Simon King isn’t messing around. A lot of folks talked about this story, but a few went to see for themselves. Simon went, made a serious body of work and then created this beauty from the results. “D.C. Exclusion Zone” is a legit hardcover photobook, film-based, with uncoated stock, black end sheets and printed cover. (This is NOT a Blurb book but in Blurb terms the cover would be considered an Imagewrap.)
This is history people. Anyone with a journalistic bone in their body knows what it means to cover something like this. And remember, January 6th put an entirely new perspective on this event. Really love the notes attached and small bits of copy filling in the blanks. The images are gritty and grainy, as we like, and they were processed in his sink in New Jersey. Must be something in the water…The book also thanks the team, if you will. New Exit Group and Amanda Dombroski. As I’ve mentioned many times before, publishing is a team effort. The book was printed by Mixam in the UK.
The imagery depicts everyday people engaging with the zone as well as the soldiers on duty and politicians going about their routine. These areas and zones are artificial and it FEELS like it. That is the point. “No, you aren’t allowed.” The images also depict a unique time in American history, a time when the radicalization of the American public is in full swing. The encroachment then deployment of “post-truth” culture, symbolized by fatigues and M4’s and I don’t mean the Leica.
What I truly love about this is that Simon was on his own which means he could shoot Leica, and shoot film and do whatever the heck he wanted. There was no editor putting limits on the story. Consequently, you get a personal look you probably wouldn’t get any other way, and over time this body of work will hold up, as will this document. I applaud him for making more of this than a thumb swipe. And those involved would appreciate this as well.
That is a striking photo on the cover. Disturbing, in a way.
This is it. This is the model for me. I’ve been struggling with photography for a long time. I am a mediocre (at best) photographer. Oh well. But there’s this void I need to fill – images, words, documentary. I’m frightened about what’s happening these days, and I need to figure out an outlet for conveying my fears. I also know that just about every generation of humans has had a “it’s the end of the world as we know it” demographic. I hope people 30 years from now will be able to laugh at my misplaced concerns. I probably won’t be around to hear them laugh, but if I am, I’ll happily laugh along.
I think every generation had its time but ours is a bit different. Not entirely unique but certainly the dumbest period I can ever remember, and none of the other times had smartphones.
Dan, thank you so much again for the kind review of this work, and for the insight you’ve offered in your teachings which guided my construction throughout navigating this situation, photographing it, and piecing together this mosaic afterwards.
I really appreciate your opening statement here; I am often clouded by doubt, but to hear your perception that I am not messing around cuts through. Maybe I’m not messing around after all!
I hope to share more work with you in the future!
Really nice book. You should be proud. And as I mentioned, had I walked away with ONE or TWO of those images I would have been happy.