These photographs are made with a 4×5 field camera on black-and-white film. Such a camera puts the emphasis on carefully composed images, rich in the detail that such a large sheet of film offers. Again, much like the “Places” photographs from the first installment, when photographing these “Things” I wanted to situate them within their surroundings and allow the things to become just one element within a broader, more complex composition.
Shifting from places to things can easily be seen as a somewhat arbitrary distinction. In the case of these images, any particular thing exists within a specific place, and that place can often give even greater meaning to the thing itself by placing it within its own surroundings. No matter what, all of the things in these photographs exist in Indianapolis and south-central Indiana.
The series opens and closes with two very Hoosier images. The first is of the “Bison-tennial” statue under a tarp outside of the Cleo Rogers Memorial Library in Columbus. Every county seat in the state was presented with one of these statues prior to Indiana’s bicentennial celebrations. The library was designed by the great I.M. Pei, and the hard geometry of the building lit up at night provides a unique backdrop to the tarp-covered statue. The series concludes with the most Indiana of things: a basketball hoop at an old school gymnasium in Oolitic, Indiana. It would be downright blasphemous to make a series of photographs about Indiana and not pay proper respects to its Hoosier hardwood tradition.
In between, the other images offer up a look at the classic Americana that exists here in Indiana, both reverent, in the form of a church steeple perfectly framed beneath an illuminated streetlight, and humorous, with a seemingly random collection of novelty animal statues along the side of a road.