I spent this week carefully selecting pictures from my Carnival series to apply for a ($5,000!) photography award from The Phoenix Art Museum. I hadn't written a statement for the project, so that required some brain picking:
These photographs document a traveling carnival at night in Tucson, Arizona. In these nocturnes, the long exposures yield the starkest black skies. The few visitors in this mostly deserted, urban carnival are rendered as ghosts from another time. The mechanical structures become glowing monuments to a bygone era.
Because traveling carnivals are temporary installments, they live mostly as memories. These photographs evoke the nostalgia of carnivals in their heyday, with sideshows, musical and magical forms of entertainment. Is the magic gone when growing cities and new technologies offer families other choices for leisure?
In these photos, the traveling carnival becomes as fleeting as the spin of ones of its rides.
The more I look at these photos, the more they grow on me. I'm not normally drawn to photographing landscapes--urban or natural--but there are two subjects in that genre I want to shoot. One is a strip of dilapidated, seedy-looking motels in town; I would love to capture these in the same aesthetic as Carnival. The other would be an ongoing project covering the remains of Japanese-American internment camps from WWII in the Southwest; this requires travel, research and a good supply of film (read: money).