Atlas Monographs is a compression of eight travel journals, beginning with Pam’s most recent work (Karakoram 2006) and shifting back through the decades to his first journals begun in 1970. The journals map, through text, photo and marks on paper his engagement with the cultures he has travelled through. Just as importantly, the journals provided the engine room for his development as a photographer and a writer and an artist.
Max Pam is one of Australia’s most important contemporary photographers. Working as a professional since the early 1970s he is among a handful of Australians to make a substantial impact on the intensely competitive international photographic scene. His success is based on a body of provocative and compellingly intimate images of people from all over the
world. Over the last 30 or so years, he has not swayed with the vagaries of artistic fashion but has retained his commitment to the power of photography to produce a space of exchange between subject, viewer and photographer. By staying true to himself, he has developed one of the most coherent and stimulating bodies of work in world photography today.
In many ways, the Atlas Monographs represents a travel diary, or as Pam describes it, The book makes the journey with me and has an immediacy and freshness that only the intensity of travelling alone can create. Overall, this substantial publication with notes gives an emotional, sometimes lyrical, sometimes provocative, always intimate portrait of the artist as much as the people and places he has witnessed.