Culture Rover

#143 - Does Everybody Know This Is Nowhere?

David Parker wants out. In the Escape Strategy Series, his "suburban malcontent" plots various getaways from the totalitarian landscape of the exurbs. He leaps away on a trampoline. At the bottom on an electrical pole, he hides in white superhero tights at the bottom of an electrical pole.

In the most startling image, a secret passageway cracks open in the treeless, picket-fence, McMansion, golf-course, synthetic backyard lawn. Is it a trap door or a tomb? Is one slipping back to reality or only sinking helplessly into more fantasies?

The suburbs have always been about getting away, about escape strategies, so what does it mean to escape the very place of escape? At the edge of the metropolis, can one get away? Or is getting away precisely what makes one dig his own grave?

Parker's photographs reveal this cunundrum, in which advancement and retreat, liberation and entrapment, have collapsed into one another. When you want to get away from it all in the place where you are supposed to be getting away from it all, you have nowhere to go.

12 March 2007

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