The American Dream
Brenda Ann Kenneally
Brenda Ann K Martin Miller Caleb Cole Brad Moore Rania Matar David Taylor Q Sakamaki Daryl Peveto Simone Lueck Mustafah Abd Curated by An
(Thanks to Shawn Records of Photo Lucida for invitin the work in this issue was drawn from that pool of tal
k dulaziz ndy Levin
ng me to be a juror in the 2010 competition as much or lent.)
Like many American myths, the American Dream was created by a cabal of propagandists. Hollywood studios, automobile manufacturers, the media of post-war America, and a booming housing industry, among others, all stood to benefit from an unprecedented marketing opportunity in the form of hundreds of thousands of GIs returning from World War II. And so it was born, the American Dream, a house to own, a car in every driveway, two children, and an unlimited future of consumption. Like its sister myth, the Cold War, the American Dream, the words carry such weight that they are captitalized. This issue of 100Eyes is about words, and the way that images can change our perception of them. Most artists and photographers explore emotional territory. Suffering and joy are as much a commidity as are facts. In the work of the photographers represented in this issue of 100Eyes, we see reflections on the American Dream, on what Americans aspire to be, and on how their aspirations, formulated by the visions of Hollywood, are often transmuted in ways that are not anticipated and that often make us uncomfortanle. In Brenda Ann Kenneally’s Upstate Girls and in Daryl Peveto’s American Nomads, we see what some might think are grotesque parodies of “the American Dream.” But to the photographers, and their subjects, this is anything but the case. In a world of Madoffs what are the outcasts, those less able to survive?
Likewise, in the photographs of Caleb Cole, who dresses up in second hand clothes and photographs himself in elaborate recreations of the lives of their sometimes imaginary owners, there is both pathos and the narcissism of fantasy, of escapism that had always been part of the dream. Photographs, of course, sometimes do not speak for themselves, and often the headlines, captions, and artistic statements that proport to elucidate are nothing more than sideshow mirrors themselves, shifting in appearance as images are projected over them. Such is the case with the American Dream, words which have a entirely different meaning than when filtered by Mustafah Abdulaziz’s hopeful images of the Obama inauguration images, than when viewing Daryl Peveto’s essay, “American Nomads.” Andy Levin New Orleans
On the Cover: Dana and baby Kylynne before preparing to leave the hospital to go home. Credit: Brenda Anne Kenneally from “Upstate Girls”
Martin Miller Echoes from t
the Cold War
Echoes from the Cold W
The Cold War was one o revealing periods in the a current perspective, th alyptically surreal and su nological progression fr high yield warheads to s to accurate missiles all h strategy. Massive retalia counter-force targeting, fense. Since the develop in World War II, humank meaning of security and sibility of ending the ver the building of The Bom in the Cold War the U.S ily on its nuclear forces superiority in conventio conventional forces hav that of contemporary Ru major program of upgra counterbalance our conv nuclear arms race such a here repeat itself in the n paratively minor threat o ed by another round of t ties?
of the most significant and history of our species. From he arms race can appear apocuicidally paranoid. The techrom bomber to missile, from smaller ones, from inaccurate had their consequences for ation gave way to precise and in turn to missile depment of nuclear weapons kind has struggled with the d with the unprecedented posry civilization which enabled mb in the first place. Early S. found itself relying heavto counterbalance the Soviet onal weapons. Ironically, our ve become so far superior to ussia that they have begun a ading their nuclear forces to ventional edge. Will another as that chillingly depicted new century? Will the comof global terror be supplanttruly apocalyptic possibili-
At the heart of my work is biguities and inconsistenci go about negotiating areas ers manage to do the same. watch people going about t I wonder about the lives th experience the world aroun make meaning of it. I spen for them: narratives of isol and searching, of desire, an ages in Other Peopleâ€™s Clo exploration of private mom visual expression of my ex the shoes of the types of pe sis. Each photograph in the scene that begins with an o (either bought, found, or bo that I imagine to fill those c tion where that person can alone. This moment is the thing changes, the holding ing, the preparing of onese Though I am the physical s they are not self-portraits. T ple I have never met but w as well as documents of the the transitional moments o better understand my own.
a fascination with amies, an interest in how I of gray and how oth. When I am in public, I their daily routines alone; hey lead, wonder how they nd them and how they nd time inventing stories lation, of questioning nd of confusion. The imothes are a product of my ments of expectation, a xperiences stepping into eople I see on a daily bae series is a constructed outfit or piece of clothing orrowed), then a person clothes, and finally a locaplay out a silent moment time right before somein of a breath and waitelf for what is to come. subject of these images, They are portraits of peowith whom I feel familiar, e process wherein I try on of othersâ€™ lives in order to .
