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John Gossage
The Pond. A book of 52 photographs
HC, 31 x 29 cm., 108 pp.
Aperture 2010 (1st release 1985)

"The subjects of the 49 black-and-white photos in this book are not only ponds; there are also shots of homes, trees, birds, weeds, puddles and streams. Gossage creates evocative compositions of tires and branches partially submerged in a swamp, graceful patterns of birds or leaves spiralling against the sky, a shadow sneaking across a street, a clump of weeds nestled beside a concrete stump, cars driving blindly past a patchwork design of sidewalk, asphalt, shadow and grass. Sines's introductory essay serves only to disorient the reader rather than enhance the photographs; a piece about her own house, her family, her "Pa," it is unrelated to the pictures in mood as well as content." (Reed Business Information, Inc.)

"Gossage photographs nature, but in it finds no beauty. He shoots a pond strewn with detritus, both natural and man-made. He photographs a deserted carnival through leafless trees, a river with a half-sunken tire and a floating plank. One picture includes a vacant overgrown field, the corner of a drive- in movie screen, a lone pole, and an "Auto Service" sign, each element alien and unrelated. Gossage is con cerned more with meaning than with appearance, and the places he photo graphs are enigmatic, mysterious, and evocative. He communicates a sense of nature as out-of-joint, at odds with it self and with man. Sines's essay does not relate directly to the photographs, but does reinforce a sense of rural pov erty and decay. While Gossage seems to be demonstrating nature spoiled or at least sullied by man, he is not didactic. His ultimate meanings are veiled. For comprehensive collections." (Marjorie Miller, Fashion Inst. of Technology Lib., New York, Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.)


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