Devouring photobooks #2 — OUTSKIRTS by TODD HIDO
About the artist
I have to admit Todd Hido is not a familiar name to me until I discovered this photobook at the library.
Todd Hido is known for photographing the mundane suburban landscape (i.e.: Middle of nowhere). An abundance of his work are photographs of urban houses, telegraph poles, menacing shadows created by street lights at night, seemingly crooked trees branches and so on.
Photographer: Todd Hido
Number of photographs: 26
Dimensions: 403mm X 345mm X 13mm
The concept behind the book
Things look strange, when you’re a stranger. — foreword by Luc Sante
Outskirts, among other photobooks by Hido explores the idea of strangeness. When you are the stranger, the normal, unnoticeable landscape can look menacing to you.
In Hido’s photographs, the vague presence of men can be felt. Through lit windows, footprints on snow, and the thriller-like atmosphere, viewers can only imagine what is happening behind closed doors.
I found myself looking at the lit window, trying to figure out the shapes and light patterns to see what is happening in that house in the photograph.
What do I think about this book
First of all, the technical quality of the photographs. They are absolutely stunning. Printed to approximately 17" X 14.5" enables the reader to scrutinise every detail in the photo. And I have to say, there are A LOT of details in the photographs, which of course need to be seen in person to fully appreciate the photographs.
Looking at the photographs, I understand why some people would find them unsettling. The fog, the shadows all invite interpretations, which often hint danger according to our survival instincts.
The use of colour is especially notable in this series of photograph in my opinion. In the majority of the photographs, the cooler tones are especially prominent. It creates a unnerving atmosphere at makes me glad that I am at the comfort of my room, reading the photobook.
Before I end this article I am kind of curious if the people living in the places that Hido photographed find the place which they are very familiar with creepy at night?
Since this photobook is exploring the idea of “strangeness”, I am curious if the inhabitants living in the places that Hido photographed, feel the same as we the viewer do? Do the shadows bother them when they go out after dark? I guess only they will know the answer.
Thank you for reading.
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其他關鍵字: Devouring Photobooks