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Houses

Martin Hyers and William Mebane

October, 2014 - August, 2015

For many, the possession of a home is the topmost rung on the ladder to the American Dream. In 2009, Martin Hyers and Will Mebane embarked upon a series of road trips across the U.S. to create a photographic time capsule of ordinary American dwellings. Each image in the resulting series, Houses, was shot at night with a camera and strobe light mounted to the roof of the artists’ car, which they always parked a uniform distance from their subjects. Briefly exposed within the surrounding darkness, the houses are isolated from those around them; their inhabitants are tucked inside, and the wider view of the neighborhood falls outside of the strobe’s flash.

The artists began this project just as our country’s housing bubble burst, and many who had recently achieved the dream of home ownership began losing their homes to foreclosure. While these photographs were collected to document the material culture of Americans at a particular moment in time, the series also resonates with the associations of both security and loss that the idea of ‘home’ engenders.