Photographs produced on an offset press, with all work, conception, and execution done by Todd Walker. This is a book that was clearly well thought through in terms of layout and sequence, and so probably many rounds of layout and editing went into it.
typographic: The type looks like a Goudy oldstyle, rather mannered and heavy.
imagery: Photographic, with three separate treatments for each soliloquy.
graphical: The first soliloquy uses text and image, and the layout is cramped, with text crowded into margins. The second and third are entirely pictorial and cleaner.
openings: Walker's use of the gutter as an organizing feature is striking in several sequences, and always noted and used. Thus his openings are often dialogues.
turnings: Walker uses page turnings in a narrative sense, grouping images and chunking actions within the larger unit of the soliloquy.
development: Story, narrative, and theme are the three modes in the three pieces, and each goes through a development appropriate to its modes.
sequence: See the conversation sequence in the midst of the second soliloquy. It is a small masterpiece of book space and articulation of point of view, use of close up and distance, and use of the gutter and openings.
textual: The first soliloquy has a travel narrative text of discovery that is countered by the images of what must, in 1961, have looked like a state of decay. Now it looks like a state of innocence by contrast to the conditions of our ecology and culture.
intratextual: Text and image as well as image to image interplay is highly developed.
This book demonstrates principles of photographic sequencing that are exemplary. Walker is able to structure story and tension through timing. His sense of humor, irony, and sensitivity are present throughout, though I think the second of hte pieces is the strongest. The first soliloquy is a study in landscape and place, with a sense of the blight of civilization on the land. It does seem tame by contrast to what has ensued since 1961, and the black and white images are part of and show a bygone era. The second soliloquy is a conversation and filled with interpersonal dynamics. This has no particular historical moment, except in dress and manner, and so it feels contemporary by contrast. The final soliloquy feels dated. Comprised of a series of high contrast, very modernist, photos of a nude struggling with or arranging herself in a black abstract frame structure or sculpture, it has the qualities of a modern dance piece, and thus shows all the formal features of its period, 1967. Still, even with that dated feel, the piece is executed to maximize the relations among the images and their sequence and placement in ways that are admirable. Most of what I understand about this book was called to my attention by Brad Freeman, and it became a favorite work to talk about in slide lectures and critical writings because of how well structured it is.
title note: Subtitle: photographs and words [J.Drucker]
edition type: editioned
publisher: Todd Walker
edition size: unknown
depth: .5 inches closed
horizontal: 6.25 inches closed
vertical: 7.5 inches closed
binding: case binding (AAT)
general description: A modest looking but well put together volume, with the general aspect of a 1970s democratic multiple.
format: codex (AAT)
cover: Cream cover stock with end flaps to provide strength and structure.
These soliloquies were done some while ago. Later, I acquired a small offset press in order t gain the facility to publish my own work. Now, I have that facility. Halftone negatives, hand typesetting, platemaking, and presswork were all done by the photographer, who also wrote the words. The edition, on Mohawk Superfine smooth, will be about 500 copies printed on a 1250 Multilith, the press of Todd Walker, April 1977.