The Easel

25th June 2019

Geoff Dyer on the poetry of motels

Beautiful writing. Old style Las Vegas motels are celebrated in a recent photography book. A straightforward review is here. The linked piece is something else. It starts as a review but untethers, becoming a reverie.” The defining architectural feature of the motel — no need to go through a public lobby to get to your room.  [But] romance shrivelled the moment you entered the room. The smell …” More images are here.

Photographing the Otherworldly and the Abject

Surely photography cannot get further away from the ‘decisive moment’ than Ess’s images. They are blurry, indistinct, cheap, sourced from pinhole cameras and surveillance footage. Their allure is that they deter interpretation, thinks one critic. Or do they entice us look even harder for meaning? Says Ess, these images have the “capacity to transform the ordinary into the symbolic”.

18th June 2019

Museums’ Recent Tech Obsession Does Not Compute

Technology is a trendy subject. However, not for the first time, a prominent show on the topic fails to excite. While individual works are “interesting”, the show is “incoherent”. Too many works “divorce us from the reality of how intertwined our physical and virtual worlds have become. [Why warn about a] dark and dangerous other world?… the thing is, we are already in that other world”.