Friday, January 27, 2012

Autobiography: The Netherlands

The first photograph below, despite the brown California hills in the background, always reminded me of the closest any of the Goedhart sisters came to visiting Holland. Yes, I know these aren't tulips but if you imagine hard enough, seeing Aunt Marion in a field of gladiolas, holding her sunglasses and sporting a corsage on her red coat, she could be in The Netherlands.

In 2004, I wanted to recreate that image in a place far from Holland and then again once visiting the real country. The second image is another imagination of what Holland could look like but this time the only accurate connection is the contents in the foreground.

I didn't go to The Netherlands during tulip season and ended up, the moment I saw the final location in the Hoge Veluwe National Park in Gelderland, depicting the anti-thesis. Perhaps the whole point is the misconception of the imagination.

Marion Goedhart Bailey
"June 11, 1967, North County Glower Grower Tour in a field of gladioli near Oceanside, Calif.
Ann Hoffman took this picture."

Jacinda Russell
3 April 2004, Tulip Festival, Woodburn, Oregon

Jacinda Russell
Hoge Veluwe National Park en route to the Kröller-Müller Museum, The Netherlands,
August 2004

These images mark the beginning of the Autobiography series. I've been thinking about it for 8 years and the contents I am collecting are vastly different. The main connection is the passage of time. So far, this triptych is the only part that features a pre-existing photograph.

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