Here is the rest of my Artist statement for the twenty pictures I made in my spring 2011 course.
“Mr. Fry has graciously allowed me to photograph the museum, documenting with a large format camera, a tool of that time, what is there, while looking for the unusual, the out of place, the abstract, beautiful juxtapositions, formalism and transition. The large 8x10 negatives produce unexpected detail. Controlled perspective and small apertures allow for deep depth of field. This work continues my series on the aging and entropy of man-made structures in north east Ohio. In my former career I was forever trying to be on the cutting edge, selling the latest software technology. Now in my retirement I enjoy time travel to the mechanical engineering of one hundred and fifty years ago.”
Jim Fry has laid out the museum as a village. Each building in the village is a business taken from its time and furnished with objects serving that purpose in that era. From memory these are: Pewter and Tinsmith, Slaughter House, Smoke House, Wagon and Wheel Repair Shop, Sawmill, Post Office, Library, Weaver, Printer, Machine Repair Shop. There are several more buildings that I have not yet explored.
The barns and fields are crammed with rusting farm equipment showing 100 years of evolution and entropy. He breeds rare birds and animals. There are sheep, goats, turkeys, cattle, chickens, hogs that are different from modern ones in ways that I have not pursued with him. He and his wife have several organic gardens. Yesterday they were laying out 100+ pumpkins to sell. They had staged a traditional setting with a split rail fence, corn stalks, an Amish buggy and a horse drawn planter. You can buy fresh farm eggs or chickens to butcher and cook in your tents or motels if you like.
Friday night I will show the twenty images again from last spring and some new ones I have made recently, so you can have one person’s view of what is there. The point though is that each one of us will see it in very different ways.
Jim’s is a very generous offer. I trust you will show the respect for his property and efforts that you have shown for our home. I know it will be a while before you will have prints, but he will be very grateful if you will send some of your results later in the season. If he is happy, shooting here could be very enjoyable for us for years to come.