The Searchers, 2003, C-prints

The Searchers series alludes to the John Ford-directed Western, made in 1956, and
starring John Wayne. With Monument Valley as a backdrop, the film emphasizes the grandeur yet oppressiveness of the landscape as the protagonists continue their five-year search. The film touches upon various themes, intentionally or inadvertently, including ideas about the frontier, racism and anti-racism, miscegenation, honor, duty, the family, and ultimately, how these add up to what it means to be an American. The photographs were taken on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, and depict a group of watchers, though we don’t see what they are looking at or for. The searcher becomes the tourist who seeks the “authentic” African experience of the untamed wilderness and its wildlife.

The prints are installed so that the horizon line is continuous, the varying heights of the prints evoking the buttes of Monument Valley.