The Era of Hopeful Monsters by Caleb Churchill
Our environment as it appears to us in photographs is translated as landscape, a landscape that is transformed, altered and romanticized by American culture. Despite a desire for the unspoiled ideal of the American landscape that prompted the founding of the National Park system, our human need to organize, facilitate and take ownership, has become the geographical reality.
This work examines the overlooked marks we make on our environment on both a personal and cultural scale. In the places we consider natural, there are human interventions, intentional and accidental. No matter where you go, you will find breadcrumbs and fingerprints of our restless species. From paved pathways cutting through a cave, obsessively manicured hedges, initials carved en mass in an old growth forest or air plane contrails slashed across the sky.
The Era of Hopeful Monsters takes a critical an empathetic look at how we envision our collective identity in relationship to our environment, whether it is the constructed, inorganic urban, the vast expanses of our few remaining wild spaces or, as is most often the case, somewhere in between, a geography that is a mix of concrete and wildflowers. This body of work finds the beauty, the humor and the bittersweet in our contemporary environment, taking in each one for what it is and what it says about our species.
Caleb Churchill lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
To view more of Caleb's work, please visit his website.