Documenting Quiet Spaces
The western United States has played a major role in artistic imagination for decades. It has been dissected and continuously re-examined, often producing similar conclusions in an overarching quest to find meaning in its vastness. American photographer, Bryan Schutmaat (b. 1983) is concerned with nostalgia and its representation within the context of the landscape of the American west. His series Western Frieze (2007-2008) is a visual tableau of ideals encapsulating what the west represents. Though much of the western United States has been populated, paved over, and commercialised, Schutmaat believes that it still retains obscurity; he uncovers it by documenting the region from various perspectives. Seeking to update the collective impression of the American west, Schutmaat offers a vision that uses roadside culture to convey where the west has been and where it is going.