Upstate Brenda Ann
Girls n Kenneally
Roseanne Hill lives in the basement of her friend Deborah Stocklas’s house, in exchang cook at the nursing home where Deborah works. The romance provides a much-needed Nanny’ and photos of the children and gifts of their artwork line Roseanne’s walls.” ”Katie, 6 dressed as a superhero, surveys her family’s possessions as they prepare th and her sister and two brothers were born, fourteen year ago. Katie’s family has moved apartments. Katie’s mom is a single parent who manages to stay afloat, but after becom head of household began a downward spiral – each time her boyfriend went back to pri commissary, clothing and care packages to the man behind bars. The threat of life alone tional burden ahs put her family in jeopardy.” ”Laurie Smith, a 34 year-old mother of four met Bob after she and her children ha worked as a house keeper allowed her to move in. Laurie’s friend Deborah had a brothe later, much of the couple’s relationship has been spent with Bob returning to prison and ment and send her four children to live with various relatives during her recent bout of have- and the most necessary in the face of fewer other long-range opportunities.” ”Five year-old Destiny stakes her claim on a new bedroom in the apartment that sh friend to family member after her mom lost her job as a hotel housekeeper.” ”Five wealthiest in the US in the early to mid 1900’s. Jessie’s mask is a cut out from the back ers now in the area. When Industry moved out of The United State, it left communities turn of the century. The larger social implications of these impoverished cities have cre collapse is designed to keep those at the bottom of the social – economic ladder chasing ”Katie, Laurie’s youngest, plays with her dolls while she waits for her mothe Terry Nixon is a mother of four grown daughters and a cancer survivor. Terry was following her second husband’s death. Terry is learning impaired and has been in the ap supported her. Terry is now 48 years old and entering the workforce for the first time. S month. Terry has been living at The YWCA for the past year that she has been in Troy, ing subsidies and they would loose benefits if another were to be added to the househol by day. She currently lives in 15$ twice per month, out of which she must pay for her p ”Darlee goes to work with her mother on days that she wins the battle about not st ”Deanan Garron, mother of seven split up with the father of her oldest three childr three and Deana went on the have four more children with two subsequent boyfriends. a job and pay child support the custodial father of her oldest children - back child supp needs and suffer from emotional disorders, which make time away from their mother d four children as a single parent and still living on a limited income- half of her check g five-- and because she is employed, she looses her food stamp benefits of over 500$ pe more than she was getting from food stamps and social services.” ”Bedtime is rough with four kids all hyping each other up. Deana threatens w dren can often, out number and wear out they’re over worked parents.” ”Kayl D’Anthony.” ”Deshaun Hill, 4 years old (middle right) plays with his babysitter’s nephew while work. Deshaun’s mother Bill Jean works about 50 hours per week at McDonalds and m shaun’s grandmother Roseanne Hill, who could be available to look after Desahun whi Nanny’ by her friend Deborah Stocklas’s six children all of whom she looks after while for an apartment in exchange for her childcare services. It is sometimes a conflict for R
ge for taking care of Deborah’s five children. Roseanne recently started dating the d bit of glamour to an otherwise bleak, daily grind. Deborah’s kids call Roseanne ‘The
hem for storage. Katie’s mom has worked a series of low wage service jobs since Katie d four times in as many years and had to live with relatives and friends in between ming involved with a co-workers brother who is in and out of prison, the 34 year old ison she was expected to take collect phone calls and provide money for the prison e as she puts ‘an old maid’ took over her better judgment and the financial and emo-
ad been evicted for failure to pay rent and a co-worker at the hotel where Laurie er who had just been released from prison and the two became a couple. Three years d Laurie supporting him with her wages. Laurie has had to move into Deborah’s basehomelessness. Love is often the most ‘expensive’ commodity that a poor woman can
he and her family are about to move into. The family was homeless; bouncing from e –year old Jessie plays in an empty lot in North Troy a community that was one of the k of cereal box that his mom bought at the local Price Chopper, one of the big employs like troy empty – today, troy has a population of 44, 000 compared with 77.000 at the eated a permanent underclass of working poor. The current cycle of consumerism and g their own tails.” er to come home from her job as a housekeeper at The Marriott Hotel.” s living in Western New York and moved to Troy last year when she became a widow pplication process to receive disability benefits. When Terry’s husband was alive, he She has to maintain a job pending her disability, which, once official will be 660$ per she cannot live with either of her daughters that are in the area as they receive housld. Terry cleans the county courthouse at night and searches for minimum wage jobs prescriptions.” taying with their dad or grandmother.” ren when the couple was still in their teens. The children’s father has custody of the The Family Court in Troy, New York threatened Deana with jail time if she did not get port was over 5000$ and two of Deana’s youngest, ages seven and eight have special difficult. Deana finally found a job at a local gas station mini mart and juggles raising goes to the court for child support leaving less that 200$ per week for the family of er month - so actually she works over forty hours per week to only have about 300$
wit the belt on a regular basis, as is the norm with single mothers in Troy, where chilla looking attractive for James who feels neglected after being home all day with
e the sitter takes a phone call and his mom Billie Jean (left) does her hair “'before makes 8 $ per hour. Childcare at a licensed facility would cost half her weekly pay. Deile Bille Jean works, already has several charges in her care. Roseanne is called ‘The e Deborah works at an assisted living facility. Roseanne has the run of Debs basement Roseanne to provide child-care for her own grandson and those of the family that she
These photographs were shot in modest, well-worn, suburban cities in central and inland Southern California. Built in the 1950s and 60s, these cities provided a new home and future to a post-war population. This is where I grew up and, after 25 years, I returned. The areas I remembered were fading away, and I was struck by the simultaneous growth and decline. Initially, it was the buildings that interested me; I shot them in formal, almost symmetrical compositions. Then I began shooting the surrounding shrubbery with the same architectural approach. I liked the way the buildings and plants worked together, so that is how the project evolved. I have opted to avoid traditional, documentary-style photography; instead I have photographed in primarily static compositions, reflecting change, irony and evolution.
