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By John Armstrong & Paul Collins
Categories: Photography
Paperback : 9781552451069, 120 pages, May 2002


While lunching one day in Paris, long-time friends and collaborators John Armstrong and Paul Collins drew up a list of 49 random words that would become the subjects of a series of photographs. The first of these was 'Jim ->', a reference to the graffiti scratched into the gravestones of Paris's Pere-Lachaise cemetery that point the way to Jim Morrison's tomb. Armstrong shot in their native Canada, and Collins in France, where he has been living these past 20 years. When the 98 images are paired - which photographer took each one is never identified - they explore the blurred edges of North American and European culture, of the familiar and the exotic, of shared and individual experiences. Canada or France? Paris or Toronto? This task if variously easy, difficult or impossible.

The pairs of photos are augmented by a series of textual responses - some in English, some in French - to the 49 words. The passages act more as complements to the photos than as captions, providing an anecdotal context for the photographers and their project.