Paris – New York – Shanghai by Hans Eijkelboom

Paris – New York – Shanghai : a book about the past, present, and (possibly) future capital of the world. Eijkelboom, Hans. New York : Aperture, c2007.
ISBN: 9781597110440
Call Number: TR647 .E327 2007

Hans Eijkelboom’s book Paris – New York – Shanghai is subtitled “A book about the past, present, and (possibly) future capital of the world.”  In it, Eijkelboom showcases the end (or near-end) result of his “Photo Notes,” where the photographer would head into each town and photograph as many of certain type of people (people carrying kids, cops, guys wearing striped polo shirts, business women on their morning commute) within the space of about two hours.

The final product is a book that is really three books. There is a separate volume for each city, but they are bound together in sort of a tri-fold format, which allows the viewer the choice of viewing each book separately or folding the whole thing out to do a city-by-city(-by city) comparison.   There are no captions anywhere in the book—the only explanation comes by way of a short essay included in the front pocket– but it soon becomes apparent that the format of each ‘volume’ is exactly the same, with each group of photos presented in exactly the same order in each city.  Though the individual photos aren’t particularly spectacular alone, when grouped together they have a huge impact, as they both anesthetize the reader to the realities of city life (much in the same way that actually living in the city would) and provide the reader with startling photographic evidence of the creeping homogenization of the world we live in.

-Aimee Cabrera, Learning Commons Day Manager

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