The Time After by Doug Fogelson
“Our visual life is spent in the center of a nearly hemispheric transparent shell whose distance from us we fixate. The rest of the world is a jumble of subliminal double images.”
-Paul Shepard (on binocular vision, from Man in the Landscape 1967)
Front Forty Press is pleased to announce our newest title, The Time After, which uses temporality to stimulate a deeper consideration of the “post climate change” era. Photography by Doug Fogelson and design by Tim Hartford are woven with essays from Derrick Jensen, Eiren Caffall, and Bridgette R. McCullough Alexander, as The Time After speaks to our changing understanding of the human role in the environment.
Contrasting familiar built scenes and rich natural images; The Time After brings readers on a quick visit to planet Earth. A globalized humanity is portrayed in contrast with elemental and seasonal cycles. Speculative and poetic essays combine seamlessly with the images and design to display a new angle on activism in contemporary art practice.
For over a decade Doug Fogelson has been investigating natural and constructed worlds via an iconoclastic multiple exposure photography style. His images catalog ephemeral forms of clouds, ocean waves, plant life, urbanism and human beings in unique time/space signatures along rolls of film. Working in these spaces Fogelson’s images record real life phenomena in a calculatedly abstract way.
The images are created as a result of overlapping exposures in a linear progression along the film inside the camera (not collaged or digitally combined). The compositions depict a study of time, perspective, and space as the scenes correspond and layers multiply allowing viewers to become enmeshed in the visually variegated form. Shooting in this manner the photographer exploits the camera’s mechanics to discover something between motion picture and still photography. Fogelson often shifts vantage points or shoots subject matter that is in motion, so a cognitive sense of the subject becomes rooted in time as well as memory and vision.
Presented in a horizontal format, this hardcover 216-page book is a rare gem. A limited edition of 2,000 copies was printed in this first run.
Doug Fogelson’s The Time After may seem self-contradictory. It is a beautiful book that stares into the bleakest dark hole imaginable to humans: the destruction of our earth. It does so through a combination of Fogelson’s own photography—vivid, multilayered and prismatic panoramas exploring cycles of life in the worlds around us—and texts by three gifted writers—frightening, enlightening, and mournful, but never maudlin. As Eiren Caffall puts it in her eulogy to the planet, “We have done things to this place we love that we can never make right. We are losing what we knew, and the end, as it arrives, is beautiful and terrible.” The Time After helps us grasp our shared responsibilities and loss in a tragedy whose outcome is perhaps all too inevitable.
Fogelson’s gorgeous photographs are especially effective, leading us from complex manmade congestion and chaos to the song of forests renewing themselves to the last word of the conscience-free power of nature—climate, tides, time, and day becoming night.
Palm Springs Art Museum
All Front Forty Press titles are distributed by The University of Chicago Press.