Susan Moldenhauer’s sweeping meditation on the Trump administration is deceptively beautiful, with images as soaring as the western skies she resides under, but when paired with words, the images are empowered with purpose. . .
–Billy Howard, curator, Election 2020: What Matters, South X Southeast photomagazine
I am not by nature interested in politics, however, on the day our 45th president was elected, my attention was piqued and eventually solidified by his apocalyptic Inaugural Address, an address which has played out over the last four years. View from Home: An Elegy for America in Four Seasons is my personal, diaristic response to the course of our country over these four years interjected with personal events and universal themes of collective experience. It is my attempt to reconcile what has become the greatest challenge to our democratic way of life in American history.
Through images and text, I seek to find an emotional equivalence between what I see – the view from where I am, at home on the high plains of southeast Wyoming – and what has filled our news and headlines during these years. Interposed along the way are annual markers as recurring celestial events such as solstices and personal experiences such as deaths. The COVID-19 pandemic takes its place in the final year. The pairing of images and found text is an exploration of finding relevance in disparity.
A time relationship exists between image and text as they are captured within a day of each other. Together they become Episodes in the larger reality TV show-style Seasons spanning four years. The responsive nature of iPhone imagery relates to the fast-paced, immediate, and reactive nature that hyper-social media has played during this administration as new policies self-devour those things we hold dear — our land, our people, our resources, and our way of life — our values, our culture, our society, and our status in the world, all in the name of power.
iPhone 7, iPhone 11 images 10.1 x 13.4-inches on 19 x 13-inch paper or 6.4 x 8.5-inches on 8.5 x 11-inch paper, archival pigment ink on professional photo paper, made by the photographer.