A note on ‘A Previous Life,’ by Jim Coudal: There was a building there. There will be a building there. In between, Marshall Sokoloff was pointing his camera straight down, composing. He took these photos over six weeks in September and October of 2002 in Toronto.

In the life of this plot of land, this is a temporary condition, this two-dimensional state, filled with cracks and gravel and textures and chipping paint. The straight lines and sharp angles are the remnants of a previous life. Marshall found a present-tense there and has documented it in sweet, mathematical compositions.

Light and tone are important. The series has a lovely feel, like the end of the day, but it’s the cropping within the camera that appeals to me. His balancing and editing of shapes within the frame’s rectangle can be seen as an exercise. Each picture in the series answers the same set of structural questions in a slightly different manner. Collectively, the series seems more musical than anything else, like variations on a simple, precise melody.