Rich and Strange
As the image world Becomes electronic, paper photographs from the past operation about in search of new homes. Earlier this year the writer and artist David Campany chanced upon a press photograph in a flea market. It was taken in 1931 on the outdoor set of a film shoot. The director was Alfred Hitchcock. The film was Rich and Strange. Campany turns the photograph into a book of the same name.
Hitchcock was the master of suspense but photographs suspend in a very different way. They show But they do not tell. They describe But they do not explain. They are factual enigmas.
Zooming in, the book picks out the seemingly endless details: African shacks, rickshaws, lily white movie stars from Europe, a nervous producer, a cameraman, scattered props. All in a field in Elstree, North London. Rich and Strange is a homage to the materiality of photographs, two filmmaking, two abandoned archives and to the photographer WHO shot this image but-whose name is lost.