Published by The Ice Plant, October 2018.
Paperback, 5.25 x 7.5 in.; 122 pgs; 67 bw.
Voyagers, edited by Melissa Catanese, consists almost entirely of anonymous black & white snapshots of people in various postures of reading — in living rooms, on beds, at the beach, eating breakfast.
A wordless book with the size and feel of a vintage paperback found at a flea market, Voyagers reminds us of the power and intimacy of our relationship to ‘reading devices,’ and evokes an exotic nostalgia for pre-digital culture.
We can’t see what these readers are thinking, but Catanese occasionally breaks the hypnotic typological rhythm to reveal a new photographic element — a pyramid, a starry night, sunlight glowing through a window — giving us brief glimpses of the readers’ potential narrative journeys.
As with Catanese’s prior books, the images were judiciously selected from the collection of Peter J. Cohen, a celebrated trove of more than 20,000 vernacular photographs from the early- to mid-twentieth century.