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Memory City

The Fading Days of Film

Alex Webb, Rebecca Norris Webb

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An elegiac look at Rochester, New York, home to Eastman Kodak for 125 years until its bankruptcy in 2012


Rochester, New York was home to Eastman Kodak for 125 years until its bankruptcy in 2012. Alex Webb took photographs of the city with his last rolls of Kodachrome, a no-longer-available, vibrant colour film that can now only be processed as black-and-white …

The resulting photographs, taken during what may be the last days of film as we know it, are a meditation on film, memory, time and the city itself; they have a weathered quality akin to a fading memory. Alex also took some shots in digital colour, which punctuate the black-and-white work with images in his signature style.

Rebecca Norris Webb, who still uses film for all her work, responded to the medium’s uncertain future by creating a melancholy refrain of colour still-lifes and portraits of Rochester women past and present.

• Woven into the book are quotes by many of the famous writer and thinkers who have been connected to Rochester, including poets John Ashbery and Ilya Kaminsky

• Includes a separate booklet and special tipped-in images throughout

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'Really good. Alex Webb has an expert eye for framing a fleeting moment … a masterclass in observation and context … the book is charming, one of a kind … If we are living in the last days of film, then 'Memory City' is a fitting epitaph'
Amateur Photographer

'A love song to film and to Kodak … a quietly moving, reflective work'

'Both melancholy and charming'
New Statesman

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 30.0 x 24.8 cm

Extent: 132 pp

Publication date: 23 June 2014

ISBN: 9780500544327

About the Author

Alex Webb’s photographs have appeared in a wide range of publications, including the New York Times Magazine, Life, Stern and National Geographic, and have been exhibited internationally. He is a recipient of the Leica Medal of Excellence (2000) and the Premio Internacional de Fotografia Alcobendas (2009), and has been a member of Magnum Photos since 1976.

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