Sunday, April 1, 2012

Getting Deserted

I have been out to the Salton Sea and surrounding areas a number of times and each time I find a different kind of beauty. I find that the beauty, for me, comes from decay. Since I have been taking photographs, I always seek out the places and scenes that depict a timeline.

My returning series is a perfect example of that.

We wonder what about this figure's past has him/her/it revisitng this location, or even the fact that the figures are floating immediately makes you wonder what happened the split second after the shutter closed. The story may be abstract, but there is an implicit message relating to the timeline of experience.

Metamorphosis was about emerging new from a previous form.

What I love so much about shooting at this location is I become forced to imagine what this place looked like before its slow and eventual death. Having visited The Salton Sea and Salvation Mountain numerous times in the last 5 years or so, I am also able to see the progression of this decay with each visit. I don't see what I have done as documentation of the structures themselves, but a glimpse into what it was and what it will soon be.

One of the many reasons I really enjoy shooting abandoned and dilapidated structures is the tones and elements that emerge from under the coats and coats of pretty red paint. The base of materials that make up most structures are then sanded, stained, painted, covered in one way or another. We live throughout these structures, most of us, seeing our nice white walls and what we've decorated them with. Once a structure has been neglected, the rich browns of wood and rust begin to emerge. And if photographed correctly, they glow.

Salvation Mountain is at the southern tip of the Salton Sea in Slab City. Leonard Knight began building this mountain from adobe and straw in the 1980s because of his abrupt obsession with the Sinner's Prayer- "Jesus, I'm a sinner, please come upon my body and into my heart." He has spent the last 30 years building his mountain for one reason and one reason only: "God Is Love"

In and around a The Salton Sea and Slab City:

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