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Obsolete & Discontinued

Tracy Calder

In 2015 photographer and printer Mike Crawford was gifted several hundered sheets of old, outdated photographic paper by a client clearing out his late uncle's posessions. Having runa a print studio and darkroom for more than 25 years he was well aware that such paper has a limited shelf life, and once this has been exeeded, it can become discoloured, lose contrast and suffer from fogging. Most people would have received the boxes with a smile and then swiftly binned them, but Mike was curious and so he asked 60 photographers and artists to use the paper as basis to produce new work.

Obsolete & Discontinued is the result of this mammoth collaboration. Portraits, landscapes and abstractions all feature, and the techniques used range from photograms to composites and the use of bodily fluids. My only complaint is that I want to learn more about the pictures and the processes behind them, but perhaps the mystery is all part of the pleasure. The book is available directly from Mike Crawford via www.obsolete-discontinued.com.

— 7days, December 2018

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