Dilapidation

 

Generations of automobiles in my Virginia field

 
 Backyard green car (looking downhill), 2011, oil on photograph mounted on panel, 6” x 6”

Backyard green car (looking downhill), 2011, oil on photograph mounted on panel, 6” x 6”

All of the vehicles are saved, hoarded, kept for later. The vast potential each has silently wastes away as the years go by until they are finally permanent fixtures in the field of my childhood home. The cars and trucks are iconic memories of hominess and possibility. My father reminded me of the worth he perceived they had, even as they rusted away and the weeds took them. The automobiles were once his and his brothers’. The car graveyard has become (as is usually the case) a field of generational memory. I vaguely remember riding in some as a toddler, and then later climbing atop them and risking the danger of snakes and wasps. The Thomasons see how slippery worth and function are. Capturing and documenting the cars implicated me in the very process of futile preservation. These cars and trucks have are symbols of value and of possibility (instead of the decaying piles that they are).