Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9781930066465 Published March 2006

Where We Find Ourselves

Justin Kimball

Where We Find Ourselves
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Justin Kimball

Distributed for Columbia College Chicago Press

With an Introduction by Richard B. Woodward
Published in association with Columbia College Chicago
88 pages | 53 color plates | 11-1/4 x 9-3/4 | © 2006
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9781930066465 Published March 2006
Clambering down slippery rocks to a swimming hole. Ducking the plume of smoke from a barbecue grill. Wishing for a breeze in a too-small dome tent. Scanning the sky for rain from a postage-stamp backyard. It is in these small moments of action—and inaction—that Justin Kimball captures our everyday attempts to relax. Indeed, one might argue that the events depicted are everyday life. 

Kimball’s compelling photographs depict ordinary people—parents and teens, grandparents and kids—in landscapes of leisure. These are not the exclusive resorts and white sand beaches of the affluent; rather, they are the parks, campgrounds, and fishing piers where most Americans vacation. They are natural landscapes—inviting, green, and sometimes beautiful—but at the same time they are imperfect—muddy, crowded, and partially paved. There is nothing idyllic about these vacation spots; indeed, Kimball’s photographs make clear that daily life can never be fully left behind. The people in his pictures, though momentarily transformed by cascading water or the shade of towering trees, remain enmeshed in ties of family and obligation, shadowed by thoughts of home. 

It is Kimball’s particular genius to isolate these moments between duty and pleasure. Where We Find Ourselves enables viewers to identify with—and participate in—this bittersweet aspect of American leisure and the ambiguous contemporary relationship between people and nature.
James Kauffmann | Photographer's Forum

"It takes a while to realize just how good this book is. . . . Keep on looking, though, and you'll see that whatever moment is the magic moment or the decisive moment or simply the moment that distills a scene into its essence, Justin Kimball finds it. . . . In most of the plates there is a felt psychological weight, and yet that which is being weighed is hard to specify. Perhaps that is what gives Where We Find Ourselves its considerable power. . . . Kimball has no interest in making statements about nature, nor does he appear eager to document how humans ruin nature. He is interested in the people occupying the spaces he happens on, and he is content to leave interpretations to those fortunate enough to peruse a copy of Where We Find Ourselves."

Katherine Nguyen | Picture Magazine

"Where We Find Ourselves represents uncomplicated and unadulterated bliss. . . . The fact that these vacation spots are so accessible and so simple make the photos seem even more spectacular. . . . Where We Find Ourselves keeps memories like a family photo album, but with absolutely stunning pictures."

Introduction by Richard B. Woodward
The Plates
List of Plates
About the Author and the Essayist
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