Michael Abrams’ second book continues the exploration of vernacular imagery and its power to access our latent memory.
Gathered from family albums, these photographs travel a winding path through an imaginary ‘Springfield’. Alternating between the sacred and the profane, black and white, the exquisite and the ordinary, the book is experienced as a cumulative impression of the remembered.
The cover image of a masked family opens the journey into an unexplored but oddly familiar world. Springfield creates a sense of place by interweaving snapshots with other evocative visual elements such as wallpaper remnants and newspaper clippings.
A short story by Gerry Badger is included separately, as a found object might be placed in an album for safekeeping: the story of resident Aaron Miller is interwoven with excerpts from ‘The Springfield Plan,’ a 1945 tract that identifies the racial schisms of mid-century America and suggests a radical plan for their resolution.
John Gossage’s masterful design includes a surprise on the back cover: a second little book hidden among the black pages, concealed from the eyes of the most inattentive among the readers of this imaginary album.
Abrams claims that everyone possesses a ‘Springfield’ within themselves. This is his own, and he gives it to us.