Vanishing Song Thomas Keller
Replika Publishing, 2020
210mm x 165mm
9 Pages, fold out to A2 with 4 color photograph inserts
Munken Print White 115gsm and Chromokarton 280gsm
1st edition of 500
Vanishing Song sees Thomas Keller repetitively visit scenes of importance from the life and work of Jack Kerouac. Reading Kerouac, Keller felt immediately absorbed by the vivid descriptions of locations which became intermingled with his complex emotions of joy and loss.
Keller depicts a Lowell, an America, still rooted in the post-war despair seen in Robert Frank’s America, much like Frank, as an outsider; but with a more loving gaze. Scenes of abandonment exude not just melancholie and loss, but the fallen timber in dappled light tell stories of the lives lived within what were once walls. In tracing the history of the place, Keller communicates a kind of anxious but hopeful sense of waiting for what will come next.
Kerouac’s text accompanies photographs and text from Keller, adding a jazz rhythm and wide-eyed innocence and sadness to the publication. As a reference to his own photographs, the poster image on the reverse is an archival image from John J Dorfner’s Kerouac: Visions of Lowell, which allows us to see Lowell from multiple time points.
This humble publication functions in multiple ways. The temporality of the un-bound folding structure is a nod to the Beat poets, playfully leading the viewer through different scenes in Lowell.
Not just for Kerouac fans, Vanishing Song is a serenade to all places in flux as we move into post-globalism.