Paul Salveson wins First Book Award

US photographer Paul Salveson’s series Between the Shell has won this year’s First Book Award organised by MACK and will be brought out as a book by the publishers in June

© Paul Salveson 2013, courtesy MACK

US photographer Paul Salveson’s series Between the Shell has won this year’s First Book Award organised by MACK and will be brought out as a book by the publishers in June…

MACK’s First Book Award is open to photographers who have not previously been published by a third party. Nominators are asked to recommend work and the winning entry is then published by the London-based company in collaboration with the National Media Museum.

In Salveson’s collection, Between the Shell, mundane household objects are transformed and arranged in ways which divests them of their ordinary purpose.

© Paul Salveson 2013, courtesy MACK

“In most homes, items sift together, so predictably posed that they seem to consciously orient themselves,” says Salveson in his Studio Visit profile on the MoMA/PS1 site. “By creating tiny diversions in an object’s prescribed path, I disrupt the normative psychological feedback loop existing between homes and their inhabitants. Meticulous visual arrangements challenge people’s automatic associations with domestic objects, imbuing their overlooked facets with an alien, yet vaguely familiar air.”

“I utilise the scientific vernacular of photography as documentation – not to elucidate visual details, but to distort associations among objects and their typical environments. While my subjects are born of everyday reality, I conceive of forms, engaging abstraction to build new systems of relational logic. What results are declarations of the disconnect between functionality and formalist intuition.”

According to MACK, 28 year-old Salveson also describes his photographic process as “unfolding like a private performance in an empty house, or after everyone falls asleep… my engagement emerges from a perspective that precedes familiarity, disregarding the functions and cultural associations that objects are assigned. I try to process my surroundings with an alien mind.”

© Paul Salveson 2013, courtesy MACK

© Paul Salveson 2013, courtesy MACK

Between the Shell will be published by MACK in June. In the meantime, keep an eye on his website paul-salveson.com, which has many more abstract and absurdist treasures.

Image from paul-salveson.com

Image from paul-salveson.com

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