Brussels – James Casebere’s photographs of American homes and landscapes are strangely still and serene. A closer look reveals that these are not photographs of landscapes at all, but of models that represent how the American Dream is responding to climate changes.
On display at the Galerie Daniel Templon in Brussels, the staged photographs continue Casebere’s career-long focus on the home as a utopian symbol of the American Dream. These model homes sit uneasily within their natural surroundings, victims of the uncontrollable natural phenomena that can destroy them. Upon closer inspection, one scene of a peaceful suburban town actually has a sinister edge thanks to the forest fire looming in the background.
‘Isolated architectural structures stand in the midst of these places where nature reigns apparently unchallenged,’ reads the gallery’s press release. ‘Sometimes private dwellings, sometimes public buildings, they are the stamp of human activity and the symbol of its fragility.’
For more on how artists are gaining understanding of the zeitgeist through motifs of dystopia and utopia, read our Chasm Culture microtrend.