Crippens’s photography started as two projects but elegantly blend together: the formal color photographs, made with a medium format camera on a tripod and inspired by Swedish photographer Lars Tunbjørk’s Office series, document the serenity of empty offices, and black and white snapshots, taken with Polaroid 250 Land Camera and a peel-apart Fuji pack film, that had been preserved in the photographer’s refrigerator for years, capture the dynamic distress of the time.
The quiet and thoughtful photography in the book reveal the photographer’s patience and resonate with the social, cultural, and political world of 2020-2021. The photographs of a painted portrait of George Floyd, a Black Lives Matter poster and a mural honoring Amanda Gorman’s 2021 Presidential Inauguration poem place light on American racism. Dried oranges carefully placed on an office table by a worker who thought they would be out of the office for a few weeks but wound up not returning for months, represent businesses that are no longer robust. Empty seats, often restricted with forbidding tape, stand in for those who will never join us again. Vibrant messages on theater marquees and signs, like “Quarantine is Temporary/Wu Tang is Forever” provide us with a sense of hope, humor, and irony.
Foreword by René de Guzman, senior curator of art at The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA).
Essay by Shannon Perich, Curator Photographic History Collection at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Design by Victor Levie, Levievandermeer, Amsterdam
Format: 30 x 31,5 cm
Hardcover with half dust jacket
128 pages with approx. 100 photographs