Reading Chad Moore’s book is like biting into one of Proust’s madeleines. You turn a page, then another one, and suddenly you remember. Not that remembering is really the correct term for it; for you feel with every inch of your body. You feel something, which you thought you had forgotten – or almost forgotten – a long time ago. The beauty of the carefree youth. A special feeling whose irony lies in the unfortunate fact that you only become aware of it and begin appreciating it when it ends. When it has passed, you wonder: Why is it that you could not grasp it, hold it and enjoy it longer? But this is precisely the beauty of it.
The portraits in the book breathe immediacy and candour. They are free of any air of artificiality or superiority, of pathos, but instead radiate a fair degree of empathy. Like Mike Brodie, Chad Moore knows his subjects very well, as he spends a lot of time with them. The fact that he is their friend is evident from the photos, which create a sense of intimacy and closeness that is one of the foremost qualities of this photobook.
You feel everything – the black eye, the sweat of the naked bodies, the music, the screams, the happiness, the friendship, the sorrow… You can smell the stuffy spaces; you can feel the hot kisses and the pain of the day after. Putting the book down, you remember your teenage years and think to yourself: “Ah, those were the days!” It is no mean feat for a book to be able to do that. All credit to Chad Moore for a very strong series, as well as to Calin Krus of dienacht for providing a continuous production of excellent, flawlessly designed non-mainstream photobooks.