1. Martin Brink’s everyday walks

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    Above Untitled, from Walks. (©Martin Brink/Courtesy the photographer).

    In his seminal 1985 work The Pond (Aperture) American John Gossage presents a visual narrative of a walk in which the viewer accompanies the photographer from the beginning of his journey, through a series of way points and stops, before finally arriving at the small unnamed pond. This work comes to mind as I look at the latest body of work from Swedish photographer Martin Brink, not because he chooses to approach his subject in a narrative form, but because of the very subject itself, the walk.

    In Walks, Brink does not show us a collection of connected images, but a series of individual monochrome images — marked with the same graphic quality that we have encountered in his earlier works — each of which presents a single moment and a single viewpoint in separate, and varied walks. These walks are not through dramatic landscapes, or represent any grandiose vistas, but as with his earlier work, The Daily Round, Brink focuses on the everyday, as he wanders along numerous urban and suburban streets and paths, and rather unremarkable country lanes, and tracks. 

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    Above Untitled, from Walks. (©Martin Brink/Courtesy the photographer).

    Whilst Gossage presents us with a complete narrative in The Pond, Brink captures the single moment, leaving the viewer to construct their own imaginary narrative around each image. As we look at a rock strewn track cutting through a thicket, we find ourselves asking questions of this journey, is this a shortcut to some other place, or a longer, more dramatic Sunday afternoon ramble? As we venture down a suburban street with Brink, we think of our own brief walks, performed during our daily chores, as we venture out to purchase a carton of milk, or mail a birthday card; and a tree lined path that leads to who knows where, brings to mind those periods of solitude with time to think, or maybe it is a far more romantic and tender moment? 

    This work, like that of Gossage, has an intellectual depth that will only reveal itself through considered thought and observation on the part of the viewer, to merely glance at these photographs is to experience them on the simplest of levels, but if one gives them time, they will reveal their many and varied levels, each in turn rewarding the viewer more than the last. 

    Walks, a PDF format book is available to download for free here

    Further Reading The Daily Round by Martin Brink.

Notes

  1. wayneford posted this