Unfamiliar Journeys Continued
Liverpool University Press, 2008 - Photography - 96 pages
In his previous book, Unfamiliar Journeys, photographer Alan McKernan took us on an unconventional excursion through the ever-changing city of Liverpool. Continuing his quest to document the city’s evolution through a unique photographic style, in Unfamiliar Journeys Continued McKernan now revisits some of the scenes of his earlier work to record further change. Taking this time a series of journeys within identified districts of the city, he also photographs buildings previously unvisited by him, showing the vast changes that Liverpool’s renaissance entails. There are photographs of Liverpool’s architectural landmarks, but McKernan surveys the cityscape as a whole with new buildings and construction sites contrasting with demolition and dereliction. The architectural historian Matthew Whitfield provides a lively commentary to the views of the city that McKernan’s photographs provide. Unfamiliar Journeys Continued captures change and development in the city, but as ever there is something off-kilter about McKernan’s photographs, and it takes a moment to realize that there are no people in McKernan’s vision of the city. His photographs are fascinating in themselves for his unusual viewpoints and the stark pattern of cast shadows caught on traditional black and white silver-based film, which enhance a feeling of eerie enchantment. McKernan is a master at making the familiar feel distant, even out-of-time.
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