Strange Hours: Photography, Memory, and the Lives of Artists
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A photograph lives in multiple eras at once: the time of its making, the time of its unveiling, the time of its subsequent rediscovery. —Rebecca Bengal In Strange Hours: Photography, Memory, and the Lives of Artists, Rebecca Bengal considers the photographers who have defined our relationship to the medium. Through generous essays and interviews, she contemplates photography’s narrative power, from the radical intimacy of Nan Goldin’s New York demimonde to Justine Kurland’s pictures of rebel girls on the open road. Bengal brings us closer to pioneering artists and the personal and political stories surrounding their images. She travels with Alec Soth in Minneapolis, searching for the houses where Prince once lived, and revisits Chauncey Hare’s 1979 protest against the Museum of Modern Art. She speaks with Dawoud Bey about his evocative portraits and explores Diana Markosian’s cinematic take on her family’s immigration to the US. Throughout Strange Hours, Bengal’s prose is attuned to the alchemy of experience, chance, and vision that has always pushed photography’s potential for unforgettable storytelling.
Number of pages: 216
Number of images: 25
Publication date: 2023-06-27
Measurements: 5.25 x 8.25 x .8 inches
Rebecca Bengal is a writer of fiction, essays, and documentary journalism about art, literature, film, music, and the environment. A regular contributor to Aperture, her writing has been published by the Paris Review, Vogue, Vanity Fair, the New York Times, Oxford American, Southwest Review, the Believer, the Guardian, and the Criterion Collection, among many others. She has contributed stories and essays to books by Carolyn Drake, Justine Kurland, Kristine Potter, Paul Graham, Danny Lyon, and Charles Portis. A MacDowell fellow in fiction and a former editor at American Short Fiction, DoubleTake, and Vogue, she holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers in Austin. Originally from western North Carolina, Bengal lives in Brooklyn.
Joy Williams (foreword) is the author of several collections of short stories and essays, and four novels, including The Quick and the Dead (2010) and Harrow (2021).