Flotsam: Cultural Reportage
It is hard to overstate how devastated Joyce Crago was at 4 am on Wednesday, November 9th, 2016. It was more than her heart could bear. In the subsequent weeks she decided to travel to Washington, D.C. to confront these feelings in order to understand better where we go from here. She has been photographing garbage for more than two years and she is constantly amazed by the intriguing stories of what we leave behind in our waste. She is influenced by Irving Penn and his sublime images of the bits of most inconsequential junk. She finds in photographing trash that there is the possibility of the rediscovery of order, under circumstances that are never propitious and out of materials that are less than promising.
The trash in this series was collected on January 20, 2017, and January 21, 2017. The seemingly banal objects carry traces of both the location (Washington, D.C.) and the people who participated in the Inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington. And as someone who is always seeking to understand, Joyce wonders what do the images of the trash collected from these two events tell us about the world and the time we live in?
It is interesting to think of the backstory of the trash:
Who left the hot hands hand warmer at the Inauguration?
Who left a lifesaver on a yellow string at the Women's March on Washington?
Who left the yellow “Fuck Off” tape at the Women's March on Washington?
Who left a Marlborough cigarette butt in a holder at the Inauguration?