America Rewind

French photographer Emmanuel Georges (b.1965) takes viewers on a journey through the familiar and diminishing concept of the American Dream. In a new publication from Hatje Cantz, the artist captures memories of lost times through the lens of an analogue, large-format camera. In documenting his 25,000-kilometre trip across a changing nation, Georges reminds us of the nostalgic beauty present in the US today. Entitled America Rewind, the series reflects upon deserted locations and formerly flourishing cities that tell the story of the disappearance of an economic boom.

Travelling from Atlantic City to Houston, Las Vegas, Butte, Minot, Detroit, and all the way back to Philadelphia, he produces a photographic road compilation that highlights the poignant stillness of the American hinterlands with its abandoned motels, shuttered cinemas, overgrown façades, old industrial buildings and faded billboards. These recurring motifs, which become iconic images of American urban landscapes, are brought together in an engaging, full-colour publication. Collectively, they are silent testimony to long-gone days.

Hailing from a background in graphic design, Georges has a keen eye for typography and colour: two aspects that shine through in the entire America Rewind series. In using various lighting conditions that are apparent during the course of a day, he is able to create a cohesive, cinematic tension in his images. Also threading the works together is a unique narrative that reflects the artist’s own curiosity about remote places. In the aesthetics of the abandoned, the photographer searches for elements that bring the past to mind. Georges mentions: “The driving force is the search for whatever has remained intact, the same way that you look for things in a second-hand shop.”

Emmanuel Georges, America Rewind, Hatje Cantz.

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1. Ryansheridan Wyoming © Emmanuel Georges.