Martin McDonald Gallery
April 5 - June 1, 2019
The Photographs in the Transition series were taken at DIY skateparks in Indiana and Texas over the last 5 years. The DIY skatepark, a skatepark built illegally by local skateboarders, is a phenomena that has spread across the country and the world in the last 10 years. The title Transition has a double meaning-- it is the word skaters use to refer to the part of a ramp that connects the horizontal plane to the vertical plane, and also a reference to the way these disused urban spaces change when a DIY park is built. They go from being an abandoned place to being an inhabited place, from a place with no name to place with one, from being nothing to being something. The central figure in this series is a concrete embankment (a quarter pipe) added by the skaters to a corner of the lot. I consider the material, formal, and conceptual qualities of this object and the gesture it represents emblematic of a sophisticated spatial practice at work: through a few minimal concrete additions an entirely new vision of what a place is for and what can be done there is manifested. The skaters had transitioned a commercial ruin into a space of free expression and autonomy. In these photographs I adopted the same mentality as the skaters, discarding the precepts of photographic representation the way the skaters had discarded the precepts of the urban space. In an attempt to learn from this form of creative consumption, this project is an ongoing experiment that blurs the lines between documentation and participation, where each image is a reflection of one set of circumstances and the initiation of another.