Lack of everything that’s important. I try to think of the “road.” I can’t. I’m utterly exhausted. I’m only really going because of the weather. The prospect of wind, snow, and my flashes on the beach kept me awake. And also I’m scared of a few days of thinking only about Her, and here I’ll have the Baltic. My Baltic. Instead.
“Swell” is a story of a break-up and of unaccepted loneliness. About going back to the same places and memories that we can’t forget. At first it was supposed to be a documentary project about the Baltic Sea. So a plan was drawn up, the form was thought through, and the places to be visited were marked on the map.
The photographs came about during trips together. The last joint photo was taken a little later—and a portrait on a negative ruined by the lab technician. The project no longer mattered, and the outings to the sea were now only an escape from daily life.
Over a dozen color “postcards” have survived from the first trips. They are the beginning of this story. There is no end yet. We’re about half-way.
On the border between East and West, Europe and Asia, Catholicism and Orthodoxy—these portraits from an almost forgotten village in Estonia offer a window into the past, into a culture that has all but vanished.
For over two decades, Stephen Shames injected himself into the mean streets of the South Bronx and made pictures about the kind of life that he saw there— unflinching yet intimate, straight-shooting yet sensitive, objectively powerful but also full of personal emotion—this is a beautiful book.