07 June 2010

Mark John Ostrowski - Amerikana

Title: Amerikana
Artist: Mark John Ostrowski
Type: Book
Pages: 84
Size: 9" x 12" or 24 x 30 cm
Edition: 500 numbered copies.
Type of printing: duotone offset
Price: €12 World

"Émigré in Europe since his early twenties, Mark Ostrowski (1971-) in 2006, 2008 and 2009 returned to the places of his youth, many of which he had not visited for over a decade. What he saw, felt and recorded on film has been distilled into Amerikana, 49 images that capture a subtly disconcerting vision of America at the dawn of the new millennium. Comparisons with Robert Frank’s The Americans are inevitable, and by Ostrowski’s own admission, the photograph that opens Amerikana ('Memorial Day Parade' [Lumberton, NJ 2009]) is a tribute to Frank’s monumental achievement; despite being published 52 years later, this particular photo exudes that same 1950s aura, albeit ironically. But comparisons only go so far. Now the pace is slower, the style and sensibility are distinct, and the scope is radically reduced: unlike Frank’s cross-country odyssey, Ostrowski incessantly travels the same triangle--small-town New Jersey, Philadelphia and Atlantic City--so as to bear witness to his own obsessions and the manifold contractions of the country where he was born."

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