A TIME MARKER
© stephen shore/Courtesy 303 Gallery, new york
During their conversation for this issue, gregory crewDson
tried to ask stephen shore about the legacy of one of his most famous bodies of work, Uncommon Places. shore was reluctant to discuss his own influence, however, noting that every “intelligent artist”
works “on a basis of things you’ve seen.” Many photographers have
clearly imitated shore’s use of light, color and vernacular subjects.
crewdson, for one, says he was influenced by shore’s use of cars in
GreGory Crewdson: i don’t know if i’ve told you this before, but
i’ve always wanted a particular kind of car in my photographs. and
i’ve spent an enormous amount of energy to [get them] because
those cars don’t really exist anymore. at some point somebody asked
me, “why do you use that car over and over again?” i had to think,
and then i realized it’s because they are in your pictures. it’s such an
interesting example of how this whole thing works because you were
making pictures of how things look at [that] moment in contemporary life and i was obviously influenced by your pictures.
© GreGory Cre wdson/Courtesy GaGosian Gallery
stephen shore: i was paying attention to cars because i learned
about the importance of cars from [walker] evans’s pictures. a building built in 1910 can be photographed in 1910, it can be photographed
in 2010 [and look the same]. But you have a street of cars—and occasionally evans would do something sneaky and put in a car that
was an old car at the time that the picture was made—cars are a time
marker in a picture. it’s like leaving a little marker that will be read differently in future years.
Crewdson: i’m always conscious of taking out those time markers
and putting in non-descript cars that exist somewhere in a kind of
murkier collective imagination.
Top: “Second Street, Ashland, Wisconsin, July 09, 1973,” by Stephen Shore.
Above: “Untitled,” from “Beneath the Roses,” 2003, by Gregory Crewdson.