Good day Mr Knutsen, by Eric GundersonPosted: November 29, 2014
Finally got some time to post a note about this book, from my fellow photobook collector and blogger Eric Gunderson, published in 2014 through his young publishing house Jameric Editions (if you know him, you’ll easily understand where the name comes from). Softcover book, 17 x 23 cm, 72 pages, black and white photos.
Have you ever met Mr Knutsen ? Who ? You know… the man living upstairs, just up in the street, behind this strange pine tree ! We say hello everyday and have a little chat… Oh yes, the guy who looks like this old French President, what was his name… Jacques Chirac, that’s right.
We met each others, almost everyday, for years now, and today for the first time, I am going to spend some time with Mr Knutsen. A couple of weeks ago, he offered me to go with him to one of his favorite place outside the town. Well, the opportunity to spend a little more time together or, to better say, to try to know each other.
This book is like a novel. It begins when we arrive in front of the house. We climb the stairs and discover Mr Knutsen still in bed. Time to dress, to feed the cat and we jump in the car for a trip in the countryside. What I like in the book is its minimalism. It is not about the extraordinary or some kind of concerned photography. The book focus on what we all do everyday, about what are our joys, our little pleasures, our smiles and laughs, and finally, it tells about our knowledge of each others. What we share becomes a kind of intimacy : the walk beside a river, swimming in the water, cutting a branch, playing with a plastic cup… It is about what it represents to live in a society surrounded by other people, some that we ignore, some that we know, and some that we love. Each relationship is unique, depending on that level of sharing.
One of the great quality of the book is the sequencing. It creates a rhythm which alternates calm moments which suddenly speed up. We’re having great fun with Mr Knutsen and we easily imagine that we were quite silent in the car on the way back, exhausted after so much excitation and a bit sad to come back to daily life. The cat enjoys the return of Mr Knutsen, and at the end of the day, he stands on his balcony to look at the street where I disappeared.
I also have to say that I like the style of the photographs, varying from close up to larger views, depending on the proximity with Mr Knutsen, focusing on details that caught our attention (the cat, a branch, the plastic cup…). Some of these photographs are strongly composed and, for my great pleasure, some are weaker, which makes sense, giving some breaths in the rhythm. The book works so well, that we feel sad when the book comes to its end, and we flip back through the pages to remember some good moments…
So yes, we had a good day Mr Knutsen !
More info : http://jamericeditions.com/
All images copyright Eric Gunderson and Jameric Editions.
And just for the pleasure, kind of making of, a photo which does not appear in the book : Mr Knutsen waiting for my arrival…