Frank Herrera "When I was about twelve, like all the other kids in rural West Virginia, I was in the 4-H club and looking for a new project to do for the annual show. Somehow, it became “home beautification”.  Following suggestions in the manual, I took a slow walk around the yard, noting things that might be improved. Before long, I came across a large brick barbeque built by my father some years previous. I determined to improve that corner by demolishing it and restoring it to pristine grass. As my mother always had a camera around, I thought to document my work with before and after photos-which I did, mounting them on a big cardboard sheet with what I thought appropriate text.

Was I surprised when half the people thought I had got the before and after photos reversed.
So, although I still think that the thing photography does best is imply a narrative, you never can plan for agreement on a single interpretation. I am still taking before and after pictures. I ask the viewer to look at the physical evidence in context with poetic implications.


I am interested in the “social landscape”- landscapes, which combine both factual and transient elements to achieve documentary photographs with a lyrical spin. This I do to help the viewer see what I’m getting at. But whatever I do, the ambiguity will remain. Is it a “before” or “after” picture?  Both, probably. What I’m trying to do is show how I feel about it. I use traditional black and white films, and “wet chemistry”. No plans to do otherwise."

Frank Herrera, "Chapel, Chateau de Brecort, Normandy, 2003"
Frank Herrera Photograph

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