‘Postcards from America’ is a visual travelogue consisting of photographs taken in the United States between 1998 – 2006. Adopting the perspective of a British/European photographer the project focuses on the commonplace architectural facades, interiors and street scenes. This series of photographs was initially published as a set of postcards using offset lithographic methods of reproduction. This utilitarian format provided a function – one which facilitates the sending of messages from faraway destinations experienced by the traveler /photographer. Photographs were taken in America and exhibited in England as postcards, artifacts which make the concept of travel palpable unifying the structure and process of the project. The vernacular form of these postcard images explores relationships between the ‘heterotopic’ role of the traveler who pursues the unfamiliar or exotic and the tourist who consumes the familiar.
With these ideas in mind, this series was later developed into a book which forms a visual response to Jean Baudrillard’s ‘America’ – a book of linguistic snapshots of the United States by the French philosopher. Baudrillard’s theory of the ‘Simulacra’ is explored through these images by representing architecture and landscape as indicators of social, cultural and geographical information. Selected images from this project have been featured in the book ‘Postcard’ by Laurence King (Designed by Flat 33). Other images from this project was exhibited at the Renaissance Photography Exhibition in 2012 and also as part of a group show ‘Simulacrum’, selected by Richard Billingham at the Elysium Gallery in Wales. More recently one of the postcards traveled to Athens where it was exhibited alongside other mail art in the 2015 Platform Projects, Art Athina.
‘America is neither dream nor reality. It is a hyperreality. It is a hyperreality because it is a utopia which has behaved from the very beginning as though it were already achieved. Everything here is real and pragmatic, and yet it is all the stuff of dreams too. It may be that the truth of America can only be seen by a European, since he alone will discover here the perfect simulacrum – that of the immanence and material transcription of all values.’