Sunday, September 8, 2013

Vanessa's Last Dance...

Photo: Vanessa Winship
The clock is ticking, and it ticks with every passing page in Vanessa Winship's She Dances On Jackson. The landscape is barren, brooding; the people joyless, surviving. It could be post Soviet Russia, or somewhere in the Eastern bloc, places where Vanessa Winship's work previously resonated. It is, in fact, turn of the century America post 9/11- an America on the decline.

The hope and resiliency that foreigners once detected in, and imported to, this former land of promise has waned and dissipated. The buildings are tattered, the vistas sunless, nature no longer seems capable of regenerating, or even enduring- the iconic shoe tree is bereft its branches, pairs of shoes sadly engulfing its once life giving trunk. The virus succumbs both man and nature alike.

The United States still has its expanses of wealth and beauty, but we're long past the denial of our down slide (if not the causes). Unemployment, failed drug policies, homelessness and the ever growing working poor are no longer isolated issues (to name but a few)- they now dictate the national psyche (even if one chooses to actively ignore them).

This is what Vanessa Winship concentrates her soulful gaze upon, survivors living in a land and time through which the cavalry no longer passes. And they know it. The implosion so imminent in The Americans, has finally come to pass.

Even the one photograph that threatens to awe us with its very grandeur reverberates with our own  mortality.   Photo: Vanessa Winship

No comments: