5:55am, eh i guess i’ll just stay here and then go to work at this point
Luz Sylvia is a queer artist living in Oakland, CA.
They make art about identity, home, documentation, and archives. they make art about a lot of other things too.
Valdosta by Cheyanne Epps
Santa Cruz, CA based
“This collection of photos were inspired by my family and the rural town of Valdosta, Georgia.”
hi lovely humans of the world, i’m selling all my old nice, brand name (J Crew, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Michael by Michael Kors, H&M, etc) femme clothing to finance a new project i’m looking to do this winter. take a look? let me know if you want something? pictures and lots of things of other things here: http://quickhand.tumblr.com/garagesale
Carl Gunhouse lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and received his MFA from Yale University in 2003.
You write about the reaction of politics on life as being, “once-monumental shifts” that take place, only in the end the shift seems less monumental and more self-evident. Can this be said the same for your photographs?
I certainly felt that way making the pictures. At the time, it felt very important that each turn in policy was going to have huge impact on how we lived, but like most things, after a while you forget, and abandoned gas stations go from making a telling statement about gas prices to just being old gas stations. When the work started, it was coming from a place of alarm and anger. As the project came to an end, it felt like things were always this way. In the moment, the way you see the old gas station was more important than the gas station itself. But that’s the magic of photography, turning the everyday into something more meaningful, if only for a short period of time.
Do your photographs have a resolution? Are the problems that each individual photograph pose the same from one image to the next?
At least for me, the pictures that make it through the edit have a meaning that I hope is resolved enough that there’s a chance it expresses a similar meaning to someone else. And hopefully picture to picture the meaning / content might vary, yet as a whole add up to something larger. I am not trying to be overly didactic. That fine line between art and reporting, for me, has something to do with how much of an artist feels a responsibility to be clear and I am more than happy to include work in the edit that was attractive or just sets a mood without necessarily being about anything specific.
Where in your series ‘America’ is the movement and action that is in your series ‘Hardcore’, where is the lamented familiarity of your series ‘Woods’, how do they all relate? Are they all the same America?
Well, I do have some blurry trees in that picture of a helicopter and some blurry fireworks down the shore! So I guess there is a little movement, but you are correct. I am not sure the action is as present in the America work as in the Hardcore work. Some of that is due to using a 4x5 vs 35mm, or approaching a project differently, and having different interests. Same with the familiarity of the Woods pictures. Being on the road a lot, moving around, the America work is from places that are more foreign to me. And I’d be lying if I said some of the pictures I did for the Woods series didn’t end up in the America series and vice versa. But in all of the projects, and maybe this is more for me than for the viewer, but they all come out of a very similar place. They are all bodies of work that represent a large part of who I am as a person. I am a suburban kid who grew up near the places in the Woods pictures, and like a lot of suburban kids, I spent a lot of my life as an angry hardcore kid. Out of both of those experiences came an interest in politics. So as varied as the projects might be, I’ve tried to express stuff about myself and the world around me as best as I can. And man, it’s hard capturing action with a 4x5.
Are you taking on a more universal perspective in these pictures or would you say they are more personal?
I think when making and editing the work, my audience is myself, with the hope that I am not completely crazy and if it means something to me, it might mean something to others. I also spend a lot of time trying to get other people to look at the work to see if it registers with them. So with any luck I am making pictures that are very personal to me but speak to others as well. Oddly, the more specific to your own experience you can make work, the more other people are able to relate to it.
Would it have been possible to drive around America without making politically natured work?
Yeah, I think so. When I started, it was with my ex who is a photographer, and she wanted to make some work on the road. At the time, I was just interested in walking around the woods near where I grew up, but I spent a month on the road with her, stopping every time I found stuff that looked like New Jersey. I can assure you a lot of the east coast looks like New Jersey, and the pictures I made looked like stuff that was in my Woods project. In my case though, my interest in being on the road very quickly became to make political work. But I am sure, you can, for instance, Lee Friedlander has done a lot of work on the road that wasn’t political.
Can any form of narrative be gathered from the America pictures, due to the road trip, political discourse, personal feelings or otherwise?
I am more than ok with people taking away from the work whatever they want. I do my best to try to get across a point of view, but eventually the work goes out into the world and has a life of its own. But certainly being on the road in America has some heavy baggage, both in photo history and culturally, and I am sure that colors the interpretation of the pictures to some degree. I just hope on some level I am able to bring something of myself to that greater conversation.
Ask yourself a question and respond.
Who is your favorite professional wrestler and why?
Well, good question. Being off from teaching for the summer, I have been wasted some time reading professional wrestling biographies, and despite his recent run in TNA and his issues with the law, I would have to say my favorite wrestler is Kurt Angle, because he was so ridiculously talented at varied styles of pro-wresting. He could do a moonsalt, work stiff in a brawling style, was okay taking bumps in a more hardcore style and, as a real deal Olympic gold medal winner, his ability as mat wrestler its hard to question. But even more impressive, was his ability on the mic. He could be serious in a legitimately intimidating I got arrested in a parking lot with car full of drugs kind of way, but also downright funny portraying a heel who oblivious to why people don’t like him. So Kurt Angle is my favorite pro-wrestler with Shawn Michaels a close second.
carl gunhouse, beautiful human
A romance of many dimensions by a square
<3 rya <3