Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Wilderness to Wasteland

I approach this book by looking at the pictures. And, while „knowing“ that what my eyes are showing me happens to be wasteland (the title, after all, says: Wilderness to Wasteland), I assume I shouldn't be pleased by what I'm looking at ... but I am, I like these pictures, and feel attracted to them. For wasteland can of course look beautiful.

But is beautiful the right word? I'm not sure. The scenes depicted I have seen before. Similar scenes, I mean, not such pin sharp photographs. Moreover, never before had I taken the time to look at such images as intensely as I do this time for I'm wondering: Does knowing that I'm looking at wasteland make me see wasteland? Mostly, I'm imagining it.

When trying to decide what three pictures I should select to illustrate this review – not an easy task for I felt attracted to most of the photographs in this exquisitely done tome – , the first I chose was the one on the cover (and that can also be found in the book). It was an instinctive choice, the scene depicted looked familiar, it reminded me of Southern California. And, it is, as I learned from the caption: „Interstate 15 near Barstow, California.“

I had once travelled on this interstate and spent a night in Barstow and so, naturally, my mind wandered to that trip of some years ago and produced a variety of pictures that took me away from Barstow and Interstate 15 to what I recall as vast and wild territory on the way to Marta Becket's Amargosa Opera House in Death Vallley Junction. 

For the full review, see here

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