Monday, June 25th, 2012
Resting precariously along the coast of California, 30 miles north of San Francisco, is the small and unincorporated community of Bolinas. Dirt roads with hand-painted signs create the paths between the homes of a notoriously reclusive population with a rich cultural and agricultural history that culminated in the late 1960s after the summer of love. A collective effort to clean up after an oil spill brought them to this place and shared desire to live among one another and closely to the land on their own terms and with the expressed intention of living a collective life is how they decided to stay.
Today there is no longer a true commune, as there once was, but that same mentality persists, of not simply living next door to one another but living an intrinsically shared existence with one another. Among my generation there is a resurgence of back-to-the-land ideologies, of running organic farms, sharing homes, and creating music, art and life – together. Recognizing this socially and politically significant movement and seeing it manifest there is what initially led me to explore Bolinas, a mystical town straddling two geographic plates and truly two worlds, where the past and the present coexist.
Working with a medium format film camera, harkening back to a tradition that is increasingly becoming obsolete, I have worked diligently to engage with the members of the community, to make sure they understand that I do not want to simply take pictures, for I do not want to take anything from this place. Instead, the images are meant to be an expression of what it means to live this life, the cohesive intricacy and complexity of relationships that exists in Bolinas, the near seamless integration of humans and nature.
With the photographs I want to evoke the sense of interconnectedness that permeates the atmosphere, the invisible web binding moments together. I intend to raise questions, asking: Why are people driven to go off-the-grid and create an alternative path in life? How can we take responsibility for the earth that we take from and give back to it? What makes a place a ‘home’ and how do we even define what home means?
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