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Especially as we get through the fourth, I found myself prior to it thinking about the American ideal. The very role of the holiday, is a celebration- and a remembrance of an American past, a history idealized. And why should it not be thus? There is much to remember, much to celebrate, this is at the forefront of the American collective consciousness for very good reason. Simultaneously though, I found myself wondering maybe at the onset of a more tacit motivation for this: one that, admittedly, is too ambiguous to size up measurably, instead comes from feeling and reception alone.
With the onset of the digital age especially, the world became  “flat.” By this I mean that the idiosyncratic identity of respective cultures lessened significantly. This follows too after the rise of mass production and the like. Because of this I think we are currently experiencing a crisis of culture unlike anything else. For proof?- There is a McDonald’s in the Louvre. In a world of globalization, of equality, mass production, etc. The extent and the magnitude of our American values are being observed now, in ways that they never have before. Even politically, it seems largely now more than ever to be a confliction of progression and retrospection. We are polarized on forging forth blindly, even recklessly and clinging dearly to ghosts of a past that does not, cannot exist. Rather than creating for ourselves a new culture that is autonomously individualistic, progressive (in any direction), we are faced now more than ever with a tacitly furtive feeling of a severe lack of who and where and what we need to be inside of a global community that we helped to create in dramatic ways.
If you look hard enough though, you can find sometimes the past collected. You can find places that understand the desire to return to a culture that used to be circumscribed.
These images seek to depict a reflection of a nation in limbo. One that was a certain way, has changed maybe, and now isn’t so sure that it is what it was. It thinks it is, but there’s a little bit of an identity crisis. Maybe in spite of this it tries twice as hard to preserve the past because whatever future it sees looks too sterile. The conservation efforts pool, and become crusades that work twice as hard to dredge up the culture it once had – and in doing so – stagnate in circling retrospection. This nation is under the unspoken impression that it is caught inside of this culture crisis, perhaps clinging to anything, everything that it can in preservation of what it had..maybe because of the fear it finds in foresight.
And so these photographs ask of the viewer the reality of the situation at present. Are these reflective objects (found, collected even before they were photographed)  actually what they used to be? Or can they never be the same under the paradigms of today?

~ by crossmd on July 10, 2010.

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