Sam Stephenson: Fake Nostalgia — (Bad News Books)




From the first photo in this series – Sam Stephenson’s parents in bed with framed portraits of their children on the wall above them – the scene for ‘Fake Nostalgia’ is set. Love, isolation, beauty, coincidence, tricks and antics emanate from everyday banality. And through Sam’s meticulous eye, the everyday inevitably becomes particular.

The process of photographing, developing and cataloguing is instinctive for Sam – image making having become increasingly inseparable from his being over the past fifteen years. The images in this book, taken between 2005-2015, are part of Sam’s ongoing body of work. The experience and memory of ‘being there’ is different for everyone, indeed, it is continually being constructed and amended by each of us as we create our narratives. In his own pursuit of a narrative, which you now hold, Sam was confronted by the idea of a ‘Fake Nostalgia’. –  Paloma Pizarro & Willie Ackerman



Sam Stephenson first developed an appreciation for image making as a teenager working in his neighbour’s dark room. Sam’s work often focusses on the various sub-cultures he is part of, as well as the psychology and surrealism of being there. Sam focuses on the rise and fall within the everyday and his candid approach imbues moments of love, isolation, destruction and hope. Sam speaks of his analogue archive as an expanding narrative, a storyline flowing in and out of consciousness. The process of cataloguing and placing each frame in time and memory has become an obsession – a tome of lone memories, shared memories, of moments misconstrued and bare reality. Sam has shown his work in gallery’s and publications regularly over the past decade. He is represented by China Heights.

Sam Stephenson, born 1985. lives and works in Sydney, Australia.

The photos from the project are taken between 2005-2015. Fake Nostalgia was exhibited at China Heights Gallery in 2015. Fake Nostalgia is currently available as a book through Bad News Books.

Founded in 2015, Bad News Books is a small press art book publisher and distributor based in Te Whanganui-a-tara Aotearoa.