Lucy Lippard, The Lure of the Local
Culture and Place is a series of lyrical documentary images that examine place and culture in the American southwest. While the literal subject matter is rural and urban topographic spaces, the images are about the different ways that culture and place are linked, and suggest what form can say about ourselves, how we organize, and how we interact.
By using formal elements like line, shape, texture, and color as well as narrative elements as visual cues, this work takes a formal view of the vernacular to reveal narratives about transition in place, the personal in place, and how landscape can become place. This series also suggests that the dominant view of place wedded in rural settings is actually a special case and that a broader domain that includes suburban and urban areas is more appropriate.
My interest in this topic stems from seeing images of family at the Visalia Migrant Labor Camp in Tulare California taken by FSA photographers Russell Lee and Arthur Rothstein in the early 1940s. These images suggest that my own sense of place is part of a larger body of stories told in history books and depicted in countless works of fiction and film.
New Mexico, March 2, 2019
March 10, 2018