The Mushroom Collector by Jason Fulford
Published by Soon Institute (2014)
This publication reissues a beloved photobook classic – acknowledged as such by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger in the third volume of The Photobook: A History – that has been out of print since the hardcover edition was published in 2010. As photographer Jason Fulford recently learned firsthand, mushrooms have a way of growing and spreading wherever they touch ground. It all started when a friend of Fulford’s gave him a box, found at a flea market, full of photos of mushrooms – unassuming pictures taken by an unknown but almost certainly amateur photographer, apparently as notes for some mycological studies. Fulford’s art photographs (aside from his well-known book Dancing Pictures, which depicted people getting down to their favorite songs) are usually of staid, quasi-mute objects: a smashed Dorito chip overrun with ants, two bronzed doorknobs spooning, the blank back of a street sign. Yet these mushroom images got stuck in Fulford’s mind, like a bad song sometimes does, and they started to grow in his own work. The Mushroom Collector combines some of the original flea-market mushroom pictures with his own images and text by the artist about the project.