Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Freeze Frames

While in Portland last week I stopped in at Ampersand, partly to see Mark Menjivar's fridge photos but also because I hadn't been there for a while and I wanted check in. The place seems to be going strong. Powells' photo section may be better in terms of quantity, but when it comes to choice book selection Ampersand is the best in town. Miles seems to have a good sense for what's out there and he doesn't stock crap, making for a very dense browsing experience. Somehow I escaped with my wallet intact, barely.

The store's found photos get the same treatment. I have no idea where he finds them all. He must sort through reams of filler to find the gems stocked in the store, all nicely packaged and organized. He's done all the work, leaving the fun part to customers.

Short Order Cook | Marathon, TX | 2-Person Household | She can bench press over 300 lbs | 2007, Mark Menjivar

As for Menjivar, it was great to see his photos large and in person after being limited to 72 dpi screen shots. I don't usually go for typologies but these held my interest, and the prints were rich and sharp. I think examining someone's fridge contents feeds into my natural voyeurism.

As usual, Eggleston was among the first to plant his flag in this territory.

Memphis, 1970, William Eggleston

Who can come up with the best Menjivar-style demographic description for Eggleston's freezer? E.g.: Bus driver | Memphis, TN | Bachelor | One of twelve siblings... Surely someone can do better?

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