I made time last week to take in my first show at Reed College: New and Used, a series of photos of used record and book stores by noted photographer, Marc Joseph. Joseph made a name for himself with an earlier series, American Pit Bull. "New and Used" is described as "a chronicle, a reader, a memento and an archive." This most likely applies as much to the book as the exhibit.
What was most striking to me was how opposite the experience of seeing the exhibit was as compared to my experience of browsing through these used-good shops. Where the stores themselves are usually musty, dusty labyrinths of treasures and trash, Joseph's photos could be described as "hyper-realism" or "super-forensic". The large-format richly-colored photos, usually shot head-on in dazzling detail, are void of any sense of nostalgia or history. Its as if a scientist had to come quantify and document these locales. I do like the contrast of the images with my experience of being there, but I'm not sure that they warrant such an unforgiving examination. It seems sort of like going in for a cat scan when you stub your toe...sometimes a kiss is better than surgery.