Author(s): Mike Slack
In Walking in Place 2: Berlin, Los Angeles-based photographer Mike Slack offers a meditative, if not psychic, expansion on the threads underpinning the first title in his series of standalone books, Walking in Place 1: New Orleans. While his meanderings through the Big Easy saw him piece together a playful dialogue of architectural gestures, cats, flora and street ephemera – all rendered in the almost impossibly vibrant hues unique to the famed city – his strolls through the German capital shimmer with a very different palette, syntax and philosophic hue. Here, deep foliage, fungus and soft, refracted European light assuage concrete, steel and geometrics – as if the grand themes of the picturesque and the sublime were shrunken to microcosmic proportions. But this sequence of images defies its individual referents; this is not a book about bike seats, brutalist buildings, leaves and ladybugs. Rather, Walking in Place 2, like its predecessor, is about the simple act of seeing, and its relationship to both our outer and inner selves. Amidst the golden light, greenery and oblique built environment of Berlin, Slack – led by little but the specificity of awareness – renders a world that is uniquely his own. From a sea of background noise, a quality of light and a sensibility of mind awaken us to moments bordering on reverie.