“Words, images...- they will not help me at all.... It's not possible to confront things here; they exist in another dimension - they are simply here. And I look and look, as astonished as a blind man who has just recovered his sight." - Simone de Beauvoir, American Day by Day
Wyoming is 91% rural expanse, replete with an immense physicality. Punishing, indifferent weather decimates human interventions into the landscape, rendering the environs into a desultory splendor. Long sight lines make for long drives. The American road trip through Wyoming throws into relief the immediate experience and the myriad of ways in which Americans can see their country.
Jackson Hole swarms with tourists, though their affluence doesn't extend everywhere. Sloping hills littered with feeble attempts at urbanization – human detritus, junk cars and appliances – collude into a distillation of failed manifest destiny. Farther eastward, blasted canyons incite ruminations on alien landscapes. Traversing Wyoming, the road traveler may muse on the failings of westward settlers, their delusions of civilized grandeur imposed upon an unforgiving frontier. Wyoming – wild, spectral terrain interrupted by the decaying American vacation.
The primary focus for this exhibition was to bring together found photographs of family road vacations and the Situationists concept of the derive, as the catalyst for creating physical moments from a new and authentic experience of the state of Wyoming. This conceptual process took me to a much more abstract and multi-faceted aesthetic world, based solely on rapid passage. The vitrine presents a manifestation of an uninterrupted moment, a close encounter.
As the centerpiece, the photographs maintain a physical world, defining the imagery of Wyoming. The accompanying video piece of disparate road footage, allows a viewer to enter into this wholly personal venture. The commissioned score, a swirling spacey synth dirge, is evocative of a primordial ambiance, inherent to the psychogeography of Wyoming.
Daniella Fernandez Murphy
Scored by Matt Jones