Something in the Way

Title: Something in the Way

Photographer/s: Scott Hubener

Date of publication: 2011

Dimensions: 9.5×8 inches

Type of binding: Softcover

Number of pages: 52

Type of paper: Mohawk Premium Lustre

Number of pictures: 39

Printer: Blurb

Language: English

Category: Artist Book (Photography)

Price: $35

Summary: Within the photographs of Something in the Way, people are depicted absorbed in thought or task, and a sense of ennui overshadows their existence. We cannot see into their thoughts, but we are informed of the subject’s situation by the details of the setting: lying in a bed laden with suitcases, isolated in a motel room, a child sitting with a doll. Present within the work is the theme of interiority vs. exteriority. This plays out visually within the photographs, first of exteriors of homes and the landscape in general, then juxtaposed with photographs of interiors of homes and the subjects within those walls. The subjects depicted also are representational of this theme. Their interior thoughts are masked by their exterior appearance, which is only a phenomenological representation.
In large part, these images consist of portraits of my family and friends, as well as the homes and interior spaces they occupy. I photographed objects and possessions within the homes, which are significant for the meaning they hold for the owners as well as their implications and associations for the viewer. Mundane human rituals interest me as well, and banal scenes like sitting around a table to eat, preparing food, smoking, or simply staring reflectively. Within the framing and composition, there is often space around the subjects, allowing them to fill their environment and illustrate their absorption in a task or action. These images depict the subject apparently unaware of the presence of the camera and enthralled in a chore or thought.
Even as the images suggest an overshadowing or isolation, there is also present the possibility of transformation, and the grace of the subject itself is by no means suppressed. There is something in the way an expression reveals or conceals thoughts, in the way the light falls, or in the way a gesture expresses elegance. The work is sequenced in a way that oscillates between warm and cool. This theme parallels that of the interiority and exteriority of the images. The warmth comes from inside the structures, where people can seek comfort and respite from the harshness of the elements. The exteriors are often cool, depicting snow and harsh weather. The interiors are duplicitous, however. While they offer comfort, they also enforce isolation. The balance, harmony and rhythm of life is reliant on this dichotomy, where the in-between moments become as significant as the momentous ones.

Date and place of birth of photographer/s: 1979 Gainesville, FL


Book link:

Donated by: Scott Hubener

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iPL 5 years


Exhibition Catalog for “A Survey of Documentary Styles in Early 21st Century Photobooks”

More about the exhibition here, here and here.
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Thank you to Patrick Aguilar of Owl & Tiger Books who did such an outstanding job designing the iPL’s first exhibition catalog!

“…the Indie Photobook Library is fast becoming one of Washington’s more interesting small collections.” – Mark Jenkins, Washington Post Express, November 9, 2011

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