Robert Frank: Hold Still, Keep Going
Published by Steidl.
Edited by Ute Eskildsen. Text by Ute Eskildsen, Christoph Ribbat, Wolfgang Beilenhoff. Interview by Ute Eskildsen.
An exploration of the filmic elements in the photography of Robert Frank
Hold Still, Keep Going is the long-awaited reprint of the catalogue to Robert Frank’s (born 1924) 2001 exhibition at the Museum Folkwang in Essen. Though the artist is best known for his seminal photobook The Americans (1959) and his experimental film Pull My Daisy (1959), until this publication, little scholarship existed on the intersection between Frank’s work in the disciplines of photography and film.
Hold Still, Keep Going fills that void, exploring the influence of film on Frank’s photographic work, and the interaction between the still and moving image that has engaged the photographer and experimental filmmaker since the late 1950s. The book adopts a nonchronological approach, including photographs, film stills, 35mm filmstrips, as well as photomontages that present Frank’s most famous series alongside less known work; from these varied contents, the volume offers revealing juxtapositions, rendering the seemingly disjointed arc of Frank’s art more cohesive. Text, from handwritten phrases on photographs (of which “HOLD STILL—keep going” is but one example) to the dialogue in his films, emerges as a crucial tool, one that is also central to Frank’s photo-diaries.
Including a new essay from Tobia Bezzola, director of the Museum Folkwang, this edition highlights some of the more obscure work by perhaps the world’s best-known living photographer, and is an essential addition to all photography and film collections.