Causes & Spirit
William Carter, born in 1934 in Los Angeles, is a photographer, writer and part-time jazz musician. He has exhibited and published widely, and his work is held in public and private collections in the USA and Europe. Combining his photographic and written work is Carter’s preferred approach to bookmaking, as seen in such publications as Ghost Towns of the West (1971) and Preservation Hall (1996).
Causes and Spirits. Photographs from Five Decades
“Watch any mother kneeling beside her toddler, pointing and explaining what they are looking at. Our urge to see, and to connect, starts there.” William Carter
This book is both an autobiography of William Carter and a study of people. Carter’s photographs, beginning in 1960, take the viewer on his travels throughout the world, from home to New York and Kurdistan, from Dublin to Gaza. Whether working as a photojournalist or purely for himself, Carter focuses on the gestures and expressions of people (sometimes charming, sometimes unsettling), and on streets and landscapes that often long for human presence. The subtitle “Photographs from Five Decades” might seem misleading as it implies a “typical” photobook where the sequence of images is primary. For Carter, however, it is the interplay between his photographs and writings that allows him to see into himself and his subjects: indeed he calls himself a “photographer-writer”. In Carter’s words, his work aims to capture the “hidden implications, eye-blink compositions, odd ironies and happy accidents” of the world.