Via Medardo Rosso
19, 20159 Milano MI
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Saturday, May 11_7pm
Aaron Schuman: SLANT (MACK, 2019)
talk and booksigning
Amherst, Massachusetts, is a small town in New England, near where Aaron Schuman – the author of the book SLANT – grew up.
The 19th-century American poet, Emily Dickinson, also lived and wrote in Amherst (essentially recluse her whole life), and the title of this book pays tribute to her. SLANT is a reference to the rhyming scheme, ‘slant rhyme’ (we Italians call it ‘imperfect’), which Dickinson often employed, and the use of assonance – as well as to the relationship between text and image and, in a broader perspective, between image and truth.
As Dickinson herself wrote:
Tell all the truth
but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit
Too bright for our
The Truth’s superb
As Lightning to
the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must
Or every man
be blind —
That is: Truth is necessary, but cannot be spoken directly – better use a turn of phrase, a metaphor…or perhaps even an image?
However, for Schuman it all started with reading a small section in the local newspaper of the substantially peaceful small town Amherst. The section, called ‘Police Reports’, contains brief and often surreal reports of criminal or suspicious events in the area.
In SLANT, Schuman interweaves a selection of these clippings with images taken in and near Amherst.
As the book proceeds, what initially appears to be an funny, affectionate, and slightly ironic portrait of a quiet town takes on an increasingly surreal, discordant and sinister tone, and becomes a reflection about the rise of ‘fake news’, ‘alternative facts’ and paranoia, and more generally, about what moves beneath the surface of contemporary American society.
AARON SCHUMAN is an artist, writer and curator based in the United Kingdom.. His photographic is exhibited and published internationally, and is held in a number of public and private collections. Schuman is the author of FOLK (NB Books, 2016) – which was cited as one of 2016’s “Best Photobooks” by Sean O’Hagan (The Guardian), Alec Soth (Photo-Eye) and Jason Fulford (TIME), and was longlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2017.
His latest book, SLANT, will be released by MACK in April 2019.
Schuman has contributed texts to books including Aperture Conversations: 1985 to the Present (Aperture, 2018), Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins (Prestel, 2018), Alec Soth: Gathered Leaves (MACK, 2015), Vision Anew (University of California Press, 2015), The Photographer’s Playbook (Aperture, 2014), and Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michals (Prestel, 2014), amongst many others; he also regularly writes for magazines such as Frieze, ArtReview, Aperture, Foam, Hotshoe, TIME, The British Journal of Photography, and more.
Additionally, Schuman has curated several major exhibitions, including Indivisible: New American Documents – Gregory Halpern, Sam Contis, Bayete Ross Smith (FOMU Antwerp, 2016), In Appropriation (Houston Center for Photography, 2012), Other I: Alec Soth, WassinkLundgren, Viviane Sassen (Hotshoe Gallery London, 2011), and Whatever Was Splendid: New American Photographs (FotoFest, 2010). In 2014, Schuman served as Curator of Krakow Photomonth 2014 – entitled Re:Search, it featured major exhibitions by Taryn Simon, Trevor Paglen, Jason Fulford, Clare Strand, David Campany and more. In 2018, Schuman served as Curator of Jaipur Photo Festival.
Schuman was the founder and editor of SeeSaw Magazine (2004-2014, link here), and is Programme Leader of the MA Photography programme at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).
On Sunday, May 12, Aaron Schuman will teach The SLANT workshop for maximum 14 students, cost: 130€ | info here