Tim Davis- My Life In Politics
Publisher's Description: "His first in-depth publication of photographer Tim Davis’s work dissects the disenchantment and dissociation that have come to dominate American civil life. It is Davis’s treatise on the state of contemporary politics, politics as an aestheticized banality abstracted from real issues of power. He finds freedom of expression exhibited at its most casual and cursory, with political, commercial and populist signage jostling for space and attention in the social landscape: His documentation of that landscape, as Peter Eeley of Frieze magazine interprets it, asks,“What if campaign signs, badges, bumper stickers and flags aren’t simply the ephemera of Americans’ political lives, but their substance as well?”
My Life in Politics represents photographic seeing at its finest and most subtle. Davis continues Stephen Shore’s colorist tradition, meshing the careful management of a quotidian palette with an incisive eye for those points at which light bends and refracts, becoming something other than mere illumination."
"Somebody needs to tell Tim Davis to stop being such a smart-ass. But it’s not going to be me. The saucy quality of his smarter-than-thou stance keeps his high-wire cultural critique aloft. Just check his captions in this new collection. A photograph of the Connecticut Senate Floor—the floor itself, with an apparently water-logged, magenta carpet, ringed by desks that are peopled only by laptops and towering bound volumes—is described thus: “That’s the budget in blue. A picture of a filibuster, so the senators are on Blackberries or in the can, or getting counted. Every photograph is a filibuster, a running commentary to nobody occupying attention but not space, and also a thing to block the other side—the unseen, the unattended, and the arch—from speaking.” Or how about this, for a picture titled Democrat and Republican: “File me. Lay me away. Fold me in manila. Tear off the carbon. Sticker it. Clip it up. Check me off the list.” (You'll have to see the book to get the reference.) I mean, what’re you gonna do with a kid like this? Language, both within and attached to his images, courses through this book in the same densely connotative fashion as light does in his other volumes (see Illuminations, Greenberg Van Doren, 2006, and Permanent Collection, Nazraeli, 2005). Davis uses his photographs as metaphoric channels for communication and as goads, critical barbs that in a more ingenuous tone might seem earnestly reform-minded. My Life in Politics expresses a voice so outspoken it’s hard to grasp (though his so-titled “1500 Word Essay” shows Davis to be more willfully clarifying and self-revealing), coupled with an incisive vision that, effortlessly and effectively, cuts to the quick and beyond. Use the scalpel while it’s sharp, Tim."
"So…this book joins the ranks of other great books that, at the time of their release, were thrown to the remainder piles. I may piss off a few people but I do not feel at all odd adding Davis’s name to the same remainder pile list that has included books by Winogrand, Eggleston and Frank."
Location: Over Collection 4th Floor
Call No: TR654 .D38 2006
Link to Record
© Tim Davis