Life as a Night Porter

Chris Shaw

Twin Palms

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February 2005
12 x 16 inches
64 duotone plates
64 pages

Chris Shaw spent ten years working in London hotels, all the while using his camera to document the hotels’ unexpected human spectacles through the long hours of his shift. Whether capturing prostitutes waiting between Johns, weary hotel staff, the inebriated and profligate guests, or the details of the hotels’ faded grandeur, Shaw’s images capture a state of mind in which few people would choose to stay more than a night.

His images are populated with “chance meetings.” “I just took photographs to keep me awake. It became artless. The people I photographed, these episodes in the social fantastic would heighten and illuminate my whole night. The sum of the book is really a hotel of my own imagination. In my experience heaven and hell are places right here on earth, and you can stay in either one.” — Chris Shaw

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