This collection takes its name from a Talking Heads song that describes a post-industrial, post-commercial world in which nature has replaced the factories, fast food chains, and other familiar aspects of modern society. While the exact imagery in the song is fictional, these photos provide glimpses of what a real post-industrial world might look like.
The industrial images were taken at Völklingen Ironworks in Saarland, Germany. Völklingen was a major steel-manufacturing center that helped to make Germany a major industrial power in the late nineteenth century. Steel production continued there right up until the 1980s when the factory closed. In the past 20 years Völklingen Ironworks has taken on new life after industrialization: 1) physically, as a UNESCO world heritage site and museum, 2) literally, as trees, vines, and moss have taken root amongst the buildings and machinery, and 3) artistically, as a vast and vibrant sculpture garden, as presented here.
The carnival photographs were taken at London's famous Notting Hill Carnival in August 2011. Like the factory scenes, the carnival images also speak to the idea of life after industrialization: Notting Hill was once a gritty and depressed West London neighborhood that was riven with ethnic tension, but the carnival helped transform the neighborhood into a festive and vibrant community. The Afro-Caribbean rhythms that echo through the streets during the carnival are also evoked in the title Talking Heads songs (even if its sentiments about a post-industrial world are rather less optimistic).
These images were exhibited at Blackfish Gallery in Portland, Oregon in February 2013, in conjunction with Paul Missal and Steve Tilden's main room show.