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WILLIAM EGGLESTON: DEMOCRACY & CHAOS

“YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE something to counter the chaos,” William Eggleston once said. He was turning up a tape of Bach in his car stereo as we drove into the outskirts of Memphis, Tennessee, where the photographer lives. Eggleston does a lot of driving, and chaos, framed and ordered by a car window, is a frequent view in his daily rhythm. Taillights, telephone wires, parking lots—these are a few of the constituents of his driver’s vision. Surfacing in his photographs, they reveal the perspective of somebody in motion. There is a velocity combined with dexterity in the way Eggleston works. He drives a car with very good suspension and steering. He is forever dismantling and reassembling Leicas. He once used a device to focus his camera with one hand while keeping the other on the steering wheel. Sometimes he appears to make photographs as easily as he drives.

Eggleston’s view is contagious. When

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