. I've added a link to his blog where some of his photographs can be found, like this one I attempted to scan to include here but couldn't do well without destroying the book.

Even is my sister-in-law's boyfriend (full disclosure), a Southern California native now living in Manhattan with Luloo and some other friends they share an apartment and a band with. They work in restaurants and bars to support their creative projects and interests and travels to exotic locations and landscapes.

He photographs moments from their lives and the lives of their friends and those they encounter with a ferocious precision that evokes an entire universe he allows us to glimpse in a way that sucks us in to each moment captured as if it were created just for our reaction, whether it be awe, or being disturbed and fascinated at the same time (you'll have to see the book for examples of those photos), etc. Here's another example.

I knew Evan was musically talented and could work a skateboard but I had no idea his photography was so potently arresting or startlingly original. You get the impact better from seeing them in this self-published (using the great gifts of the internet age the way we poets and other artists used the mimeograph machine and xeroxing when they were the quickest and cheapest means available for getting our work out to others) collection, partly because the book uses no titles for individual photographs, it lets the images speak for themselves and in their collective spontaneity and sometimes brutal honesty they create a narrative of what it is like to be young, adventurous and honest in these times.

I highly, highly recommend it. Go to his blog DISCREET INDISCRETIONS for ordering info.

2 comments:

harryn said...

i recall seeing the book when i visited the lally library of cognitive evolution - the cover and the title were luring - being a fan of holiday and rhys, and then catching the twist on the title - welcoming that darker side of human nature - that sexy, voyeuristic, maybe i shouldn't look - yes i should - i'm glad he photographed it so i can share in the thrill of discovering what it's like now or continues to be - and the colors, almost hyper-real for events that don't seem believable at times - maybe staged - maybe not ...
all in all, pretty captivating work - even though i'm not a big photography fan - beyond historical documentation kind of stuff - but maybe that's another part of the allure here - that's what it [also] is ...
and i guess i'm a little surprised when i see so much commentary about trivialities of current events, that the alley goes silent when it comes to remarks about art - i thought we were from a more 'enlightened' generation - but i guess the conceptual art of politics fosters more room for less thoughtful discourse ...

tom said...

I agree - I know I've been more likely to comment on the political posts than on the art and literature posts. However, I did follow the link over to the Discreet Indiscretions blog - twice now, and did enjoy the work.