MY HAYSTACKS, MY CATHEDRALS


While shooting my project on Santa Monica apartment buildings, Apartment Homes, I realized I had taken dozens of what appeared to be the same photograph: It was a frame, straight on, of a strangely empty lot with a large steel beam rising out of its small landscape like a discarded monolith or modern sculpture. On closer inspection these seemingly identical frames had a wealth of differences, from the vastness of the ever-changing seaside sky to the tiny blooms of a particular weed. I returned again and again to photograph this lone small section of open land in the dense blocks of squat buildings. The more I compared the baffling array of details between the images the more clearly I saw that while the photographs were the same in one very obvious way, that overt sameness became a surface in which to see a pair of the most potent intersections of photography and human perception: light and time. The millennial American apartment landscape might not have the rustic charm of Monet's France in the late 1800s but these foreclosed lots and these rusted beams are my haystacks, my cathedrals.