Christopher H Paquette
Empty Loading Dock
Christopher H Paquette is a self taught photographer and writer from Philadelphia, Pa. Since 2006, he has edited PHOTO/arts Magazine, an online journal of photography. Paquette’s work has been widely exhibited, most recently he was selected to be included in ONWARD 11, an exhibit for emerging artists which was presented in Philadelphia and Tokyo.
I have been working on this series since 2009 when I took a job as a medical courier. The job has me driving around suburban Philadelphia for 8 hours a day in a circular route that repeats day after day. As a photographer this gives me a unique opportunity to observe the very subtle and often unnoticed changes that occur within the landscape. I see a structure or geometry that strikes my eye and I can then watch or “stalk” it on a daily basis; waiting for just the right lighting in order to make the photograph. The majority of images in this series were made after many observant passes in the car.
The title “Poetry of Nowhere” derives from James Howard Kunstler’s book The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America’s Man-Made Landscape. About a year into creating this series I read the book for the first time, which led to the reading of other books about the American vernacular landscape, such as the writings of J B Jackson. I then discovered that Jackson’s essays have had an influence upon the New Topographic School of photography, to which I have been a long time student.
I want to direct the viewer towards the visual poetry found within architectural geometry and the organic struggle that begins to take over abandoned and discarded suburban autoscapes. It is there if we look for it.