(Hunting) Blinds, 2005-2008
A shower stall stood in the middle of my usual path through the woods. It had been freshly camoflaged by a deer hunter near the house where I was living in upstate New York. With an peep hole cut out of the front panel, the blind was remarkably 'camera-like.’ I found the muteness of this object seductive; the suggestion of past (and future) violence made me want to keep looking.
I began to hunt hunting blinds myself, at first with a small digital camera, and later with a large-format camera. The structures focused my interest in landscape, power, and the militarization of everyday life. The project became an exploration of places built specifically for invisibility, self-negation and restricted vision—a study of temporary, willful blindness where sight is ostensibly prized.
Unlike the narrative constructions of photographers working in a staged documentary mode, these photographs are documents of existing structures embedded in the landscape. Yet they are not entirely “straight” photographs, either: the very theatricality of the blinds exposes their own fictions. These fabricated worlds are, ironically, blindingly visible. They sit quietly in the woods where violent fantasy, imagined threat and nature intersect.