Gray, TN is a census-designated area, not actually a town. Boone Lake, or Boone Reservoir, is an invention of the Tennessee Valley Authority. The pictures here were made for my BFA exhibition, during the financial crisis, the American troop drawdown in Iraq, and the annual reduction of water volume in the smaller TVA reservoirs, called drawdown, which looks somewhat like the drawback preceding a tsunami.

I was using a view camera and looking at lots of Romantic landscape paintings. Walking around the drained perimeter of the rural Appalachian lake, I had some privileged views of mostly private property features that ranged from extravagant to more typically vernacular to a horrible little fisherman statue with blackface, styled after the lawn jockey. I made two photographs of the statue, which was exhilarating in a way, but it forced me to decide between picturing topographics and political geography or walking around with a camera, lost in weirdness.


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