Thursday, April 3, 2008

On the Steps of Stephen Shore: A Rephotographic Survey

Numerous rephotographic projects have emerged over the last 30 years examining the evolution of both photographic and geographic history. The photographers of the Third View: A Rephotographic Survey of the American West have endeavored to revisit the sites where Timothy O’Sullivan, William Henry Jackson and Eadweard Muybridge made their grand images of the West. Similar projects have been done recently surrounding the work Eugène Atget and Bernice Abbott. For his project New York Changing, Douglas Levere rephotographed 114 locations from Bernice Abbott's Changing New York.

Most recently, Stephen Shore has been given rephotographic treatment. French photographer Valéry Denis has retraced Shore's steps across America in an effort to rephotograph the sites from his landmark project Uncommon Places. It's interesting to see the transformation, or lack there of, that has taken place in the locations that became iconic representations of the vernacular American landscape. Denis' project On the Steps of Stephen Shore: 30 After Uncommon Places, although geographically accurate, was photographed with Black & White film and a medium format camera. The result is less an homage to Shore's vision and more reexamination of land use.

From Top To Bottom:

Stephen Shore, U.S. 10, Post Falls, Idaho, August 25, 1974
Valéry Denis, 98 U.S. 10, Post Falls, Idaho

Stephen Shore, Fifth Street and Broadway, Eureka, California, September 2, 1974
Valéry Denis, 92 Fifth Street and Broadway, Eureka, California

Stephen Shore, Holden Street, North Adams, Massachusetts, July 13, 1974
Valéry Denis, 61 Holden Street, North Adams, Massachusetts

All Images © The Artists