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Shambroom gives us a glimpse of the largely unseen machinery that quietly but persistently determines the way we live. In Shambroom's pictures, the simple, actual event is revealed as a marvellous and beautiful enactment of the highest democratic ideals of equality, dialogue and representation. They are pictures not just of rituals, but of the real-life practice of self and community empowerment. Diane Mullin in ArtReview (October 2003)
Between 1999 and 2003, Paul Shambroom attended hundreds of town council meetings across the United States. Photographing the participants with a large format panoramic camera, his tableaux describe the humble practice of local government on an epic scale _ echoing traditional portraits of the powerful, from European court to American history paintings, and the many representations of the _Last Supper_. They are also explorations of small town America, inspired by the road trips of Walker Evans and Robert Frank. With the full minutes of each meeting included, this is a revealing documentary record of the practice of local democracy at the beginning of the 21st Century, and the strongest work yet of an important photographic artist.