The iN-SToRE Book Review #1 ... Istanbul by Andreas Herzau

                        7th December, 2010

Like most serious minded thoroughfare trundlers -
I do so love a good monograph.
Sadly however my perilous fiscal foreshortedness forces me to fondle such visually lush trinkets on a purely temporary basis, and always from well within the three walls and big glass window of some austere, clinically air conditioned inner city bookshop… under the watchful gaze of CCTV and his ever vigilant, knuckle cracking soldiers on foot … Welcome to the Nowhere Man’s ongoing series of badgered and quite a bit harassed Book Reviews… Book Reviews done in store in which the period of time estimated between first choosing a book off the shelves, and whence my notepad and biro are ultimately kicked violently from my person is on average … a hard boiled  90 seconds. This week I had a rushed look at …       

Istanbul by Andreas Herzau. 

Now without any shadow of ambiguity this is a truly beautiful looking publication of almost 100 images – most of them are in colour and yet with just a smattering of greyscale mono’s the representation manages to keep a stylistic dinosaur such as myself quite perky.

Having never been to Turkey I can safely surmise that in this fine collection of photographs Andreas has totally nailed it – nothing has ever said Istanbul more boldly to me than did this impressive book throughout the minute and fourteen seconds I had allotted me to check it out (very vigilant store detective at this particular store on this particular afternoon).

Istanbul - Andreas Herzau ...
made me think of Lartigue

 I did pick up that Andreas has a street style leaning more toward documentary than it does ad hockery. Although I might add that I’m not terribly sure you can staple 80+ images of one place together and not claim to be documenting in some shape or form. Nowhere Man remains fittingly no-where on this point… as of course he does on so many facets of contemporary existence.  

Istanbul - Andreas Herzau ...
no, not the pigeon shot but this is a cracker

 Well beyond my assisted eviction – two of the books images stay fresh in my mind …there’s this picture featuring an out of a focus young woman’s face, a face which quite possibly is the most beautiful facade God ever grew eye brows upon and the feel of the pic reminded me instantly of Lartigue (this isn’t terribly unusual however as I often think of the great French boy wonder – you know at bus stops, washing up the dishes, checking the mail box etc …).  The second sticker for me was this high class pigeon shot, which if you kind of squint your eyes a bit and view it with a head tilt can almost be deemed fit to rival Matt Stuart and all the great pigeon photographers throughout the ages: fanciers who have specialized with tenderness in imagery of the great flying rat, a true urban staple of all cities throughout time.  

I enjoyed this publication immensely and despite our fleeting one night stand kind of relationship would recommend it heartily to all-comers.




3 comments:

James Morris said...

I'll check that one out next time I'm in one of those stores (the Japanese one is the best, I think).

Given X amount of dollars, I think I'd rather spend it on film & printing rather than photo books, unless a book is very very special. People seem to have forgotten libraries! I got quite an education once, being stuck in Wellington NZ, and finding the photography section of their city library.

phillhunt said...

Great review in 90 seconds Andrew; well done. Have you tried finding a dark corner to hide in to extend the length of your time with the book? Or wander around with it? I once got through a whole book by wandering around with it. But it was only a Ken Duncan book...

Andrew Stark said...

Yeah thanks Phill - They don't mind you looking through the books, problem arises when I start scribbling a note or two ... and James, you got it in one - the Japanese bookshop across from Town Hall. Have you seen the short stocky guy with the earing and the beady eyes - undercover dude who really doesn't enjoy my work... bet he's a big Ken Duncan fan!