The Grammar of Your Question (about white houses)


The work here is concerned with the grammar of the environment: the elements and spatial relationships that form the idiom of residential space. With each image indicating a sentence, each page a stanza, the rhyme and consonance of forms and locations and materials elucidate the structure and use of an environmental language. And as in all languages, this is a space of both communion and contestation.

The organization, the harmony and juxtaposition, are true to the grammar of the language but I have attempted to explore the imaginative and intuitive use of this language using play, pun, music, quotation and other devices. The voice “speaking” is the photographers’ frame, the amalgam of habitual and intuitive choices expressed through cropping, organization, depth-of-field, two-dimensional shapes and spaces.

This series of compositions is drawn from the backlog of my own street photos—the informal sketches—situations and tableaus I encounter in walks through neighborhoods and city streets in Western New York. These particular images represent the total of all images I have that feature a white house as a central or anchoring element in the scene. Here the relationships and pairings are based on secondary features of foreground, incidental texts (signs), barriers and entryways, fixtures of utility.

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laser copy, collage

8.5" x 11" [each]