I seldom stop the car and get out when doing my ‘highway photos. However, this time I made an exception, because this building truly gets to me, and I don’t quite know why. To be sure it is depressing and ugly. I think I was really fascinated with the black and yellow campaign sign in front of it, the colors of which made the whole scene seem even more surreal. Why anybody would want to put a campaign sign in such an unappealing place is a mystery to me. The building has been in this location, looking like this, for decades. So, the request to ‘vote for change’ can have nothing to do with the condition of this area. Right next to this structure is a shell of a motel.
And to the right of the first building, things look like this. And then, I continue to be puzzled by my making this kind of ‘New Topographics’ photo – I guess I have to realize I have expanded into a different direction with my work. Here is a wonderfully spirited explanation and defense of the genre by Catherine Ropie: