ROAD TRIP PA
Opening: May 13, 7—10pm
Through May 22
ROAD TRIP PA features the work of four photographers from a road trip through Pennsylvania. In the spirit of the show we have decided to let each photographer write a brief statement in their own voice:
1 Honda Odyssey.
4 days. 3 nights.
3 disgustingly awesomely disgusting motel rooms.
1 Olympus XA.
1 Toyo field camera.
1 Graflex press camera.
1 structure fire.
1 huge strip mine.
2 abandoned drive-in movie theaters.
1 really strange visit to the Flight 93 memorial.
1 dog skeleton on railroad tracks.
1/3 of a Pittsburgh Pirates game.
30 (at least) plays of ‘Heart of Gold’ by Neil Young.
Absolutely No Backtracking. Except the time we had to turn around after going way far down a crazy, very bumpy gravel (it was mostly rocks, big rocks) road which led absolutely nowhere even though I was completely positive it would connect back to a main road.
I was looking for something (as usual) on this trip. I kind of found it. Parts of it, anyways. And Pennsylvania is a gravely beautiful state.
The photographs in this show are predominantly green and brown. Most of the ‘natural’ subject matter tends to be green, while the un-natural or man-made stuff exists in a gray-brown spectrum. But of more interest, is precisely how many different shades of brown, and especially green, there are here. If we take this set of 32 photographs, which average at least two to four distinct shades of green within each one, then we are suddenly talking about somewhere between sixty four to ninety six immediately perceptible yet varying shades of green represented within the exhibition (and technically there are of course many more…).
Now with all this talk of green I’m fighting the temptation to reference Leaves of Grass. Because here in America we seem to have brought democracy to photography: we all have cameras, and we all take pictures. On this trip the four of us certainly took ours. And whether the images that we created illustrate sameness, or difference — whether these ‘leaves of grass’ are all green, or are all different shades of green — is ultimately what the show is about for me.
“That’s how the trip began. We were in good fettle, nevertheless, when we left New York. A little nervous, I must confess, because we had only had about a half dozen lessons in driving at the Automobile School. I knew how to steer, how to shift gears, how to apply the brake — what more was necessary? As I say, by the time we started out for the Holland Tunnel we were in high spirits. It was a Saturday noon when we left. I had never been in the damned hole before, except once in a taxi. It was a nightmare. The beginning of the endless nightmare, I should say.”
It is a six hour drive from New York City to Braddock, PA. It took us two days. We went searching, like great photographers of the past, seeing what Pennsylvania could offer us. Driving miles out of our way just because a sign said something was there or we would see something in the distance and wanted to see how close we could get. Four friends set out to visit other friends and ended up taking an adventure.