Todd Hido: Excerpts from Silver Meadows

Todd Hido: Interview for Of the Afternoon

Todd Hido: Interview for Of the Afternoon

San Francisco based photographer Todd Hido was born in the small town of Kent, Ohio, where growing up his first introductions to photography came through MTV and magazines such as Rolling Stone and Interview. His early influences were extremely broad, and among the genre of cinema, he particularly remembers the impact of seeing Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire at age twenty. This film has been especially influential to Hido in the way he approaches sequencing a book, and planning its flow as if floating in an out of people’s lives.

Hido came to international attention with the publication of his first monograph House Hunting in 2001. This collection of twenty-six nocturnal studies of suburban houses, photographed using long exposures and available light, introduced key themes found within his aesthetic vision. This series presented the viewer with a discomforting ambiguity in the concept of ‘home’, as both a source of comfort and isolation. The underlying sense of detachment in House Hunting can partially be attributed to Hido’s objective visual distance which clearly referenced the influence of ‘New Topographics’ photographers such as Robert Adams, and perhaps the pioneering work of Wright Morris’ The Inhabitants (1946). Hido’s subsequent books Taft Street (2001) and Outskirts (2002) further explored this Midwestern domestic suburban environment to great effect.

In 2006, Hido introduced portraiture to his published work, with Between the Two, which juxtaposed images of dilapidated interiors with studies of women. Later monographs such as A Road Divided (2010) presented Hido’s own interpretation on the contemporary American landscape, and the mythical allure of the ‘open road’. The latter book further expanded Hido’s artistic style, with many photographs taken through the blur and fragmentation of the car windscreen, becoming more abstract and painterly in style. In 2013, all of these previous chapters in Hido’s publication history came together to form his most ambitious book project to date, Excerpts from Silver Meadows.

It was a great pleasure to recently interview Todd Hido for photography magazine Of the Afternoon. Hido and I discussed many topics including the tradition of the family album, the influence of his former teacher and mentor photographer Larry Sultan, Hido’s portrayal of women, and his photographic techniques and approaches to photobook design and publishing. You can read the full interview in issue #5 of Of the Afternoon which is available to order online.

 

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