Justine Kurland’s show at Mitchell-Innes & Nash is called “Sincere Auto Care’. Every image features our love or dependence on cars. Ms Kurland hit the road herself and didn’t come back from a cross country road trip until she had fully captured the underbelly of American car culture.
Using the documentary ‘reportage’ style of early Robert Frank, or following the lead of current photographic giants like Joel Sternfeld; she manages to present something new and fresh without any digital alterations or Photoshop tricks. They are straight up photographs she took at gas stations or parking lots. There are tattooed mechanics under the hoods, or deserted babies asleep in car seats.
The human element mingles with the machinery in narratives that suggest cars communicate sex, freedom as well as the bleaker mundane mode of getting around. The photos are displayed without glass and the back mounted, back glazed presentations provide a rich colour and texture.
As Kurland herself describes her loving record of the road “a place where beauty is found not because the world is beautiful but because it is beautifully described”. With this body of work she marries the Utopian promise of America with the rusty well worn dystopian reality of our time.
Justine Kurland – Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NY – Until 11 October