Friday, March 30, 2007

Baton Rouge Blues - William Greiner

A small package arrive in the mail this week - a copy of William Greiner's little book Baton Rouge Blues. It's a tiny pocket sized book simply produced by the Visual Arts Gallery of the University of Alabama. It's quite an exquisite gem - rough diamond - of a thing (and although I'd love if someone like Nazraeli - hope you're listening! -would take it and re-publish in their usual high quality print style, but in fact the slightly ad-hoc gritty style of the little book is quite appropriate for the subject matter - a photographer in exile in his own land).

Greiner really is a master of colour and colour coincidence (from the book Chromophobia: "Urban life is filled with "color rhyming" moments; you walk down the street and a yellow truck appears in your frame of vision just as a man in a yellow jacket turns into view and suddenly you feel the ineffable. That's what the book is really about -- honoring moments like that." )

This from the introduction:

Born and raised in New Orleans, and having lived in the city most of my adult life, never in my wildest dreams did I envision myself living permanently in Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana, located about 65 miles northwest of New Orleans. However, after Hurricane Katrina hit, Baton Rouge is where I ended up.

The series, Baton Rouge Blues is the product of the emotional and psychological roller coaster I have experienced living here after the storm. Anger, frustration and bewilderment gave way to confusion, disorientation, then resignation and, finally, acceptance.

Whether the photographs in this series accurately exemplify the reasons and circumstances of their making is far less important than the process and product that got me through this almost unimaginable experience.

Bloom where you are planted.

I think the only way to get hold of a copy is to contact William though the book is published by the Visual Arts Gallery of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I have no idea how many copies are available or what they cost.
Greiner's Katrina + Beyond blog is here

(Note: not all these pictures are from the book)

1 comment:

Luis said...

Greiner's color is sometimes more clever, athletic, or sensational than brilliant, but he is quite good.