Detroit Q Sakamaki
Daryl Peveto Amer
A central goal of the Am day own your own home forged out of another, an movement and searching Today this idea still exist neatly manicured suburb of the mainstream. In the large communities which the idea of settling down One such community ope City, located on the Salto nia. There are no ameniti water, no electricity, no s community does offer is for many of them begins no taxes, no fees. This is necessity, completely ana community is both raw a much beauty and love. T pant drug use, but also pi and an always-open door the world, they eat and b and die. But they do it on
merican Dream is to one e. Â Yet our beginnings were ntithetical idea: that of g for self-determination. ts, but far away from our ban homes and out of view e United States, there exist h have turned their backs on n, opting for a nomadic life. en to this lifestyle is Slab on Sea in southern Califories or services. No potable stores, nothing. What this a sort of freedom, which with its root: free. No rent, a community of barter and archic. At first glance, this and harsh, but there is also There are thieves and ramicnics and birthday parties r. And much like the rest of bathe and sleep and marry n their own terms.
Mustafah Abdulaziz Day of Change
A Girl and
As a mother of a teenage d watching her passage from and am fascinated with the place. Her adult personality developing insecurity and s replacing the carefree worl realized that she was truly she was alone in her own p space, away from the press forming.
From there, emerged the id teenage girls alone in their control, decorate, trash and rooms reflected the girlsâ€™ p a bit of time with each girl fortable with me and able t be herself. I was fascinated the cusp on becoming an a ing on to the child she just son on the edge between tw stars were often displayed with stuffed animals; mirro and always an important pa tion of the girlsâ€™ image to t
This project is in progress. images of girls in their roo the world, especially the w mainly the Middle East, Eu
daughter, I have been m girlhood into adulthood, e transformation taking y is shaping up, with a self-consciousness that is ld she has lived in so far. I herself in her room, when private and personalized sure of fitting in and per-
dea of photographing r rooms, an area that they d be themselves in. Those personalities. I spent quite l, so she was fully comto let down her guards and d to discover a person on adult, but desperately holdbarely left behind, a perwo worlds. Posters of rock above a bed still covered ors were heavily decorated art of the room, a reflecthe outside world.
. I would like to combine oms from different part of worlds I have access to, urope and the US.
I live in LA and I like it trees were all planted at Gloria Swanson played h vard. I like that she had she didnâ€™t know the diffe ied her dead chimp in a s ing pictures in LA is goo an old trunk filled with w bright blonde lock of hai
I am fascinated with the and is played out in the c practiced every day. In 2 ing pictures of people po stars. The series, The On includes pictures of indi internet advertisement so pose as glamorous movi
The pictures are collabo asked to provide her own robe and to select a desir The project came from m our, a remnant of Old Ho Simone Lueck
here. I like that the palm the same time. I like that herself in Sunset Bouleit, and then she lost it, and erence. I like that she bursatin lined casket. Makod. Itâ€™s like sifting through worn out fan letters and a ir from 1953.
performance that exists ceremonies and rituals 2009, I have been makosing as glamorous movie nce and Future Queens, ividuals who answered an oliciting older woman to ie stars.
orations: Each participant is n makeup, hair and wardred location for the shoot. my fascination with glamollywood.
id Taylor king the Line
For the last three years I have been photographing the along the U.S./Mexico border between El Paso/ Juarez and the Tijuana/San Diego. It is a territory in transition. During that period the United States Border Patrol has doubled in size and the federal government has constructed over 600 miles of pedestrian fencing and vehicle barrier. With apparatus that range from simple tire drags (that erase foot prints allowing fresh evidence of crossing to be more readily identified) to seismic sensors (that detect the passage of people on foot or in a vehicle) the border is under constant surveillance. To date the Border Patrol has attained â€œoperational controlâ€? in many areas, however people and drugs continue to cross. Much of that traffic occurs in the most remote and rugged areas of the desert. My travels along the border have been done both alone and in the company of Border Patrol agents. I have been granted broad access to photograph field operations and the routine activities that occur within Border Patrol stations. The resulting pictures are intended to offer a view into locations and situations that we generally do not access. In doing so, I hope to humanize a subject that is most often framed by ideologically driven polemics.