Copyright Alamo & Costello 2010, courtesy Dark Lark Press
The 2010 World Cup has just started in South Africa and there will be many pubs, sports bars, taverns, and assorted watering holes where fans will be hoisting a few brews and cheering their favorite team and players on to victory. The fan support at The Globe, one sports pub located in Chicago’s Northcenter neighbor is the subject of Alamo and Costello’s photobook, The Globe.
The photographs of Alamo & Costello are similar in nature to those of Joseph Szabo and his body of work at Jones Beach, “engaged observer, with a particular interest in the fleeting pleasures and pains of the young… attuned to body language, both subtle and blatant”. I have the sense The Globe may not be a large pub, as the photographs are tightly framed and as they say, frequently “up close and personal”.
A full range of human emotions for a sporting event are captured; pensive, excited, disappointed, jubilant, exhausted, buoyant and enraptured. Someone comes out the winner, someone does not, which makes for future animated conversations and another good reason to share one more pint. There is also an emotional universality to these photographs with the common thread of a shared sporting event irrespective of the sporting event, whether it is soccer, baseball, basketball, or tennis.
The book’s essays are related to past football experiences, so this gives me a chance to share one of mine. I had been a youth soccer (AYSO) referee for 10 years when my son, nephew and I attended the 1984 LA Olympic soccer games in the Pasadena Rose Bowl. We were sitting near the end zone for the USA versus Columbia Colombia match, when the Columbian Colombia goal tender inadvertently passed the ball into his own net. The immediate chilling hush of the until then boisterous Columbia Colombia fans sitting directly across from us was an ominous silence. USA just went 2-1 over Columbia Colombia, and eventually win the match. I remember immediately telling my son after that goal that their goal tender probably should not be returning home to Columbia Colombia Regretfully, he did.
The “red eye” found in many of the photographs made by the camera flash creates an amateur look and snap-shot feel. There is a lack of a sophisticated polish to the composition and framing, which makes me feel that I am looking at a stack of personal photographs from a fun party. These photographs seem to be something very personal that is being shared with a minimal of editing, thus the book has an unusual rawness and immediacy for a published body of work.
The book’s horizontal format complements this photographic body of work.
by Douglas Stockdale