Per Englund - San Francisco Sidewalk Inscriptions
Photograph(s) by Per Englund
29.5 x 21 cm
Publisher: Svensk Bokproduktion
First Edition of 150 copies
San Francisco, one of the largest cities in California, has a history of graffiti going back to the early 1980s. Just as in every bigger western city around the globe, traditional writing popped up and spread, since the virus traveled through books and movies from New York City. But namewriting as a cultural phenomenon was not new to San Francisco back then. Just like recent publications (e.g. Public Wall Writing in Philadelphia or Tramp Directories) pointed out, especially in the United States leaving your name or nick name in public space can be found as old tradition through the last two centuries.
Stockholm based photographer Per Englund visited The City in April 2018. On his walks along the cities streets, he started documenting traces of non-graffiti namewriting on the sidewalks. It seems to be a common habit to carve your name in the not yet dried concrete in San Francisco. In 51 black and white photographs Englund did collect cliched carvings like “PHIL + CAROL”, but also dated inscriptions like “7:30PM HANK OCT. 26 1944” as well as hobo like namewriting examples in which the creator added figurative elements or worked on the handstyle like “FAST EDDY”.
The limited to 150 copies San Francisco Sidewalk Inscriptions is made of an inkjet printed inlay which is surrounded by a screenprinted cover. Each photograph is numbered and an index in the end tells you in which street the inscription can be found.