Wilson, NC

gerardlange_wilsonc_nc_headline

Part of being a photographer is simply to observe one's environment. Typically the medium has the built-in assumption that the object under scrutiny is a "real" thing, an actual object or a scene, which truly took place. Upon moving from Atlanta to rural Eastern North Carolina I became interested in the façades of buildings and how the physical presence of that business functions as a package identity. Business identities are worn on the façades, and often exude a cultural message. Some businesses are new and portray an ethnic identity, while others appear to have remained unchanged since the 1960s. For aesthetics, these scenes were photographed to look like scale models and toy structures. A pun and cliché that I am intentionally exploiting in the images is the concept of a "model community." When hobbyists construct an artificial environment they do so to suit their own predispositions and ideals. Every self-made business person also aspires to some ideal, manifest in the visual identity of their business. Likewise, this reduction of façades to a model-like appearance captures the essence of these anthropological gems from my own point of view.