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Joshua Dudley Greer
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Joshua Dudley Greer
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Bethlehem, Georgia, 2012
(2012)
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18 months ago
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Early settlers imagined the New World as a pristine, uninhabited wilderness – a landscape of unparalleled beauty, magnitude and possibility. Yet the driving impulse of expansion was rarely to commune with nature, but more often a desire to carve a garden from these wilds and create a new civilization, unique from all others. Lines began to be drawn, initially through agriculture and settlements, then railways and cities, and eventually the road.

Today, the American landscape is carved up by nearly 4,000,000 miles of roadways that lead us to just about anywhere we need or want to be. The Interstate Highway System in particular has permanently altered the way we experience the landscape and in turn, each other. By leveling mountains, mowing down forests and circumventing rivers, we have created an easily accessible, anonymous landscape that allows us to enact our fantasies and freedoms, but may also be loosening the bonds that tie people to one another and to place. While the majority may view this infrastructure as nothing more than a necessary evil of modern existence, there are people and places that rely on the road for something more. The ideas of mobility, prosperity, community and growth, cornerstones of the American Dream, still motivate many of us to strike out on the road in search of something beyond what our daily lives provide. For some it may be a job or a lifestyle, for others an escape. Whatever the motivation may be, we are all visitors somewhere.

The photographs that comprise this body of work have been made on an extensive series of road trips taken throughout the United States over a number of years. The sites and people depicted are all united by the influence of the road, by our shared history, and by my attempts to reconcile the past with the present.
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