Private Land - 1998-2001 - inkjet prints - 30"x40"
The photographs that make up the series Private Land have been photographed over a period of years in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Oklahoma. Each of the photographs in this series is a document of privately owned land. This land is created by the authoring of a deed. Privately owned land is created by a document declaring it a sacrosanct domain, inviolable to all but the owner. This political and economic entity was imported during the contact, conquest and expansion embedded in the history of the United States. These photographs replicate the land for the viewer. Yet they place the viewer in that landscape through the device of photography, a device that renders the world in a way we can only see in the photograph. These photographs seek to conceal as much as they reveal. The photographic paper is a barrier. These photographic pieces of paper render land prohibited to the trespasses of the viewer by pieces of paper. Private Land is the residue of the system it seeks to reveal, owned and impenetrable. It is captured on film that partakes of the same system, printed on paper, and offered for sale.