The Project / My Inspiration
While the phrase “American Home” conjures up uniform visions of white picket fences - real American homes are as diverse as the people who dwell within them. From New England clapboard houses to Southwestern Spanish Villas, America has the architectural gamut covered.
Americans have defined and redefined what traditionally constitutes a home, just as they have defined and redefined what it means to be an American. But that’s exactly the point, isn’t it? Houses in America are more then just four walls and a creepy basement – they’re homes. They are where we live, love, laugh and cry. They are where we get to be ourselves in all our glorious diversity and hide all that stuff we don’t want anyone to know we have.
A home to call your own is why people have immigrated to the USA for centuries. It is why they traveled West by the wagon-full. Property ownership in America has represented not only economic freedom, but also religious freedom and personal freedom. “What I do in my own home is my business!”
Beyond all the physical dissimilarities and odd-ball particularities of American houses – is a kernel of belief. A belief in oneself and one’s right to a spot on this great spinning rock to do as we please.
With the changing economic climate in American is this equation of house + home = freedom still alive and kicking, or has it too gone the way of the buffalo? What is it about putting up walls that helps us put down roots – roots that go beyond a specific time and place? How does being connected to a particular house also connect us to a larger history, and to one another?
Why A Road Trip?
Following in the photographic tradition of Dorothea Lang with the FSA, and Robert Adams, and The New Topographics School, documenting any aspect of the United States all but requires traveling through it. The regional differences between the United States cannot be undersold. In order to give a truthful, objective and meaningful portrait of American Homes it is necessary for this series to encompass the United States in its entirety. The decision to travel through America by car was a natural artistic decision, one that casts the role of the photographer as reporter, participant and artist at one and the same time.
This series was begun four years ago when Kate was drawn to a simple, white, vinyl-sided house, nestled in the woods of her hometown of North Wales, Pennsylvania. The simplicity, the earnestness and the unblemished every-day-ness of the resulting image was the inspiration she had been searching for.
It is true that sometimes what we are looking for is right in front of us the entire time. Those pre-fab houses that lined the avenues of her memory were suddenly so much more than mere suburban sprawl.
Working sporadically on the series from then on, Kate’s interest in the project became reinvigorated due to the current economic downturn, and the ongoing news of Americans losing their homes. Similarly affected by the current economic depression, this series represents a longing for home that is at once personal and political. Finding herself without an apartment in NYC, and slowly drifting from couch to couch, Kate realized that now is the perfect time to explore what home means to her now that she is no longer rooted to a specific place or schedule.
What your generous donation will go towards
Car Rental, Insurance, Mileage, Gas
Lodging & Meals
Unforeseen expenses: flat tires and general highway mayhem
Film & Processing
- (25 days)