Does the American West still exist?
Yes it exists. Sure, the tourist aspects of the Wild West are widely celebrated, but more importantly, beyond that it is a true reflection of society at large. Nowadays people flock to fracking centers like Williston, ND, or billionaires buy up swathes of ranch land for preservation. These are different gold rushes, at a different time, but the sense of adventure and that can-do attitude is still tangible.
Can you tell us why you named the body of work, The Last Best Hiding Place?
That derives from a phrase describing those who are living slightly off the radar.
What’s the relationship between nostalgia, poetry, and image-making?
Photography is inherently imbued with nostalgia. The very act of photographing something is, by virtue of the medium, about the past. Photography and poetry alike. I acutely remember seeing and studying Robert Frank’s The Americans at art school in 1980, and being dumbstruck by the poetic nature of his images. He entices the viewer to wonder about the barmaid and her backstory, or how the man in the coffin died. Frank was never deliberate, but more lyrical in his approach. Through that vagueness one can revisit the images time and time again, imagining stories.