As a kid with my face glued to the window of cars or trains. I watched the countless blurred moments of new and familiar landscapes rush by, wondering who lived and worked there. Decades and numerous road trips later, the locations I’m drawn to are mostly rural and agricultural towns in America’s interior. Towns built on the discriminative promise of freedom, equality and prosperity through hard work, I wonder if the American Dream was realized.
I have no personal history here but there is an intuitive recognition of the towns and cities I photograph. They fade in and out of focus, like a memory or a dream. I feel a connection to these communities but can’t place its origin. Maybe it’s the novelty of childhood memory or the collective memory from news events, history or stories romanticized in the arts. I’m curious about life in these quiet, rural towns where downtown may be marked by a single stop sign. Lifetimes exist in these places, only I’m passing by and on to the next vignette.
Photographed through the passenger window, faint moments of nostalgia emerge like fragments of dreams and forgotten memories; each reinvented with the passage of time. In many ways, we are all passing through at one time or another…looking out the window with hopes of realizing our own dreams.
All images and text © Debe Arlook
By Debe Arlook
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