Familiar elements such as the lawn, manicured and manipulated plants, new buildings mimicking other eras and locations, often reveal a culture of perpetual longing. Elements of our constructed environments simulate, or reference other places and histories acting as evidence of desire. I often mix together real and fake in my work to create images of places and objects that challenge our expectations or reveal the simulacrum in our environments.
My process begins by making thousands of individual photographs while exploring a city or neighborhood. In the studio, I digitally assemble these sources to create photographs and videos of imaginary spaces. Some of the images have some veracity, but more often they suggest a visual hyperbole – an embellished scene circulating around a small detail or object that fascinated me. These composite images function as a metaphor to the ways in which desire and control is physically constructed in the landscape.
The source images for this This Place where shot in locations in the United States and Europe. By combining sources from a wide range of locations, there is no one regional architecture or landscaping that surfaces, rather the photographs echo a placeless location. The photographs of urban space are juxtaposed with images of digitally constructed scenes of foliage and still lifes. These juxtapositions play off one another both formally and conceptually.
© 2016 Leigh Merrill, All Rights Reserved