"We were born into this situation, and made the best of what we were dealt, thriving on the sidewalks and front yards and hidden from the influence of the city until the city poured over the castle walls out into the surrounding suburbium that grew like barnacles along the edges... (Ed Templeton)
"We found ourselves in a tract of homes that felt familiar and safe. We wandered among the quiet dark tract housing, devoid of people, finally lying down together on a rectangle of grass wedged between the sidewalk and the street. We stared up at the stars talking until the sun came up." (Deanna Templeton)
Contemporary Suburbium is a photographic meditation on living in the suburbs of Orange County, California — specifically, Huntington Beach, a seaside town on the outer extremities of the population surrounding Los Angeles. Once dotted with orange trees, oil drilling and summer cottages for the rich, Huntington Beach is now a popular beach destination for vacationers, and the old cottages are being replaced with tall modern three-story houses. The photographs in this book are a look at the people of this traditionally conservative stronghold, the disaffected youth, the fortunate (and less fortunate), as they venture out from behind fences, walls, and endless blocks of tract housing.
Reading like two opposing coming-of-age novellas about the same place, Contemporary Suburbium offers a gritty and sunbaked, yet romantic view of Southern California, and of the twenty-first century in its own adolescence.
Making full use of the book’s accordion-bound format, husband and wife Ed and Deanna Templeton present their own photographs and words in turn, printed back-to-back on the same sheets of paper, folded together between blue cloth covers in a die cut plastic slipcase.
Ed and Deanna Templeton’s photographs have been widely exhibited and published throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. This is Ed’s second, and Deanna’s first, book published by Nazraeli Press.