Imag[in]ing America

Jennifer Garza-Cuen

2010 - Ongoing

Our society treats place as a central identifying characteristic, second only to name and followed closely by profession. We all have a catalogue of images in our mind that we call upon when a city, town, or country's name is mentioned and those images help us to form an opinion of place, and those we meet from there.

What is it that makes us ‘of’ a place? As a former American expatriate and one who has lived my adult life essentially placeless this is a central question in my work. In my ongoing project 'Imag[in]ing America', I am interested in investigating national, regional, and local identities as well as ideas of otherness as they relate to place and documentary photography in America.

Photographs have the ability to expand and compress time. They speak of what was, what is, and what will be. We look to photographs to remember and often reenact what we see, pushing old images into the future. 'Imag[in]ing America' depicts a series of locations in the United States as a residue of cultural memory, an inheritance. It is a metaphorical memoir, a narrative re-telling of facts and fictions and a discovery of the dreamland that still is America.

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