Recently I have been exploring the idea of what a home is; what this term means for myself and for others, and the unique ways Americans view the home as an institution signifying wealth, prosperity, and harmony.
I work with cyanotype, a historical photographic practice once used widely for documentation of worldly specimens and architectural blueprint drawings. This notion of the blueprint, or plan, was adopted as part of my process when building the sculptures which would become the houses I photograph.
The homes in these works are a metaphor; a construct that possesses the ability to shape people’s minds and understanding about the world. I explore the idea of the home as not only a symbol of prosperity, but as an institution, where practices of tolerance and empathy vary widely. Each singular house suggests a type of suburban dwelling from a variety of regions. The houses are flimsy monuments to the hard work and perseverance once thought required for their possession. Yet, the transitory nature of their design suggests the potential for reconfiguration.
The larger suburban works are derived from satellite views of the city I grew up in and where my parents first owned their own home. This “all American City” as awarded by the National Civic league in 1994, owes its existence to the redlining tactics seen in the Dallas metropolitan area of Texas in the 1940’s. These works act as a case study for the multitudes of similar racial covenants and zoning tactics employed in the midcentury across the country.The prints cast a sinister light on the densely packed neighborhoods. They hover between spaces which protect and isolate, which value or feign community, and which remain desirable as places to occupy and flourish in.