Exurbia Text

From Looking at the Land: 21st Century American Views, 2012:

Why did you photograph this place? (AA)

For twenty-one years, I lived in the same suburban neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky.  I vividly remember these surroundings. Unfortunately, as I departed, my parents relocated to a large exurban neighborhood twenty-three miles outside of the city; because my definition of home was altered, I began to critique my parents’ situation and the American phenomenon of moving up and out. I was also interested in the iconic nature of Exurbia. A vast, gray sky surrounds the emptiness of fortress-like structures. I see the formal commonality of design that homogenizes mainstream American culture embedded within the rooftops. (RB)

What compels you to make images of the land? (AA)

From an early age I was strongly influenced by my childhood hero Ansel Adams — in his images beauty is found within the natural landscape. Therefore, I searched for beauty within the landscapes that were accessible to me in the suburbs, at the time (usually golf courses). When I began the Exurbia series, I became much more critical of the landscapes that I photographed. While working on the project, I began to recognize how interior and exterior spaces have a profound effect on their inhabitants and their notions of domesticity. Now, when I envision familial relationships, I picture the spaces around them, the spaces that mold them. (RB)

Who/what are your landscape influences/inspirations? (AA)

Having spent much time studying the photographs of Ansel Adams and other American landscape photographers, I was curious of the formal similarities between the natural world and various manmade environments. The mountainous views depicted in Adams' photographs are essentially in the backyard, but within a different context and with contrasting connotations. (RB)

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Le Journal de la Photographie, 2013

Looking at the Land: 21st Century American Views, 2012

The Collectors Guide to New Art Photography Vol.2, Humble Editions, 2010

ReviewHey Hot Shot!, Jen Bekman Gallery, 2010


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