Central Artery Montage

It’s been a while since I posted any of my own photographs here — photos without headstones, that is. But today I installed Adobe Lightroom on the ‘ole PC, imported all of the old photos that I haven’t looked at in a while, and came across these composite photos from 2003.

I was going through a phase of making montages, inspired by a small series that Lisa made when we went to Sequoia National Park the year before. (I swear I didn’t know at the time that James Balog and David Hockney were doing this, too.) In early 2003, we still lived closer to Boston; and the old, rusty Central Artery was coming down as the Big Dig moved the highway underground. So I decided to spend an afternoon focusing on the old and new. (This was also the outing where I got detained by The Man.)

At the time, I was exploring the concept that photographs mediate experience in a completely artificial way, that they frame the world and construct experience, and that they’re essentially untrue. So I was purposefully not making my edges match or worrying too much about color constancy when I stitched them back together. Pointing out the unnaturalness of photographs was my goal. Moreover, the Artery always struck me as ugly, and I always felt disoriented when I was on or near it; I was trying to get that feeling across, too. Maybe it works, maybe it’s too “unpicturesque” or self-conscious — I’ll let you decide.

Central Artery Montage - Boston, MA

Central Artery Montage – Boston, MA (Click for larger . . .)

Central Artery Montage - Boston, MA

Central Artery Montage – Boston, MA (Click for larger . . .)

Central Artery Montage - Boston, MA

Central Artery Montage – Boston, MA (Click for larger . . .)

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2 Responses to Central Artery Montage

  1. mary says:

    it is so weird for me to think that boston used to have an above-ground highway snaking through the city. it must have been so abrasive!

  2. Jeff Mather says:

    My first memory of the old central artery was driving our U-Haul truck from Roxbury back to Brighton, where we were temporarily staying. Traffic was moving at a crawl as we merged onto the elevated highway. A few lanes over, workers with jackhammers were tearing down part of the road as we were driving along it. It seems impossible, but I swear it’s true!

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