Tuesday, March 28, 2023

A Look at the Excitement of Speedway Racing in America in the ’70s

“I thought I was going to be a historian as I got older,” says Henry Horenstein, a Boston photographer who was tutored by E.P. Thompson—author of the book The Making of the English Working Class Recognized as the best written English history in his youth. “Our teacher told us that the most important job for historians is to keep people who have disappeared from history.”

After dropping out of college, Henry began taking photography seriously in his early 20s. However, the teacher’s advice remains in memory, which is applied as he hone his photography skills. When the former historian pointed cameras at the racing community at Thompson Speedway, an automotive race track in Connecticut, United States, they thought they would be lost in time. (Henry’s guess was wrong. Car racing events are still often held there.)

Project Speedway 72, which is now available in photo book format, appeared by accident. Paul, Henry’s brother-in-law, is a stock car racer at Thompson Speedway. One day, he was looking for someone who could help him document the community’s weekly racing schedule. Henry willingly. “as a teacher [di Rhode Island School of Design], I always think about things like, ‘How was I at that time, what questions did I ask?’ I’m sure people of different ages share similar insecurities and concerns. I guess I was trying to figure out what I really want. I was only 22 at that time. I was thinking, do I want to be a photographer? What project do I want to work on?” Henry explained the process until he finally set out to become a photographer.

Throughout his career in education and photography, Henry has published more than 30 books since the 1970s. In addition to academic books, he also wrote a personal history of photography titled shoot what you love (2016) and several monographs such as close ties (2007) and Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music (2003). The two monographs were actually compiled at the same time. Speedway 72 , close ties while a collection of photos of the closest people Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music Encapsulates 40 years of American musical culture – his latest work focuses on a world that Henry finds completely neutral. “I thought the project was interesting,” he said. “I don’t think the culture will last long.”

“I was looking for a topic that was rarely brought up,” Henry continued. “I am drawn to the cultures, subcultures and communities that time may forget.”

most pictures Speedway 72 Captured at night and played with monochrome colors. The book features men hanging from car windows, two lovebirds watching races in blankets, and children playing with balloons. Racing cars are not the main focus, but the crowds around them. “Nowadays are different, people are more aware of photography. But at that time, they were indifferent or fine [saat difoto]”he recalled. “Often, they are flattering.” [karena ada yang tertarik memfotonya], They are also ready to attend the event.”

Henry getting interested in writing Speedway 72 Almost a decade ago, after finding a box containing his collection of old photos from a trick. “I forgot to put those pictures. After looking around again, I thought ‘Looks like a good book,'” he said. “Maybe because I come from an academic background, I think photo books are really cool. There weren’t many photobooks in the 1970s, partly because they were expensive.”

The experiences and expectations of their students in design schools have also changed in recent decades. “Every year there are young photographers and slowly changes emerge – the world is always changing, so it’s natural that things change too. When I came into this world, there was no such thing as a photography museum. New York I was the first to have the Museum of Modern Art – the one that changed everything in this country in 1976. When I was young I had no plans or aspirations – all I wanted to do was take pictures and make money competing, and my lot All friends and girlfriends,” he said, reflecting on the past. “Now, my students already have an idea of ​​what they want to do before releasing their art. He has thought of a career strategy. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. They are different and optimistic.”

‘Speedway 72’ is a photo book by Stanley/Barker. The book can be ordered here.

Nation World News Desk
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