A Backward Glance Over Traveled Roads is the collection of work spanning through the original thirteen colonies with an extended stay in West Philadelphia and on the job in Camden.
Please join us on Friday March 7th 6-10pm to see the work of Keith Yahrling, Gabe Angemi and Jordan Baumgarten and their exploration of America’s seeds of freedom, dissonance in search of one’s place in a new setting and an elevated perspective on the once invincible, but now, forgotten.
The City of Camden, NJ was deemed "the city invincible" after Walt Whitman saw her that way in one of his dreams. While Camden's destiny during the industrial revolution may well have been to turn out like the City of Philadelphia, she has instead succumbed to socioeconomic decline and urban blight, consistently ranking amongst the most dangerous cities in the nation. Working in Camden as a Firefighter gives me unique experience and perspective of the city, providing a lens in which to help me personally examine the circumstances and misunderstandings of this long since forgotten rust belt city.
Jordan's work is about the dissonance felt when your home is somewhere you don't belong. His images explore a life and a relationship in the context of an at-times violent neighborhood, and the anxiety of that looming violence coming into the home. In the process of making work in West Philadelphia, Jordan’s mind was overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety and the dread of impending violence. Now, some time later, all of those concerns have since faded away. He recalls falling deeper in love with his fiancé, Anne, sharing his first home and making the decision to spend the rest of his life with her. That’s the way Jordan prefers to remember his time there.
I have set out on a number of photographic pilgrimages through the area of the original thirteen colonies of the United States of America. This historic boundary extends from Maine to Georgia and from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. Within this boundary the American Revolution was staged, and is the area of concentration for my ongoing project, For the Revolution.
In my travels, I visit the sites of Revolutionary War battles to view a landscape that is embedded with the convictions of soldiers that drew them to fight. As time progressed, these beliefs dispersed from the battlefields and went on to influence other individuals and the surrounding landscape. Because of this dispersion, I explore the surrounding landscape in search of instances that illustrate how contentious notions of freedom and liberty are represented in the everyday actions of individuals and how those grand notions are subtlety embedded in the American landscape.
My interests in these themes formed at an early age, from my childhood explorations of a Revolutionary War battlefield located in my hometown of National Park, New Jersey to the rare stories my father would tell me from his tour in Vietnam. My pilgrimage through America’s original thirteen colonies represents both a desire to understand the democratic roots of my country and my own personal heritage, because the two are inseparable.