A review of Tom Hunter’s ‘Le Crowbar’ [Here Press, London, 2014] for Photomonitor.
Pilgrimage to Paradise
In the early 1990s, with the left beginning to splinter, a diverse array of social groups began to form as resistance to a perceived, amorphous political and corporate power. Some of these preferred to be political by disengagement, and arguably formed the foundation and inspiration for the likes of Occupy, Uncut, et al. They connected back in time via the media safe eco warrior, ‘Swampy’, to the Greenham Common peace camps of the 1980’s.
‘New Age’ travellers found it easy to be outside of the law; indeed they were put there by various aspects of the Criminal Justice Act, a Thatcherite sop for the electorate, ostensibly keeping the peace and these unrecognizable delinquents in their place, which certainly meant off the road.
In Le Crowbar, the pet name for a dodgily purchased double-decker, bought by Hunter and his friends, we all go on a summer techno holiday to Prague, taking along some of this home grown self sufficiency and idealism.
Here, immersion and trust go hand in hand. Hunter’s intimate documentary photographs evoke an easy fluidity between experience and observation. They offer a narrative in hazy colour, quiet moments within gently retrieved single pictures that romantically position the past in the present.