Dan Rochford (American)
Gelatin silver print; photomechanical reproductions
Joyce F. Menschel Photography Library Fund, 1998 (1998.103)
"Wall Street Rag" by Scott Joplin, performed by Ann Charters on 'Essay in Ragtime: Ragtime Piano Classics,' Folkways Records FW03563, provided courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. (c) 1961. Used by permission.
Performed by Harry Macdonough, “The Girl on the Magazine” written by Irving Berlin, 1915, re-released on ‘1916 - The Country Found Them Ready,’ Courtesy of Archeophone Records LLC.
- Around the turn of the century,
- photography became much
- more democratically
- Eastman Kodak had a motto, “You press the button,
- we do the rest,” and
- the album became ubiquitous in American households.
- What distinguishes this is that a teenage boy
- has taken that structure
- and done something totally unique with it.
- The teenage boy has laid out
- his romantic ideal. He is referencing the kinds of memoirs that would’ve been written by a Casanova at the end of his life.
- Piecing together
- private musings,
- The entire album is a kind of
- study of women.
- Young Daniel has handed out these questionnaires
- to capture what he considers the essence
- of each of these individuals.
- In a way it really captures teenage irreverence.
- Each spread has its own quirky uses of photography.
- This page devoted to a woman named Mary Cared,
- and cut out a tiny little image
- he must have gotten back multiple prints of this group picture,
- and pasted it down onto the back of this envelope.
- When you open up that envelope, we have yet another copy of this picture
- except for he has cut out the heads of all the people he’s not interested in looking at.
- What interests me is the way in which this person
- was using photography in a way that it really hadn’t been used before.
- and what people’s relationship to photographs can tell us,
- which ideals of beauty were constantly being mediated
- through photography and through this rapidly expanding media culture.
- Unsuprisingly, Daniel Rochford became a journalist and this--like all great literature—the more precise he becomes about
- his own existence, the more it opens out onto t
- he most general relatable experience.
- This entire album is really kind of a self-portrait.