Familiar Monuments

by atlench

Familiar Monuments is a group of pictures which intend to recognize potential in those things we encounter regularly but perhaps don’t actually look at while distracted by a daily routine. I am invariably interested in leftovers and the cast aside, the backs of buildings, and all the random detritus that surrounds us and is not typically given much aesthetic opportunity. I also enjoy the colors of the built world, and have a love of all types of piles. Like Robert Smithson in “A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, NJ,” I have been looking for monuments obscured by suburban banality.

In the spirit of Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades, I am also interested in seeking out the world’s preexisting sculptures. In my photographs, however, the objects are not factory-made but more a confluence of place and time – items thrown out, blown by the wind, stacked up for later use, or built for practical and not visual purposes. Once encountered, I try to use these items to make pictures that re-contextualize the scene and offer an alternate or extra-ordinary view of the ordinary world around us. Ultimately, I hope to show that the abundance of objects and structures in the built environment is full of possibilities for creating beauty, no matter how mundane or commonplace.

These photographs are C-Prints made in 2004-2005.