To celebrate the publication of The Photographer’s Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas, Aperture commissioned twenty-two photographers to create new works in response to assignments from the book. Curated by Christopher McCall of Pier 24 Photography, the project sparked a fascinating dialog between some of the world’s leading photographers and educators working today. What follows is an insight into the possibilities of looking at photography through someone else’s eyes.

"I tried to look for the mundane, but I couldn’t find it, so I just kept taking pictures. Sometimes we say something is mundane because we hardly notice or pay attention to it. But would that mean that the silent operation of our lungs and our circulatory system right now is mundane? Is the fact that we are spinning around in circles while also hurling around the sun once a year at 67,000 miles per hour mundane? With those incredible things happening now, I can’t help but believe that nothing is inherently mundane. We are simply more or less aware of what is going on all around us at any given moment."

Ed Panar

The artist responded to David Hurn's assignment, Giving the Mundane Its Beautiful Due, on page 154 of The Photographer's Playbook:

"I started a ten-year project about my village sparked by a John Updike quote: “Giving the mundane its beautiful due.” ...Though “mundane” means “run-of-the-mill,” for me, the uninteresting sometimes becomes the interesting when closely investigated. Investigation starts with research, knowledge, involvement. It’s then a matter of utilizing the only two real controls we have in photography: where you stand and when you press the shutter."


You may also be interested in: