Perceptions of the potential vernacular. 2013-2015.
In these pictures I honor specific landscape and documentary traditions. Recording the scene is why I made the photograph and that which is referenced in the real world is what I desire the viewer to witnesses for interpretation. The pictures investigate a certain underbelly of society, alluding to the fall of the brief reign of celebrated middle class culture and attempt to expose myths of its nostalgically cherished integrity. However—in breaking from tradition—I use multiple frames merged together creating one singular image forming a panoramic vista but with a compressed and tightly rigid space. They seem natural but the field of view is disturbing at times with peripheral vision and depth perception being played with. The subject matter is not dramatic, iconic or alluring, yet this created enhancement results in visuals with intense formal qualities that deliver a more poetic representation of the space. Printed large, they accentuate the patterns and textures hinting at and paying homage to Abstraction and Minimalism. Therefore they feel familiar, aesthetic and perhaps comfortable, even as they comment on the failure of modernism’s ideals to uplift the masses. Although there is nothing fabricated, the pictures exist solely due to the ability of digital technology to do seamless combinations, subtly calling into question the notion of photographic reality without dealing in overt lies.
Photographic truth is only halfheartedly questioned now. When hyper real images of nature normalize the sublime, horrid visuals of catastrophic events surpass special effects, and snapshots of asinine exploits are the norm on web searches and social media; what makes for an inspired documentary photograph is up in the air at the very least. So, what is now necessary for an image to capture an audience and demand scrutiny and inquiry beyond a cursory glance? I force content, process and aesthetics into an arena and see which—if any—wins out in how the picture finally and triumphantly makes influential repercussions in the elucidation of contemporary culture. There is power in photographic reality, and here I try to regain conviction in how that power reveals and validates itself.