Apr 27 2012: Twenty-One Modernist Monuments, Buildings and Memorials from a Guide to the former Yugoslavia (Yugoslaviapublic Beograd, 1980)

The volume that these photographs of futuristic monuments, public sculptures and buildings were selected from is a mammoth guide to the whole territory of the former Yugoslavia (now the separate states of Croatia, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro) packed with historic landscapes, landmarks and artefacts. Published in English around 1980, it’s presumably intended as a … Continue reading

Apr 11 2012: Black Glass: Ten Glass Plate Negative Images of Architecture and Reversed Light (c.1930s)

Following on from yesterday’s gallery of domestic portraits, used as the raw material that eventually became the Black Glass sequence of poems, today’s gallery offers the unpopulated, architectural and urban landscapes of the later 1930s from the same collection of boxed glass-plate negative slides. Here, each image but one is developed twice – as both … Continue reading

Apr 10 2012: Black Glass: Fifteen Glass Plate Negative Portraits of Unknown People (Mainly 1940s)

Although not really recent finds, having been already used in early 2011 as the inspiration for a short sequence of poems on the loose subjects of cinema, memory and inverted perception, that earlier version didn’t include all the plates or subjects in the boxes as found. The figure above, with his Joycean round spectacles, pipe¬†and … Continue reading

Apr 7 2012: Nine Hand-Coloured Illustrations From The Astronaut Book (Panther Books, 1969)

Over the next three days we’ll look at the monochrome and colour images featured in the pages of The Astronauts’ Book, an annual-style publication issued by Panther in the UK in 1969, the year of the Lunar landings. Comprising articles written (or, at least, ghostwritten) in the voices of actual astronauts (and the odd Soviet … Continue reading

Apr 4 2012: Twenty-Five Photographs from Bell and Howell 1623 Super/Standard 8mm Projector Instruction Manual (1970s)

Bell & Howell were one of the leading manufacturers of consumer equipment for slide and film projection, and these images are taken from a 1960s or 70s instruction manual that shows how to prepare and thread film, generally operate and maintain their 1623 model Super/Standard home projector. Based in the United States, the company’s history … Continue reading

Mar 30 2012: Ghosts At Leisure: Thirteen Negative Prints Showing Everyday Scenes (c.1960s)

These images are printed negatives on small photographic cards, and they show various members of my own family, before I was born, in a terraced back yard with the two retired pit ponies my mother had as a young woman, and my father, mother, aunt, grandfather and grandmother on holiday in some unknown location, probably … Continue reading

Mar 25 2012: Forty-Three Monochrome Illustrations From Girl Annual Number Six (1958)

If yesterday’s images by Edward Mortelmans from the 1958 edition of Girl Annual seemed to draw inspiration from the paintings of Laura Knight, the forty-three sampled monochrome illustrations seen here have no such unifying element beyond being largely executed in line and wash, and seeming largely unchanged in format from the kind of images that … Continue reading

Mar 19 2012: Three Monochrome Photographs Featuring Minor Architectural Structures (Dates and Locations Unknown)

The thing that unites these three otherwise random photographs is that each, in its way, shows an architectural structure that would generally pass unnoticed as architecture: an architecture without architects, perhaps even a species of ‘outsider architecture’. The cinema here, for example, is not the kind of Deco construction that was as common for its … Continue reading

Mar 13 2012: Beyond The Suspension of Disbelief (Surface Gallery, Nottingham, March 2012)

Baldassare Castiglione, a diplomat at the Italian court of Urbino in the late 15th and early 16th century, began writing¬†The Book of the Courtier around 1508, as a kind of aspirational lifestyle guide for those intent on making their fortunes and careers in the field he had succeeded in himself. When the book was published … Continue reading

Mar 10 2012: A View Of The Thames Looking Towards Tower Bridge Showing Bomb Sites (c.1940s)

There’s something hugely compelling about this undated photograph, which at first glance shows a very familiar view along the River Thames, looking towards Tower Bridge, but on slightly closer inspection reveals some very unfamiliar bomb-sites and gutted buildings in the foreground. The photographer is not identified, but it’s presumably an amateur snap taken from a … Continue reading