240 x 200 mm
If you opened the local newspaper in the small New England town of Amherst, Massachusetts, as Aaron Schuman did one day, you might find a section entitled ‘Police Reports’ – succinct and extraordinarily anticlimactic accounts of crimes, suspicious activities, events and non-events reported in the area during the previous week. In SLANT, Schuman interweaves a selection of these clippings published between 2014-2018, with quietly wry photographs he made within a thirty-mile radius of Amherst from 2016-18, in response to their unintentionally deadpan descriptions. What began as a genuinely affectionate, tongue-in-cheek take on the small towns where Schuman spent his childhood steadily came to reflect the disquieting rise of “fake news”, “alternative facts”, “post-truth” politics and paranoia in America following the 2016 election. Schuman’s subtly offbeat combination of images and words, however, was always inclined to create a foreboding sense of unease. In SLANT, the relationship that has been constructed between photography and text takes its inspiration from a poetic scheme called ‘slant rhyme’, notably espoused by the 19th-century poet Emily Dickinson, who also happened to live and write in Amherst. In such a rhyming scheme, “there is a close but not exact correspondence of sounds, often using assonance or consonance; generally it is used in poetry to give variations and an inharmonious feeling.” Appropriating this literary device, SLANT serves as a wider reflection upon something strange, surreal, dissonant and increasingly sinister stirring beneath the surface of the contemporary American landscape, experience, and psyche.
About the Artist
Aaron Schuman is an artist, writer, and photographer based in the UK. His photographic work is exhibited and published internationally, and is held in a number of public and private collections.
About the Publisher
MACK is a publisher in London, United Kingdom.