Flatfile Collection

Artist Statement

Liminal landscapes – earthquake fault lines, volcanos, tectonic plate edges, the harborages of profound change –
have long been the subject of my photographic work. I photograph transitional spaces that linger between non use
and purpose, both in the natural landscape, and in the constructed and built structures that define our civic spaces.
Surrounded Everywhere by the Sea, a work in progress, includes Cuban landscapes, civic structures and people on
the cusp of change, evoking liminal moments expressed in artifact, symbolism and mood. Fitful change in Cuba is
omnipresent — yet tentative, fraught and uncertain. I have had the opportunity to visit Cuba throughout the roller
coaster of U.S. policy shifts over the past couple of years. This project originated the week President Obama and
the Rolling Stones visited Havana in the spring of 2016. I witnessed the excitement of the presidential motorcade
and the thrill of the Rolling Stones playing in a country where their music had for so long been prohibited. Optimism
and hope, and analogies to Woodstock (albeit a clean and sober one), were inescapable. Hotels were being
constructed at a mad pace, and every room was occupied. Direct flights from New York were plentiful.
Now the US Embassy is essentially empty, and travel restrictions have dampened hopes for future engagements. A
mysterious illness, possibly caused by sonic sound, sickened the embassy staff – a fact that flirts with cold war
intrigue, or science fiction sabotage.

My photographs are carbon grayscale prints. I wanted the harsh tropical light to be represented with a delicacy that
is tenuous in nature, almost brittle. While the spirt of Cuba is strong and resilient, the trace of history resonates with
transformative upheaval and revolutions, the trauma of blood-stained soil, and an almost constant struggle for
survival. Evidence of hardship is everywhere. Aging brutalist architecture from the Soviet era crumbles in neglect,
and once beautiful parks sit overgrown and decrepit. Boats lay forgotten and land-bound due to government
prohibitions; vestiges of heroism and beauty are seen in the many monuments, stadiums, and athletic tributes. If
colors were visible one would see a bright blue sky, green, yellow and brown vegetation, the blue of pools and drab
concrete. I prefer the precarious tipping point of bright white light, right before any trace of detail is lost. My
perspective is subjective. I navigate between the real and the surreal, the narrative and the non-lineal.