Adam Geary “Slow Gaze” – Book Review

The Slow Gaze photobook takes a look beneath the cracks of our increasingly fractured lives. Lives in which the ‘home’; itself a shelter to our consciousness, has become a fragile place threatened on all sides. The photographs in the book reveal themselves quietly in a low voice — small traces of everyday life that remind us of our desire to survive. Slow Gaze ends as at begins with the truism, ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’. Adam Geary is a photographer based in Scotland. He has published over 17 books and work is collected widely.

Slow Gaze Book Cover

Book review by Francesco Scalici |

‘The Slow Gaze photobook takes a look beneath the cracks of out increasingly fractured lives. Lives in which the home; itself a shelter to our consciousness has become a fragile place, threatened on all sides’.

Today many of our homes have been challenged, many of our homes are no longer homes but rather a multitude of places. As we fight with ourselves to remain in this constant state of isolation the notion of a ‘home’ as something comforting and personal has been temporarily morphed. For many individuals, the idea of living in a space that they can call home is very appealing and in many cases leaving for work because you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning or pressing that snooze button is humorous in a sense. We have become so accustomed to viewing our houses through a lens of safety and peace. But, much like the latter part of the quote: it has now become a ‘fragile place.’ 

During this coronavirus outbreak, our homes have now become the very spaces that we wish to escape. Similarly, they are a necessity, keeping us safe from a danger that we cannot see. The Slow Gaze aims to highlight traces of our existence and willingness to survive through an examination of objects and materials that merge together or contrasts directly. The photographs within this collection study the relationship between traces of our past through a series of abstracted perspectives.

Objects that have been photographed in obscure ways yet strangely convey the book’s narrative due to their simplicity and composition. The image titled ‘Slow Gaze 14’ is an example of this. An analysis of acceptance towards what a ‘home’ has become as well as our attitude psychologically. Captured in a very childlike way, ‘Slow Gaze 14’ is an important image in this collection due to its relatability.  

©Adam Geary
©Adam Geary

The idea that this body of work is somewhat relatable is very important. The Slow Gaze demonstrates a sense of absence of human contact and rather focuses on what we leave behind. The image titled ‘Slow Gaze 10’ however, diverges from this slightly and abstracts the notion of trace as something metaphorical. We are to not only accept what the image is about but understand how photographs like Slow-Gaze 10 might affect us on a personal level. It’s aesthetic and presentation doesn’t differ from that of a child’s scrapbook, in my opinion, this body of work is a refined version of this and while it does present to us the idea of a ‘home’ in today’s society, it does so with tragic comedy.

The work of Peter Fraser and projects such as ‘Mathematics’ and ‘Deep Blue 1997’ really present a similar understanding of objects. Fraser’s work dives deeper into tragic comedy and uses the oversaturation of color as means to translate this. Similarly, ‘The Slow Gaze’ approached its subjects much like Fraser does, yet with less emphasis on color and more about what the objects aim to represent for the individual.

This short selection of photographs appears to be childlike in nature and is primarily to do with the objects chosen to be photographed. However, I believe that it is concise in fragmenting these objects and delivering the notion of trace through fragmentation. Whether we chose to accept the images as they are or understand what they can be is completely up to the individual.  

Get a copy of the book here

©Adam Geary

This post was originally created for the online photography platform Float Photo Magazine. Aint-Bad has partnered up with Float to share these articles with our community in the hopes of creating a dialogue and collaboration to highlight artists and writers from across the globe. 

Float Photo Magazine was founded in March 2014 and was created with the goal to share and celebrate the photographic work of a versatile roster of contemporary photographers from around the world. From young and emerging to established artists, Float features high quality and creative work with the intention to inspire and push forward the photo community. In addition to their growing online and social platform, Float curates themed online magazine issues where emerging artists and establish artists share the pages to create a unique visual representation of the selected theme.

Float offers artists various opportunities and platforms for exposure – Instagram takeovers, book reviews, artist interviews, curated online magazine issues, online and physical exhibitions, and more. Float takes pride in collaborating with many other platforms to create a unique, open-minded and welcoming space for photographers. Since 2014 Float has collaborated with Littlefield Art Space to have their group exhibition ‘Space’ shown for several weeks, Subjectively Objective creating together photo publication ‘The Vernacular Of Landscape’ along with an exhibition of selected works at Usagi NY, a summer group show at Carrie Able Gallery in Brooklyn curated by Damien Anger, a collaboration with Casual Science on a printed publication with an enamel pin set, the first Rust Belt Biennial scheduled for September 2019 at the Sordoni Gallery Wilkes University, PA and now also the Aint-Bad platform to co-publish articles. 

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