PAUL GRAHAM Beyond Caring

Graham’s renowned series, ‘Beyond Caring’, was made in the waiting rooms and corridors of the Social Security and Unemployment offices around the UK, documenting the long waits, queues and poor conditions of an overburdened system, to produce a powerful series of photographs conveying the hardship people experienced.

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PAUL GRAHAM Beyond Caring

PAUL GRAHAM Beyond Caring was originally self-published in 1985. Graham’s renowned series, ‘Beyond Caring’, was made in the waiting rooms and corridors of the Social Security and Unemployment offices around the UK, documenting the long waits, queues and poor conditions of an overburdened system, to produce a powerful series of photographs conveying the hardship people experienced.

Denied official permission to make the work, Graham’s photographs were taken discreetly, usually without looking through the camera, resulting in a spatial disorientation that emphasised the unmoored distress of vulnerable citizens. The work shocked many on its release – leading Magnum photographers were outraged by its use of colour in a classic documentary topic, while others celebrated how it straddled the world of activism and art (it was exhibited at both Trade Union conferences and the Museum of Modern Art, New York).

Graham forged a fresh form of engaged photography, mixing elements of social documentary, ‘new colour’ and reportage to create a striking body of work that endures to this day. Many decades have passed since their making in 1984, but these images have grown not only in photographic importance but also as a unique historic record of the mid-1980s unemployment crisis in the UK. This edition of Beyond Caring is part of Graham’s iconic 1980’s trilogy of UK books, being republished by MACK, which also includes A1 – The Great North Road (2020) and Troubled Land (Spring 2022).

 

Read The Reviews

“An empathetic document of a sudden, lurching change in Britain, which left many without a sense of purpose or economic security … the vision of Britain in Beyond Caring seems as relevant as ever“ – The Independent

“Graham’s angular images and juxtapositions convey a feeling of loss and heartache, of lives being wasted. This is a Beckettian purgatory, an endless but hopeless wait for a Godot who never turns up.“ – Morning Star

“The force of Graham’s Beyond Caring photographs remains undiminished. […] one of the most commanding and gravest monuments to Thatcher’s Britain produced by any British artist” – David Chandler

 

Mack Books

Mack is a global publisher of award-winning books on art, photography and critical studies. Founded by Michael Mack in London 2010. They work with established and emerging artists, writers and curators, as well as cultural institutions.

Additional information

Publisher

Mack Books

Publication Size

32.2 x 24.3 cm

Book Type

Artist

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