American Snapshots 2: Something Real


nan g

A woman enters a bookshop on Charing Cross Road, London. The shop specialises in art books, many of them expensive; even paperback editions and more so imported ones. Outside it’s a dry dusty day sometime in 1986, double-decker buses trundle up and down the road heading south towards the river or north to Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road. The pavements carry waves of people; Londoners, workers, tourists, students, shoppers. The woman moves casually over to a central display table, hovering as if uncertain of what she is looking for, but this is a disguise – the first of many. Despite giving the impression that she is browsing, she has come here for a distinct purpose, which, while it isn’t theft might be considered by some shopkeepers as almost the same as theft and certainly, not a thing to be encouraged. She selects a recently published American photographer’s monograph and…

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