Watch an excerpt of Eirik Johnson’s talk last May on his new book Sawdust Mountain at Aperture Gallery. In this clip, Johnson presents his previous photography projects that lead to Sawdust Mountain from documenting a pilgrimage in Peru, daily life in his home town of West Oakland to the project of his first acclaimed book Borderlands on the space between public and private land marked by nature or man. Then, Johnson explains how he started the project in Sawdust Mountain.
Sawdust Mountain is a culmination of four years photographing throughout Oregon, Washington, and Northern California. A Seattle native, Johnson focuses in this book on the tenuous relationship between industries such as timber and salmon, reliant upon natural resources and the communities they support. Johnson reveals a landscape imbued with an uncertain future—no longer the region of boomtowns built upon the riches of massive old growth forests, at a turning point to protect its natural resources extensively exploited over the last century. Through a poetic approach, Sawdust Mountain records a region affected by historic economic complexities and, by extension, aspects of our fraught relationship with the environment in the twenty-first century.
Johnson also read a poem by David Guterson included in the book, while going through his images before answering questions from the audience.
You can watch the talk in its entirety, divided in three different clips, on our vimeo account.