Ed Ruscha Challenge
I was fascinated by this task and the idea of creating a book in the manner of the conceptual artist Ed Ruscha.
“I read what I want to read. I think most people do that. Or I read what I want to see.” Ed Ruscha, Tate Modern)
Of the book “Twenty Six Gasoline Stations”, Ruscha says that the title came before the images.
So, this is where I started. I started with the activity, a short walk UK lockdown style, and a circular (ish) route from my front door and back again. I then thought about what I would encounter upon my journey.
In addition to this, and in my research of Ed Ruscha’s photographic books, I was struck by how he played with the narrative and structure of each book. How photographs were placed on pages, the use of blank pages, black pages, the absence of humanity, and how the title impacted upon your concept of what might be contained within the pages.
I feel that with Ed Ruscha you are not creating a photographic book but more of an artistic statement. Photography is the tool which he wanted to use to express what he felt and saw.
“I felt when I got going on the books that it was really the red meat of my work. It was the choice bit. Although I was painting pictures at that time, I felt that the books were more advanced as a concept than the individual paintings I had been doing.” (Ruscha, 2008)
A Roadside Walk With A View
ENRIGHT, Ed, 2008. “THE PAINTED WHIRRED ED RUSCHA’S SPIN ON LANGUAGE”, Border Crossing, Vol. 27, Iss. 2. (available at Falmouth Uni.)
CHRISTIE”S. “10 things to know about Ed Ruscha”. Available at https://www.christies.com/features/10-things-to-know-about-Ed-Ruscha-8074-1.aspx (accessed 31st May 2020)
TATE MODERN. “Look Closer: Ed Ruscha and the Art of the Everyday”. Available at https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/edward-ruscha-1882/ed-ruscha-and-art-everyday (accessed 31st May 2020)