192 pages / 6.25 x 8 in. / Paperback w/ dust jacket
185 color photographs + handwritten annotations throughout
Open any copy of Michael Schmelling’s My Blank Pages and you encounter a curious murmur of handwriting in the margins around the photos: dates, memories, quotes, recipes, anecdotes, stray thoughts on the practice of photography, points of reference. The images are from an archive of 4×6 machine prints made casually over the course of Schmelling’s career as a photographer — the fragmentary background noise of an itinerant working life, excavated, reclaimed and reframed here as an oblique autobiography. Messy and intimate, the photographs depict rooms he has inhabited over the years (studio spaces, photo shoots, apartments), people he has known (writers, musicians, models, friends, other photographers, editors), and every-day specifics (books, prints, production materials). A self-reflective departure from his documentary and portrait-based book projects, My Blank Pages continues a side project Schmelling began in 2008 with The Week of No Computer, which reappears in the center of this book in a revised and condensed form. Annotated by hand, bound with no covers and wrapped in a manila jacket, each copy of this limited print run is unique, as if on permanent loan from a shelf in the artist’s home.