Untitled #28 (Memphis), 2000
from the series American Night
From September the 05th to October the 28th 2006
The gallery Les filles du calvaire presents together with les Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d’Arles , the series American Night by Paul Graham, who exhibits in France after ten years of absence.
“Since the mid Eighties, Paul Graham has produced photographic works which have explored the boundaries between art and politics. In his last series, American Night’ he photographs the poor and the damaged who inhabit the urban landscapes of the US. His chronicle of American life is a reflection of dislocation and stress, of lives lived in an intensely solitary state. Graham photographs his subjects as if through the eyes of someone almost blind. Set against a background of the detritus of the street, half-seen through a milk-white mist, his characters are ghosts in a half-dead world.
Paul Graham was part of a loose grouping of UK photographers who emerged in the Eighties as socially critical colour documentarists. They were interested in Britishness, fascinated by a nation in flux, gripped by the radical social and economic reforms of Tatcherism which replaced the Welfare State consensus of the Sixties and Seventies. Photographer such as Paul Graham, Martin Parr, Paul Seawright, Anna Fox, Paul Reas, Nick Waplington, rejected traditional documentary practice by combining documentary methodology with idiosyncratic personal vision. At the heart of their work were intense political statements about post war society. During the Eighties and early Nineties, they delivered an incisive critique of British institutions. […]
In 1986, Paul Graham published Beyond Caring, a study of benefit offices in the UK, and, in 1987, Troubled Land which explored the political tensions of Northern Ireland. Both of Graham’s photo series looked at the fissures and pressure points of British society.