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Borders Construction Site

November 25, 2008
  1. November 25, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Wow. For some reason, ‘Lebanon’ jumped at me at the same time as I noticed the pattern at the top of the walls, as well as the figure looking almost Middle-Eastern in dress. All these details made me think the photo was taken in the Middle East. Then I read New Hampshire and felt truly disconcerted. Amazing how that “misreading” makes one stop, look, think and ask: Did the photographer see these connections when he chose to take the image, and to show it? Wow.

  2. david chirot
    November 25, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    These are great fotos!
    my grandmother lived in west leb
    is the foto to make a link between these actions and what the usa supports in the Occupied Terriroties?
    the Wall, the bulldozers, trees uprooted–and people vanishing–
    many thanks!!

  3. JMartin
    November 25, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Immediately recognizable as the same eye behind Home Depot. These are the kind of amazing photographs, like those of Kertesz or Penti Sammalhati, that make writers pull out a pen. Not merely evocative, they communicate an entire world.

    Jonathan should modify his nifty website, however, to indicate how the acquisitive might acquire.

  4. November 25, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    What they all said —

  5. November 25, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Great composition, very evocative. It has the feel about it of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

  6. November 26, 2008 at 4:37 am

    A wondeful image by – obviously – a truly seeing eye.

  7. November 26, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Thanks for the kind words, Dave, Paul and dale. It’s interesting how the photos expand when viewed by others, I appreciate hearing about it.
    The Palestinian comment is ironic, Marja-Leena and David. I’ve wanted to use my photography to try and help in some way in the occupied territories – I worked there when I was a teenager for a few weeks (digging ditches, actually) – but haven’t returned since. The connection to this photo, though, is tenuous, since this photo is really a rather obvious part of the long standing development series. The Borders is quite near the Home Depot site, just across a highway and down a bit. I shadowed the building there for a summer because prior to the developers taking possession of the space there isn’t any trouble getting in – the building contractors could care less, in fact seem to enjoy the distraction. Once a Home Depot or a Borders or a Walmart takes possession, though, try taking photos!! I’ve gotten thrown out promptly. Just the other day I was considering whether I could adapt a trick I heard a documentary film maker use – where he essentially had two cards in his camera, one with pretty tourist shots (to show the questioning authorities) and the other with what he was really shooting. Still, you are on “private property” as they remind you, and your path is towards the door. That’s true even in the open spaces of a shopping center, by the way.
    JMartin – good idea, I’ll do that. I’m planning to do a lot of work on the website this winter and I’ll incorporate a way to purchase prints, thanks. Kertesz has always been one of my favorites, but I don’t know Penti Sammalhati and will look for the work.
    I’ve been reading a book about the work of Victor Gruen in the last few days. He was one of the original creative forces behind taking the emerging car culture and mating it to retail – in the form of shopping centers. The West Lebanon development was so small, really, and so rural it seems almost inconsequential. On the other hand it’s understandable, and it was where I lived, so that’s what I photographed. Ironic that your grandmother lived there David…you would know how much it’s changed. Thanks all again.

  8. JMartin
    November 26, 2008 at 10:39 am

    Might help if I provide correct spelling: Pentti Sammallahti. You can access galleries of work through websites of Photo-Eye (Santa Fe) and Candace Dwan Gallery (New York).

  9. November 28, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    What they all said.
    Amazing composition – the way the dog pointing right and the figure left make another triangle, adding to the multi-dimensional geometry of the whole scene. And the wonderful track patterns on the ground, more triangles. What an eye!

  10. November 28, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    This photo is magnificent.

  11. Monica Raymond
    December 3, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    I too had an initial hit of the Middle East. And then, after reading all the comments, I thought–it shows how the movement to “pave Paradise and put up a parking lot” is all over the globe, really.

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