I've started a new portrait series for a book project that Redux is organizing. The subjects are young adult members of the Oneida Nation, one of 11 Native American tribes with reservations in Wisconsin (the most of any state east of the Mississippi). On Tuesday, I met and photographed Sunshine, left, and Jerrel, right.
Labels: personal work
Sandy's Deli (towers) © hee jin kang
I love this photo by the photographer Hee Jin Kang. It's a small part of a larger series, in which she photographs small details and vignettes in her parents' business, a deli in New York City.
“Through this photographic investigation of a place, I created a portrait of my parents without pointing the camera directly at them. Working with a 4x5 camera, I saw layers of accumulation, and objects that, in their disarray, made rhythmic juxtapositions. This accrual of stuff can be peeled away to reveal something simple, poetic and intensely personal, even within a public space like a Korean deli."
And of this particular picture, she says, "It's only recently that I've begun to realize the significance of September 11th to this series. I've lived in New York for most of my life, having grown up here. Two weeks after 9/11, I had to leave New York to go back to London and finish graduate school. When I returned a couple years later, I felt a strong need to spend time with my parents though I didn't really know why at the time. I started photographing at their store, Sandy's Deli, partially as a way to feel closer to them."
Labels: i love this photo
mt. shasta from county road 104 © kjm
I have an interesting idea for a project involving Mt. Shasta, which I had hoped to begin this week. But in the end, I couldn't pull myself away from making pictures for Camp Home, and never made the drive over to get started. It'll have to wait until my next trip.
Labels: personal work
I'm leaving Tulelake today, heading to Seattle for an assignment. What a great week this has been. With each visit, I feel more informed about the area and it's people, and hopefully that's reflected in the pictures I'm making. I was able to fully immerse myself in the project, and that's been a real treat.
I had wonderful conversations all week - about the internment camp history, about the homesteaders' history, about farming and weather, about ancestors and grandkids. Thanks to Beverly, Kenny & Evelyn, Wendell & Lela Mae, John & Aline, Jacqui & David, Thorton, Fe & Bob, Elona, Joe, David, Louie, Jessie, Carol, Brodie, Otto & Judy, Tim, Helen, Marty, Jerry & Mary Ann, Brandon, Jerry & Elizabeth, Dave, and Bobby.
I'll be back again soon, I hope.
The aspect of youth and play can be found here, though most of the kids who grew up on these farms are now parents and even grandparents themselves. But their presence remains in the form of old basketball hoops, a grandchild's toy soccer ball, 4H awards hanging in barns, a game of tic tac toe scrawled onto a barn wall.
In many of the barracks-turned barns and storage sheds, there's a familiar color palette to the elements found. Often, the contents have sat for many years, and there's a layer of neutralizing dust, which desaturates the color of cool metal tractor parts and the warm brown Ponderosa pine. These pictures, above, were made yesterday in three different buildings.
When making pictures for this project, I'm focusing on capturing the human element that exists within the structures - often the small physical details that show a life that's been lived in these former barracks buildings.
But the natural world can also say a lot about human presence and about the passing of time. In the past sixty years, trees and lawns have been planted and cared for around the houses and foliage has grown wild around some of the outbuildings and barns.
I pulled the car over yesterday to talk with Herman, who was in his nineties, and was filling the gas tank of his atv. It turns out his house wasn't an internment camp building, but we chatted a bit, and he suggested I see his neighbors a bit farther down the road. John and Aline were really friendly and there was a lot to see, including three outbuildings and their their home (details above), all former internment camp buildings. Further down the road, I stopped to see David and Jacqui, who both grew up on homestead farms, and who now run an organic horseradish company. Jacqui has produced a video about the homesteaders, and both were a great source for local information. My last stop was to photograph Jacqui's childhood home, where I had a nice, long visit with her mother, Helen.
Today: more stops, more talks, more pictures. I'm having a ball.
Two pictures made yesterday: Wendell and Lela Mae's parents (both sets), left, and a rake in Marty's storage shed, right.
I'm meeting some really terrific people this week, and my depth of knowledge of the area and people's experiences here is growing. I've heard lots of stories about the early homesteading years, and about converting the camp barracks buildings into houses where children were raised or important equipment was stored. I continue to be impressed that a strange knock on the door can lead to hours of conversation, shared meals, and the retelling of family histories.
I arrived back in Tulelake yesterday, and settled right in. I started driving and looking, and after my first ever unpleasant conversation with a building owner, things returned to normal. I met Beverly, who was welcoming and informative, and who had two buildings on her property. They had long ago been made into small apartments, used to house migrant workers during the potato harvest. One building had chalkboards and served as a small school for the children of the workers. Cows now grazed around the buildings, but they all moved off a bit too quickly to be photographed properly. Instead, a few details, above.
I do, in fact, have internet access here, so will hopefully continue to post work this week.
(both untitled) from the series Camp Home © kjm
I'm preparing for another trip to make pictures for the Camp Home series. The grant money I received has been waiting patiently, all my ducks are in a row, and I'm extremely excited to start shooting there again.
It's a very small town, Tulelake (the town name is different from that of the internment camp), and there's little, if anything, going on. That's fine, of course - I'm there to work. But there's also no internet access where I stay, and only spotty cellphone coverage. My last trip was only for a few nights, but this will likely be eight nights in all, and I'm a little worried about getting stir crazy.
So I've decided to treat my time there like a mini-residency. Only without other artists around. Just me. No big tables of communal food with painters pouring wine for poets. A self-residency. A quiet time to work and to hopefully reflect and read.
I'm bringing along some books which I think will help shape my thoughts on the project: Geography of Home by Akiko Busch, The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton, and lastly, my brother Kurt's dissertation, Vision, Space and the Politics of Homesickness. (Did I mention that I have the smallest brain in the family?)
Slightly complicating things, in a good way, is a plum editorial job which just popped up, to be shot in Seattle. I'll carve out a little time from Tulelake, but will likely now stay longer, so as not to cheat the project.
It's been a tiny eternity since the last show, and I've been thinking about this one for a while. In preparation to view the photos, please return all seatbacks and traytables to their original, upright and locked position.
[ tinytinygroupshow is a mini electroexhibit of photographs based around a basic theme. There are no gallery hours, price lists, commissions, lengthy wall texts or attractive gallery attendants. tinytinygroupshow is a place to have a brief look at some photography, by photographers known and unknown, in a manner that hopefully provokes a little thought. View past tinytinygroupshows here. ]
Note: you might need to click on your screen a second time to enlarge the show
Candles On The Windowsill © kjm
My friend Ace stopped over Sunday and shook his head knowingly (and justifiably) at the weeds-turned-small-trees on the side of my building, potentially damaging the foundation. But later in the day, light came through the back window, shining through their fast-growing brethren in the back yard.
Pretty, if not orderly.
This week I made the cover of Time.*
I shot two portraits for the magazine's Time 100 story, an annual list of the magazine's most influential people. The subjects were neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor and stem cell researcher James Thomson, both above.
* The fine print: 95 other photographers are telling their mothers the same thing this week. I have 2 photos out of a total of 95 (you heard me, 95) small pictures on the cover. They are each actually smaller than my thumbnail. But it still made my day.
Labels: freelance 101
Highway 94 Location © kjm
A Burger King I've shot twice before, but that I pass all the time on the way to and from Chicago. Last night, though dog tired, the light was nice and soft, so I stopped. If these places stand vacant long enough, little things change. I'd shot the closed sign before, but the letter L was still hanging on, and it looked a bit too perfectly crooked. Glad I stopped.
Labels: fast food