Book 6: Preservation

TITLE: Preservation
AUTHOR: Blake Little
STARTED: April 23, 2016
FINISHED: April 23, 2016
PAGES: 136
GENRE: Photography

FIRST SENTENCE: Preservation has many meanings, from the physical to the spiritual.

SUMMARY: [Not a summary really, but a paragraph from the foreward] Blake saw – and was intrigued by – the juxtaposition of the timeless, pure substance and human flesh, so prone to decay. He was amazed by honey’s transformations when dripped, dribbled, and poured over the human body, and how it can distort and amplify forms, highlight physical perfection, engender repulsion, and suggest both immortality and death. For Blake, gleaming, golden honey has a way of diffusing the personal qualities of his subjects, often making them unrecognizable, democratizing their individual traits into something altogether different and universal. Sometimes terrifying, it can seem to encase his subjects, almost larvae-like in a primordial ooze, as in Ouriel, front, 2012. At other times it is dynamic, its lively motion captured and frozen, in a very different sense, through stop-action imaging, its tendrils – almost electric – spinning forth (Clayton, 2013). Powerfully muscular bodies, like Devion, back 2012, and gracefully balanced poses, such as Tala, standing up, 2013, evoke works of classical art, such as the famous Discus-thrower of the ancient Greek sculptor Myron. Other images recall sober portraits of the Renaissance (Dylan, 2012; Brad, 2012 and Zayden, 2013), or the dainty ballerinas of Degas in Lindsay, 2013.

THOUGHTS: I have wanted to get my hands on this book for quite some time. A while back, I saw a video for the creation of the photographs. (See it here - warning there is nudity.) Ever since then, I've been looking in my local libraries for the work. It never showed up in the catalogs. Finally, I did an ILL request through work. It arrived quickly and I was very, very happy. I ended up loving this work so much that I looked at it three times before I returned it.

This is not a book in the sense that there is much written text (there is only a foreward and the title of the photographs). This is simply a book of photographs. Simply stunning images capturing a moment of time. The way the honey has both movement and stillness on the page is amazing.

I loved this book so much I am considering buying myself a copy. I would happily go back and look at these images over and over again. I hope I can get my hands on one since it was a limited edition. Fingers crossed.

RATING: 10/10 [Best. Book. Ever.]