David Schulz – Lone Wolf

Photographs copyright 2012 David Schulz published by the Book Bakery (Publication Studio, Toronto)

Lone Wolf is one in a series of photo-bookworks developed by David Schulz. He investigates various “motifs (which) act as gears that engage the photographs and provide opportunities for (mis) aligning the visual content through the graphic structure of a bookwork. As one observes the ways that photographs operate within a context of graphic motifs that generate meaning, one may also begin to consider how the photographic images engage with one another in terms of verbal experience…. Each work situates itself on a trajectory of literal (or non-literal) reading that also acknowledges both its structural and perceptual processes. Within their formal contexts, photographs utilize a multitude of strategies for referencing, representing, and simulating language. These operations can be found within a single image, between two or more images, through the use of parallel narratives, text and image, and many other forms.”*

Lone Wolf (from one of my favorite sources, Wikipedia): is someone who commits or prepares for, or is suspected of committing or preparing for violent acts in support of some group, movement, or ideology, but does so alone. In the U.S. legal context, the lone wolf is associated with the U.S. terror-law (FISA), comprises non-violent, as well as violent acts. Moreover, a lone wolf can be so defined on the mere basis of suspicion (“reasonable belief”, not actual charges). Probable cause is not required.

Thus there is arbitrariness to the definition, interpretation and subsequent actions against someone who is deemed by U.S. enforcement as a Lone Wolf. Schulz is investigating the complexity surrounding the identity of a Lone Wolf as well as the surrounding political infrastructure.

To create his narrative, Schulz appropriates photographic images and text from a variety of sources, including “screenshots from American reality television shows depicting expressions of physical force, excerpts from congressional hearings of the 112th and 113th congresses on the Patriot Act, and a series of transcripts from the movie Let There Be Light (1946), by John Huston, and Flickr.com.”

The appropriated images are made more abstract for the reader by the conversion into large halftones. A reading of the book is then confounded by the sequencing, multifacted repetition and the mashed pairing of the photographs. There is a resulting tension and uneasiness that lingers in this body of work.

I will have to admit, of the books I choose to explore “Work” for the IX FotoGrafia di Roma photobook exhibition; this one takes me the most out of my comfort zone.

As a book object, it is a print-on-demand trade book with perfect bound binding.

Douglas Stockdale for The PhotoBook

* Footnote: Visual and Verbal Experience in Photo-Bookworks, Spring 2010, Journal of Artist Books (JAB)

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