I received today the beautiful little photobook "LAST PICTURE SHOW" that my friend the German photographer David Kregenov, conceived, photographed, designed and self-published all by himself. Just by holding the book and flipping through its pages, I could feel that this booklet was a labour of love.
A great photographer and a passionate photobook collector himself, David in this project investigates a social and cultural transformation that his country underwent the last 25 years or so, by focusing his lens to old movie theaters around German that during the said years and as a result of the mass swift to other norms of popular entertainment, have been transformed slowly and painfully to frigid discount chains and later to drugstores and organic food stores.
Kregenov's memories dictated his search for traces of a now mostly forgotten but not very distant past. The work is imbued with a nostalgic and wistful feeling also present in the words of the photographer in his brief afterword on the last page of the book. "Next thing we know, the screens were dimmed, the projectors had ceased to run and the doors were locked. When they reopened, the interiors had been cleared out, the parquet flooring had made way for industrial tilling, the chandeliers for naked neon tubes and the velvety tip-ups for steel selvings."
The book resonated to me the same emotions as the cult Wim Wenders' film Im Lauf der Zeit (Kings of the road) that I first saw in 1977 in my hometown cinema similar to the ones that Kregenov is unearthing from his memories and places them on his book's pages for us to see.
The printing is digital given the small run of the book in 100 copies- I assume HP Indigo though I cannot be sure - but immaculately printed and the colour reproduction is undisturbing and in tune to the lo-fi mood of the book.