About photobooks – old and new.
Self-published in 2011, edition of 100
8vo, softcover, 54 pages
“Alphabet City” is the third book from Pascal Anders, all self-published and free – Pascal generously game me one of his last copies. All his books are recognizable by their simplicity of style and low paper quality, inviting the reader to focus on the content.
The photographs in Alphabet City are carefully framed and convey a sense of neutrality. Anders adopted a straightforward shooting approach by always taking frontal views of his subjects. This allows Anders to frame geometrical compositions, reminiscent of a modernist painting, with perfect vertical and horizontal lines from buildings, sidewalks, and windows. These geometrical compositions are at times interrupted by the presence of passers-by and wall murals.
As a whole, the book can be seen as a sequence of fragments of buildings and corner streets of Alphabet City, in which the human presence is almost secondary. In “Alphabet City” Anders is able to document with a sense of neutrality – a feeling that is reinforced by the gray tonalities of the photos – a neighborhood that has always been portrayed as poor and marked by criminality.