Langdon Clay's Cars - New York City, 1974-1976 - Part 2 - Totemic Spectres and Signifiers: Wanderings, Explorations and Signposts 34/52 - A Year In The Country
To a degree the photographs in Langdon Clay’s book Cars could be seen as a parallel reflection of some of the themes of British hauntology and the way it often focuses on and draws from a not dissimilar period in time and a related sense of social, economic and political schism or fracturing and lost futures - here cars that contain echoes of populuxe aesthetics, a connected optimistic philosophy and/or an almost strutting presence and expression of virility are now often ghosts or spectres of their former selves. It is strange just how beguiling, alluring and beautiful these photographs of often beaten up and well-worn cars are: as writer and critic Luc Sante says in accompanying text, the cars are: "...arranged like mugshots but lit like Hollywood stars." (Although actually they were not lit by the photographer - rather as Langdon Clay says: "The night becomes its own colour.")