Many years ago I left the United States to travel the world. I spent over a decade doing just that, and in the process experienced first-hand the often arresting disparity between our perceptions (made up of memory and myth) and reality (which seems to lie somewhere between conflicting memory myths). To most people I encountered I would only ever be a name, a stranger, a bundle of preconceived ideas arrived at based on their own experiences.
As I travelled, I began to feel particularly shackled by the identity of ‘American’. What exactly did that mean anyway? Since returning to the United States several years ago, I have been fascinated by the myths of America: the shining city on the hill, boom and bust, the frontier spirit of rugged individualism, of striking it rich and striking out, and I’ve also been keenly aware of the reality of its hardships; of free-market narcissism, prescribed isolation, injustice, wealth disparity, and decadence.
Imag[in]ing America depicts a series of locations in the United States as a residue of cultural memory, an inheritance. It is a metaphorical memoir, a narrative re-telling of facts and fictions and it is also a discovery of the dreamland that still is America.