December 15, 2019

It's that time of year for me to enjoy the guilty pleasures of the photobooks I've picked up over the years. I say guilty as they do feel like an indulgence. Often bought on a whim, they still serve as an inspiration. I don't have a most wanted set and I don't really keep up with the latest releases, apart from the ubiquitous lists at this time of year. I just tend to let them find me.

So it was with Krass Clement's Drum.

The circumstances in which the photographs were taken have a romanticism underpinned by a sense of absence and loss. Arguably that's a reflection of a lot of cultures not just Irish but it's one I have to say I identify with. The world depicted by the images evokes memories of not just back home but here in London in the world my dad and his compatriots recreated.

I was taken aback when I found the work was made in 1991. It's space borrowing time from another dimension. Ireland again. I recall the disorientation of entering bars - and homes - like that. A certain theatricality to the arrangement of the room, the order of who sits where, the silence.

It's interesting how much the analysis I've read is about the photographer's empathy with the others in the bar. Each an outsider in their own way. A form of reflective photojournalism. Not judging. Observing a ritual.

Bearing witness.

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Sean McDonnell

I've been pursuing a style of photography now called street for a number of years. A south Londoner by birth I am pre-occupied with the West End and spend too much time there taking black and white pictures on film. I nurture a hope that one day London will be recognised like Paris, New York and Tokyo as a great city of street photography but secretly like the fact that it is still the underdog. For someone who enjoys the solitary practice of his work I am surprisingly talkative about it - although not at the same time. Here's a collection of idle musings and distracting links.

These posts are a sample of my current blog PORTRAIT OF A STREET PHOTOGRAPHER. There are 10 years of posts so please visit!

Portrait of a Street Photographer archive

link to Portrait of a Street Photographer blog
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