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Photobook: David McMillan: Growth and Decay

Simon Skinner - 7 months ago

This week’s pick from the latest photobooks is David McMillan’s Growth and Decay
Pripyat and the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone with Text by Claude Baillargeon. A brand new book from one of our favourite book publishers, Steidl, and one that has been designed by David McMillan and Gerhard Steidl. Read on for more.

David McMillan: Growth and Decay

David McMillan, a Scottish-born Canadian photographer, began his career as a painter, receiving an M.F.A. in painting from the University of Wisconsin in 1973. An interest in the tension between the natural and the built environment ultimately led him to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, where he has photographed regularly since 1994, since making the trip on 21 occasions. Inspired by his teenage memories of Nevil Shute’s On the Beach [1957], a disturbing image of the world following nuclear war, McMillan found in Pripyat the embodiment of an irradiated city still standing but void of human life.

David McMillan: Growth and Decay

As one of the first artists to gain access to ‘The Zone,’ McMillan originally explored the evacuated areas with few constraints and in seclusion, all except for the occasional scientist monitoring the effects of radioactivity.

David McMillan: Growth and Decay

Returning year after year enabled him to revisit the sites of earlier photographs; sometimes fortuitously, sometimes by design, thereby bearing witness to the inexorable forces of nature as they reclaimed the abandoned communities. At times his unhurried approach to picture making led McMillan to look at unassuming subjects, which gave rise to engrossing compositions. Above all, his commitment has been to probe the relentless dichotomy between growth and decay in The Zone.

David McMillan: Growth and Decay
  • David McMillan: Growth and Decay 
  • Book design by David McMillan and Gerhard Steidl
  • 256 pages including 200 colour photographs
  • Dimensions: 12.6 x 11 in. / 32 x 28 cm
  • Clothbound hardcover with dust jacket
  • Price: US$ 95.00 / € 85.00
  • ISBN: 978-3-95829-397-7
  • Release Date:  April 23, 2019


About the author

Read Photobook: David McMillan: Growth and Decay

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.

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