The latest addition to my library collection: John Schabel: Passengers

John Schabel: Passengers. (2013. Twin Palms Press. 8 x 10 Inches. 73 Duotone Plates. 84 Pages)

I first saw Schabel’s analog prints (an obsessive series of photographs taken between 1994 – 1996) at the 1997 Whitney Biennial, and have long thought about them. I was thrilled to discover that Schabel’s collection has been published in a beautiful book titled Passengers by Twin Palms Press. For this series, Schabel photographed across the runway tarmac using a telephoto lens to capture images of airline passengers awaiting takeoff. The resulting works underscore a liminal moment in travel – the passengers are neither at home nor at their intended destination. The lack of text in the book and the tight framing provided by the airplane windows  further decontextualize Schabel’s subjects. The analog process (the framing of the airline windows reminds me of early photographic practices such as the daguerreotype), combined with the impossibility of repeating this project due to today’s airport security restrictions, points in an elegiac way to modes of travel irrevocably altered and to aspects of photographic practice itself.

About Lisa Young

My hybrid studio practice includes installation, book, video, web, and photography. My projects examine the intersection of the pedestrian, the repetitive, and the imperfect with the transcendent, the beautiful, and the perfect. I am interested in the way that the repetitive action of accumulating and organizing can create its own poetics. I grew up in Illinois, completed the Whitney ISP program in 1996, and teach Interdisciplinary Synthesis at the Lesley University College of Art and Design in Cambridge, MA. You can see my work at

04. April 2013 by Lisa Young
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