Get Adobe Flash player

Peter Spaans, book: 'On the road too, part two' Due the big content (about 900 pages), I used a low resolution.  Terug naar introductie Anneke Oele

Dutch artist Peter Spaans (Amsterdam, 1953) drove with his American friend Dan Schmidt new York, 1957) 6,100 miles (9800 km kilometers) from Houston to the border of Canada and back to Houston in just 19 days. They decided, like they did for the book ‚On the road too’, part I, that they would travel as much as possible on older National highways and on State roads rather than on the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System. They knew that such a journey would afford them views of cities and towns, as well as of rural America, that one would not see from the Interstate Highways. Peter Spaans made 10,000 photographs during this trip. Most of the photographs were taken between 10 AM and 5 PM, as the light was brightest at that time of day. Spaans finally selected 960 photographs, one image per page of the book. It is an extended, raw, uncensored, and uncommon visual report and study of America seen 19 days in a row, during a car-trip across America.

Unique is that Peter Spaans always photographed from the car.  Peter Spaans generally captured his images from the open window on the right side of the car, or by the windshield or photographed from the back of the car, either right or left side, depending on the position of the sun, and always with the window open. Day in, day out he focused on fixed points such as the grandness of the natural countryside, or electric and telephone wires, petrol stations, motels, churches, restaurants; he pointed his camera at houses and factories either empty, boarded up and abandoned, or inhabited.One of the stories of this trip is the transformation of the landscape by successive generations of Americans.  As the photographs depict, each generation leaves both their masterpieces and their ruins behind. Creative destruction is heralded as the vital energy of American capitalism; the old and inefficient are constantly being replaced by the new. The resulting destruction is the price that is paid for progress.