Four of my panoramic photographs of the old Spaghetti Western film lots in Almeria, Spain, were selected for this exhibit by Amanda Maddox, Associate Curator of Photography and Media Arts at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. She organized her selection around the theme of the road and the views it provides us into real and imagined lives. Here is her text that accompanies the exhibit panels:
In his seminal text On the Road, Jack Kerouac declared “it’s an anywhere road for anybody anyhow.” This maxim applies to many contexts and travelers alike, but it resonates with a tradition specific to the history of modern and contemporary photography. On the open road, zigzagging across state lines, such pioneering photographers as Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, and Walker Evans located moments of irony, mystery, and chance. Their idiosyncratic observations of life, taken from car windows and street corners, mesmerize with a quiet lyricism. Other photographers, such as Jeff Wall and Philip-Lorca diCorcia, tell stories of how we live by staging images on the street.
Roads and streets serve as familiar terrain in these works by five local photographers. Alongside American highways, Nicholas Syracuse and Daniel Kempner isolate an anonymous population that comprises the everyday fabric of the nation. Jeff Deemie and Mark Parascondola go behind the scenes in two towns—a small Texas community and a long-abandoned Spaghetti Western stage set in Spain—to reveal the waystation as a complex, elusive landscape. The journey itself (and all of the places in between) takes center stage in Brady Robinson’s featured projects Transfer and Shift. For Robinson, and for the other photographers, the seemingly unremarkable byways constitute an anywhere road. These roads lead us to vital places, and to the heart of things.