Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Mini Review by Who-Asked-You-Anway-Robert (Traumbilder)

I want to thank my artist-friend Robert who saw Traumbilder for the first time a couple of days ago. He liked it so much that he wrote a review, which I want to post here since Blurb doesn't provide space for this. Thank you Robert for this wonderful review. Here it is:

I received "Traumbilder, Dreamscapes in Photography & Poetry" yesterday. The book is well-packaged and well produced; immediately after Iwrestled this nicely sized 5" x 5" softcover from its triple wrapped container, I wondered if maybe I should have sprung for the hardcover edition. The quality of the print by Blurb.com gives a very good name to web-based print-on-demand publishing.

The black and white photo on the cover (medium format?, 4X4? 6X6? with slightly curling and darkened edge effects in the corners) sets the tone for this wonderful reflective and pensive body of work. When I heard that this was a collaborative work by two separate (albeit, married) artists, I had to deliberately put aside my doubts--a favor I owe to all good friends--that expediency was favored over design. This is NOT a product of a formula that says "Gee, one artist with thirty pages plus another artist with thirty pages gives us a sixty page book!" No, right off it becomes very clear that this is a perfect marriage of photography and poetry; not a match up of images and words, but of two artists unified in intent and purpose as if they were one.

After only four pages, I find my first 'favorite':

   All are small, forgettable things
   Have them, they are nothing
   Leave them behind, they are
   Frames in which our time is set

The accompanying image of taut dock lines reinforces this suggestion of the transitory nature of life and how the commonplace become iconic in our memory. I'm only up to the sixteenth page before I write this because now I know what readers are happy to find out when they pick up a great book: "This works!" I have confidence that the paired talents of Hase and Stull can consistently deliver and surprise and reward us. I am not going to rush through this one. Uh, uh, nope. I'll save this for when I'm ready for another big serving of beautiful work. Mmmm mm!

Congratulations, Silke and Tristan! Well done. Very well done.

Robert Gavila
New York City
January 12, 2008

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