Eamonn Doyle’s second photo-book, ‘ON, follows his previous book, ‘i’, a collection of street portraits from Dublin city centre. In ‘ON’, black and white figures stalk across Dublin streetscapes, by turns lost, menacing, wary, browbeaten or entranced – but always at odds in some way with their environment. As in ‘i’, the photographs were mostly taken on Dublin’s Parnell Street and O’Connell Street. But here the historic role of those two streets as zones of resistance, protest and insurrection is far more present. The figures are dynamic – muscles taut, heads in mid-turn, bodies in motion. Some flee the photographic gaze itself. Others stare challengingly down the barrel of the lens. Most appear caught up in projects so intensely private that they have an air of total inaccessibility. Rarely does the photographic act intrude so little on the lives of its subjects. Paradoxically, the energy is sought at precisely those moments when the unruly subjects look most likely to tear the images asunder. The central drama of the book could thus be said to be its subjects’ struggle with representation – not necessarily against it, but writhing, wriggling, jockeying with it. The resulting images invariably draw attention to the photographic act. One never forgets that these images have been selected, framed, constructed. One is never tempted to identify the image with the subject of the image or to respond ‘I know exactly how that person feels.’ The interiority of the subjects is preserved; their dignity remains intact. ‘ON’ opens out to history more directly than its predecessor. Whereas ‘I’ was preoccupied with figures consumed by introspection, the dramas in ‘ON’ are far more environmental. 1
About the Artist
Born in Dublin in 1969, Eamonn Doyle graduated with a Diploma in Photography from IADT in 1991. He spent much of the next twenty years producing music and working in the independent music business, founding the Dublin Electronic Arts Festival (DEAF) alongside the record labels D1 Recordings and Dead Elvis. He returned to photography in 2008. His debut photobook i, described by Martin Parr as ‘the best street photo book in a decade’ was published in March 2014. Most of his work is produced in and around the Dublin city centre location where he has lived for the past 20 years. 2
About the Publisher
D1 Is Eamonn Doyle’s Publishing house and record label.