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Ezekiel 36:36 Nick Ballon

«Then the nations that are left round about you shall know that I the lord rebuild the ruined places, and replant that which was desolate: I the lord have spoken it, and I will do it.»

While this is not a completely new book, we thought we gotta tell you about this unique and passionate photography project by this very talented artist. Nick Ballon has long travelled between the UK and Bolivia, documenting facets of the South American country’s social and cultural fabric of with we would have otherwise been sadly unaware. But his latest project is his most ambitious yet, a study of the Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano, one of the world’s oldest airlines and for decades a real source of bombastic national pride in Bolivia. Sadly since it was privatised in 1994 it has slipped into decline as chronic mismanagement brought this once-great company to its knees.The remaining staff, who number only around 180 now, keep turning up day after day in the increasingly forlorn hope of some kind of salvation, or any potential windfall its final asset-stripping might lead to.

Nick’s series (named after the only LAB plane still in operation) is a brilliant documentation of this strangely fascinating story, where some 20th Century themes – technological, political and commercial – go hand-in-hand with a very timeless narrative about pride, loyalty and hope. What I really like about the images is that that although very poignant – sometimes almost painfully so – Nick doesn’t chase ham-fisted metaphorical detail. We the viewer are given the space (and the respect) to make our own connections. In fact the sumptuous book designed by StudioThomson puts all the captions at the end, allowing us time to absorb the images before we quite know what we’re looking at.
The book also includes a great inset of some of the LAB’s brilliantly retro graphics (below), wrenching readers back to consider the company in its confident pomp. The title of the work takes its name from the airlines only possible saviour, its last operational airplane called Ezekiel 36:36.

Specifications

  • Nick Ballon: Ezekiel 36:36
  • first edition and published by Nick Ballon in 2013
  • 285 x 240 mm

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