Books on Place and Personal Experiences

I came across an interview done by Shane Lavalette with Matthew Monteith on his recent project, Czech Eden.

My favorite excerpts from the interview:

I became captivated by how images take on meaning based on the sequence, order, and relationship to each other. I returned in 2001 with the idea of creating a fictional portrait of a place that exists only by editing reality.

The question of believability in photography intrigues me: of what is reality and what is created. Photography is subjected to the misconception that a photograph depicts what is, rather than what was seen. Much as a fiction writer describes a world that is recognizable and true, yet made up, the story is a fabrication based on a reality. I hope Czech Eden is understood in this manner. You might be able to find pieces of what I have described in the pictures of places and people, but the subjects would appear altogether different if you traveled to the Czech Republic. "Documentary" attempts to record an actuality. The photographs in the project, while made from the real world, are subjective and put in an order meant to create something independent, something that is not merely referential, or rooted in reality. Also, I intended the book as an allegory and as such, I hope it says something about society and humanity in general, and is not just about the Czech Republic.

Here are three other books that focus on interpreting place based on personal experiences:

  1. Dog Days of Bogota by Alec Soth
  2. Tokyo Love Hello by Chris Steele Perkins
  3. The Mother of All Journeys by Dinu Li