Max Pam

Born in Melbourne in 1949, his work takes the viewer on compelling journeys around the globe, recording observations with an often surrealist intensity, matching the heightened sensory awareness of foreign travel. The work frequently implies an interior, psychic journey, corresponding with the physical journey of travel.

“A life on the road, experience just waiting on the seductive horizon. Nineteenseventy (1970) marks the beginning of my postcard experience. My first postcard home, from Singapore. A photo of a rickshaw puller, in Chinatown, beaming at the photographer unknown.

I really wanted them to understand at home, just by bearing witness to the image of the generic rickshaw puller that he could: get me a hotel room, get me robbed, get me laid, get me stoned, get me a bowl of noodles, get me to the airport. Of course the five lines of text I wrote on the flip side made no mention of the fabulous and violent potential of the rickshaw man. They got the picture and its disreputable subtext however.

In the early 1990’s I worked on a continuing series of my own postcard image and text works. Both as black and white images and then later hand colored black and white images.

The tourist experience suggested by the post-cards quotes both science fiction and magic realist sensibilities. Old images of mine have been re-positioned in the process, using text/image and hand-coloring to finesse libidinal re-directions in order to subvert the clichéd poetics of tourism.”

Max Pam about “A life on the road”

This lecture is in collaboration between THE DOCKS and CFI – Centro di Fotografia indipendente