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Boring Postcards USA (Photographie) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. März 2004

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You know those old postcards that show the local meatpacking factory in all its cinder-block glory or the sickening color scheme of a cheap '70s motel room? Well, here they are. Beginning with panoramas of highways in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and other U.S. states, Boring Postcards segues to truck stops, restaurants, motor inns, malls, airports, military bases, factories, tools, and automobiles. Every image is certifiably boring, whether by dint of a photographer's ineptitude (dead-on views taken from too far away) or the sorry state of corporate architecture and interior design. And yet, as earnest advertisements for the American Way of Life, they all radiate a sunny faith in the uniqueness and desirability of whatever they portray.

There's not a word of commentary in this book, but that part is up to you. Certain things begin to stand out as you flip through the pages. Like the always blue skies. (Positive thinking!) Or the potentially interesting details that are uniformly obliterated, thanks to those polite middle-distance views and the muddy qualities of cheap lithography. There's a weird tension between the blandly generic ("Fine Food" reads the only visible sign atop a low-slung white building) and the proudly local (according to the postcard caption, this is "The famous Blue Grill on U.S. 40, St. Elmo, Ill."). In its silently subversive way, Boring Postcards proposes that we look more closely at this hallowed form of marketing to see what it tells us about the values and standards of mainstream American culture. --Cathy Curtis -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.


'Such American hot spots ... may have been boring then - or, stranger yet, they may not have been - but they're so cheesy now they're delicious.'(The Wall Street Journal) 'A wry collection of American gems.' (Metropolitan Home) 'Boring Postcards USA reads as a technicolor-toned paean to the optimism of postwar America.' (Interiors) 'A magnificent compendium ... has a hypnotic feel, and is a reminder that America isn't all the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and New York skyline.' (Simon Hoggart, Guardian)

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Amazon.com: 4.0 von 5 Sternen 25 Rezensionen
21 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Not postcards to be mailed. As a book it's......boring 22. Mai 2008
Von Not my dog - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Verifizierter Kauf
First a word of clarification. These are not postcards to be mailed. I didn't read the description clearly. This was only my fault, but someone else out there might make the same mistake.

Second, the publisher's description and viewers' comments are correct: These are boring, charmless, insipid images, that might tell us a lot about who we think we are -- perhaps of how proud small-town America was of its new airports, bus terminals and banks after the war. But I thought that not including any reflections by a student of our culture (Lord knows there are enough candidates), was just plain cheap, and makes this little book, well, boring.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An intriguing art project. 17. März 2010
Von Tom Brody - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
BORING POSTCARDS USA by Martin Parr has 85 pages. Most of the pages contain the image of a postcard, but a few of the pages are blank. When the book is open, the blank page is on the left, and on the right page is a postcard. The pages are non-glossy paper. Most of the picture postcards are from businesses and corporations, such as motels, factories, and shopping centers.

A perverted aspect of some of these pictures is that the most prominent aspect in the scene is the PARKING LOT. The fact that a parking lot is the most prominent part of these pictures provides us with a message about the incompetence of the photographer (and really tells us not much about the actual business). That is the source of the perversion. On the other hand, it could be argued that the prominent PARKING LOT provides the message that the business is big, successful, and powerful, and is able to afford a large PARKING LOT.

A few of the picture postcards show highways, e.g., in boring places such as Nebraska, Indiana, and Oklahoma.

Most of the images are truly boring. But from a perverted sort of perspective, the pictures are fascinating. WALNUT ROOM BUCKS RESTAURANT shows some wrinkled old people. The restaurant contains all the accoutrements of the up-to-date 1960s restaurant, that is, Formica and Naugahyde. The old people are especially boring, in view of the fact that they have white napkins spread over their laps.

PIKE VIEW MOTEL shows a dreary motel. One quarter of the page is a parking lot. Two 1950s vintage automobiles are parked in the distance. Half of the image is a bland sky. Other motel postcards include, LINOAKS MOTEL, NELVA COURTS, FRIENDLY MOTEL, THUNDERBIRD MOTEL, COSMIC AGE LODGE, and these depict motel bedrooms. A bed dominates the room. Near the bed are small tables supporting large lamps. The rooms are all unnaturally neat. The overwhelming neatness is perverted, in that it might remind one of a corpse in a mortuary, waiting for a line of mourners.

Other postcards are perverted for other reasons. JOHN F. KENNEDY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT has a reasonable image of the airport terminal, but the sky contains something shocking. The graphic artist who designed this postcard put a jet plane in the sky. The jet plane is in the process of landing. However, the angle of descent is an extreme angle. If the image was a real one, there is no question that the jet plane would crash within a half second.

More examples of perverted scenes arise from signs. What is perverted, is that the photographer and the restaurant owner really and truly believed that the postcard put the restaurant in a favorable light. But, in fact, the content of the postcard could do the exact opposite, that is, put the restaurent in a bad light. BLUE GRILL shows a shabby diner. The parking lot has two large potholes, each containing a huge puddle of water. On top of the Blue Grill restaurant is a huge sign reading, "FINE FOOD." Perhaps the sign is truthful, in that the food is merely "fine food" and is not something better, such as "great food" or "excellent food."

Also perverted is the postcard, THE VIRGINIAN RESTAURANT. This postcard shows the restaurant in the background, while the foreground features a large sign reading, "SPAGHETTI PIZZA." The way the sign is painted implies that one of the meals is called, "spaghetti pizza," and consists of a pizza pie covered with spaghetti noodles.

Please also note that Mr.Parr has a portfolio of photographs called, BORING, OREGON. Mr.Parr has not published this particular portfolio. However, any tourist could easily create their own photographic portfolio when visiting this town. All of the pictures are from a town in Oregon called, "Boring." The pictures include business with signs reading, "Boring Florist," "Boring High School," and "Boring Sewage Plant." The town of Boring, Oregon was not named because of any quality of boredom. The town was named after a German man.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Boring? Not! 2. September 2007
Von - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
This is an awesome book, made up entirely of old postcards with pictures of highways, restaurants, airports, and other prosaic places.

The postcards aren't like the ones you see today, photographs of beautiful places. They look like someone snapped a picture of the highway or restaurant, without even bothering to pick a scenic spot. Only, many of them have captions describing the pictures as 'beautiful' or 'scenic.' That only makes it funnier.

On the one hand, I applaud the use of average, even somewhat ugly images in this book to convey a feeling of time and place. At the same time, I can't believe anyone thought these pictures would make good postcards -- even decades ago.

The pictures are quirky and make me laugh. Best of all, they feel like a window into another time. I can look at these photographs and feel like I'm there... in that prosaic, rather ugly place, probably filled with real people with all their quirks and oddities. It's like a time machine!

All in all, I'm very glad I acquired this book.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Read the description carefully 12. Dezember 2011
Von Mindy Beyerl - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Verifizierter Kauf
Like another reviewer mentioned, this is not a book of actual postcards. I bought this for a project I had in mind but discovered that the book was prints of postcard images rather than actual postcards.

The description of the images themselves is absolutely correct though. The images are definitely boring and plain, but still fun to look at.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen not boring, really real 25. März 2007
Von C. Mazzucca - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
i agree with other reviewers in that the post cards speak for themselves. Perfect!!! as a footnote, i'd like to add, i have actually been to at least 8 -10 of these places, not because i was trying to find it, but coincidentally went through these places as well, many still exist. scary.
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