Saturday, 24 March 2012

End of the Pier

Nothing marks the dawning of a new season quite like an uncomfortable posed photograph next to a creepy suicidal hot dog in ankle socks. So here you go! It is awkward, like, even for me so that is an achievement in itself. It was taken on a day trip to Weston Super Mare with my grandparents (I never said I was cool you guys.) Weston Super Mare is actually awesome. I reread Ghost World a couple of weeks ago and I was overcome with jealousy at the seventies aesthetics of ghost town suburbia which Enid can interpret in a thousand different beautiful ways. I felt genuinely cheated that there wasn't a British equivalent to play around with! However, now I'm beginning to feel that little seaside towns like Weston and also bigger cities like Blackpool (Blackpool is fantastic I used to go on holiday there when I was little) are worthy equals. I don't mean this is in a snooty way, I find the hipster middle classes ironic consumption of 'low culture' repellent. I really do love these things, my family are from Bermondsey so I feel terribly nostalgic about the culture surrounding the music hall. There is an amaranthine quality to these places, a feeling that your grandparents parents could have gone on holiday there which is just so lovely. There is also a sense of hyperreality to the setting, the impromptu 'All American' aesthetics, the games arcades and so forth. This really influenced me when I was editing my photographs. I was especially thinking of Umberto Eco's Travels in Hyperreality and Jean Baudrillard writing on Disneyland and well Disneyland in general and Angela Carter's Wise Children, particularly Gorgeous George and an elderly Dora and Nora dressed up to the nines and Harry Hill and British Comic Art and Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle and Rieiner Riedler's Fake Holidays series and Nan Goldin and Martin Parr and a thousand other things that I love so dearly yet sound so pretentious and false when written on the internet.

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