Why America? Why this state of New York, to make a series at the age of 19 years of age, naive to the world and naive to photography, equippedwith a Fuji 6 by 7 rangefinder, a camera that became more a friend than machine. Was it the chance meeting with America twice in one year that sparked the obsession.
The photographer feels the need to challenge what they do, and re-edit, re-shuffle, re-contextualize work made when we perhaps did not understand all. It becomes a mode of reflection, of ideas before and ideas to progress with.
Is it the American flag on every corner? Is it the snow covered car park spaces, wedging the cars in. Is it the age it was made in? 19, the age it was re-contextualized, 21. Is it the man in the long overhaul brown, neatly stitched coat, as the snow simmers on the surface of the ground warping down to a larger pile surrounding the blue Mercades in the midst of Coney Island. Is it the conversation we had with the ex-gangster of New York, with his dog, and the underexposed negative and the flash mistaken image. Is it that knowledge missed, and learnt now? Is it the hotel tv, and the American radio which sounds so alien, the houses in New Haven that Edward Hopper crafted into our mindsets as we walk the streets of Connecticut? Was it the one hour allocation time to photograph a street of beautiful houses? Was is a Mothers control? A Mothers need to control each movement of her son?
Is it the opportunity America holds for us, myself and others? Is it the lady sitting under florescent underground lighting, hopelessly singing James Blunts, your Beautiful to a laughing public, as she is caught forever in a frame of humiliation. Was it because she could not sing?
Is it the triangles in pavements, the red seeping and the highlight of tree branches in a scene that hardly seems worth looking at? Is it a hanging hat on a silver, cross wire fence. The bold red jumper of an American, over seeing a game of sports? Is it a polite and pleasant interruption to a scene of their everyday. Is it a man sat in yellow walking boots, slimmer and more dignified with a black hat strapping his chin, tucking into his scarf?
The Mirror of two legs, one right, the next left, addressing each other in some sort of harmony. The vivid green of flower leaves to a blue bagon a whimsical journey across town; the tree stump that occupies the top left of an image. Is it the idea that this is my America, and it is, it is everything I see, and choose to remember, I remember all the steps made, all the people I encountered, their mannerisms, what has been going on behind me and in front. The sounds and the feelings, the conversations we had as we entered Coney Island as a group of 6 and ended in a group of 4. Is this America? Of course it is, and why would it be anything but. Is this series reflective of America? Probably not. It has glimpses of America, and icons of the idea it upholds, but this is my America, like William Eggleston and Walker Evans once owned in their MOMA uncatalogued. This is my experience, as a naive, yet receptive teenager, who found every square inch of America a possible photograph. Is this me? Yes it is. And does this make me sad to see the photographs now, yes, but it can also spur us on, as reflection now, do I see an increased obsession that a majority of my time now, should be spent here, because this obsession rides above many others that I may have. This is a realisation, a realisation that I wish to own America, like many others. i want a strange communication with a country that I care about but I do not know why, in truth, I care about it in a photographic sense, and not the sense of a human relationship. This series visualizes the problematic experience I now face, as I try to built some sort of foot to stand on, as I rife through admin jobs not knowing what the synopsis means, thinking of how this strange relationship I yearn to have, is all I can do, because I have ignored other things to explore this. And now, I find myself walking back that path, to find a normal sense of purpose, but with the desire to return back there at every moment possible.