archival pigment prints
edition of 4+1ap 60x40"
Each image in this series represents an intentional effort to obscure a visual composition, rendering it difficult for the viewer to decipher scale, place, and other formal elements often found in landscape photography. The meanings of the aggressive and voluminous plumes of smoke that envelop much of the images may be understood, or attributed in many ways — as political smokescreens, fueled by fear that shroud the truth. Or, as explosive fits of social unrest in a metaphorical battle between newly-awakened hatred and feelings of shock, helplessness, and utter dismay. The clouds also recall that the air we breath is under a renewed threat from weakening environmental regulations as it battles against industrial toxins. Yet, no matter the interpretation, the controlled burns that create these smoke plums – like all fires metaphorical and real– always come to an end. Sometimes this might happen spectacularly, sometimes unexpectedly in a fizzle, but to a conclusion nonetheless, and this surreal, post-factual moment in history that inspired this project will be no exception. As the clouds still gather, the extent of the damage remains to be seen, making it impossible to not take sides while contemplating the dark spectacle of it all.