REVIEW

Jonathan Day: Postcards from the Road

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 April, 2015, 6:50am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 April, 2015, 6:50am

Jonathan Day: Postcards from the Road

Lumenvisum, JCCAC

Until May 28

 

Robert Frank's photographic road journey through America, The Americans, was published in 1959. For two years, Frank shot 500 rolls of film, then pared the final selection into an initially small-run black-and-white photo book with an introduction by Jack Kerouac, who described this classic as if Frank had "sucked a sad poem out of America onto film".

Frank's combination of seemingly casual and tightly framed images has influenced generations of photographers. British photographer Jonathan Day recently followed a comparable US road journey and this exhibition and accompanying book follow Frank's original photographs alongside Day's contemporary equivalent.

This exhibition, and particularly his book with a greater selection of images, recaptures these Frank moments. Day believes that The Americans is essentially both "poetry" and "prophecy".

Following in Frank's footsteps, he has a similar intention, and his colour photographs intelligently consider and extend Frank's original purpose alongside a literary analysis. Frank captured the US at a tumultuous time of social and political change. Day's contemporary America is often reflected through a musical moment, the songs of his own youth, as sung by Joni Mitchell, Gram Parsons and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

John Batten