TWENTYSIX ABANDONED CATALAN GASoline STATIONS
I was once hired to do research for an industrial film about the history of transportation, a film that was to be made largely by shooting footage of still photographs; it was my job to find appropriate photographs. Browsing through the stacks of the New York Public Library where books on the general subject of transportation were shelved, I came across the book by Ed Ruscha entitled Twentysix Gasoline Stations, a work first published in 1963 and consisting of photographs of just that: twenty-six gasoline stations. I remember thinking how funny it was that the book had been miscatalogued and placed alongside books about automobiles, highways, and so forth. I knew, as the librarians evidently did not, that Ruscha’s book was a work of art and therefore belonged in the art division. But now, because of the considerations of postmodernism, I’ve changed my mind; I now know that Ed Ruscha’s books make no sense in relation to the categories of art according to which art books are catalogued in the library, and that that is part of their achievement. The fact that there is nowhere within the present system of classification a place for Twenty six Gasoline Stations is an index of its radicalism with respect to established modes of thought.
— Douglas Crimp, “The Museum’s Old / The Library’s New Subject”
Xavier Aragonès (b.1979) explores through his landscape and architecture photography the sometimes subtle, sometimes traumatic effects of human activity on the places surrounding us. He has published two photobooks, both through the publishing house Camera Infinita: O. O. O. and Twentysix Abandoned Catalan Gasoline Stations. The latter was also featured in the form of an exhibition as part of the Revela-T 2018 international analog photography festival in Barcelona, Catalonia. You can buy his book HERE and please check out his website.