We are in Custer, South Dakota for the next couple of days. The first time through here in 2006, I photographed both the Crazy Horse Monument and Mt. Rushmore. Later on, I determined both places would fit within another of the themes of the project – Man’s domination of the landscape. Both demonstrate how man attempts to bend nature to his will by literarily blasting and chipping away at the rock to reveal human form.
After thinking about it for a while, I began to believe these two places also fit into the theme of Proximity. Once the Lakota tribes saw how the U.S. government was honoring people important to them at Mt. Rushmore, they wanted to demonstrate that their people had great figures important to them as well. The Lakota even retained the services of one of the lead sculptors from Rushmore, Korczak Ziolkowski after he was fired by Gutzon Borglum because of personality conflicts.
Another image from the project is the Tree Tunnel, shot at Calaveras Big Trees in California. This image shows a certain disregard for Nature. We cut a hole through a tree simply because we can. Once the hole is there, visitors come by and carve names, initials and other reminders of their passing through. Once again, Proximity.