West Gaudiani in her newest work West continues her exploration of the tensions of place and belonging. She employs a framing device evolved from her earlier works Forty Eight States and Frontier States. Here in West, she frames the passing landscape with hints of curtain, window, and train interior. Each image becomes a theater proscenium, with viewer and photographer in the audience. The curtain is raised on landscapes with long perspectives and the viewer is invited in to the “performance” and distanced from it at the same time. Where do we belong? The train takes on broader meaning. A train is always between destinations, and its passengers […]
Forty Eight States II Forty Eight States II is a departure from the moody black-and-white images of Forty Eight States. The sensual, saturated colors of Spring and Winter in II lend a heightened reality to the passing terrain, in and out of focus. Even if we do not belong to these places, it is as though they belong to us, memorialized in photograph. Gaudiani’s use of the train window places the viewer inside the train, almost inside the camera, and frames the fleeting landscapes, fixing them in individual dioramas.
Frontier States For Frontier States, Gaudiani was drawn back to the southwest as metaphor for the new landscape for her life, wanting to capture the beauty in the desolate, vast, and architectural landscape where she could see the weather at long distances. Gaudiani shared the lonely tension that existed in the history of this frontier land: the disparity between wide open spaces and the marks men had tried to make, between the hope and innocence it once represented and the reality of what it became. This is not an easy land to find a foothold in, but people have done it. […]
Forty Eight States By the age of twelve, Gaudiani had visited forty eight states by car and train. Forty Eight States emerged over three years of travel through the United States by train, car and plane and decades of travel through all forty eight states. For this series, she retraced old routes and memories from the Fifties reflecting on endless possibilities, missed opportunities, fleeting intimacies, reflections on a life. The road trip is her defining passion and an iconic rite for many Americans. The photographs capture a timeless America – one that is no longer there as it was in the Fifties, […]
Conversations Through the use of multiple images in Conversations, Gaudiani addresses the concepts of space, time, and context to capture more accurately a person’s character. She chooses subjects whom she has known for thirty minutes or thirty years. The work follows the integrity of the conversation between photographer and subject resulting in a visual totality, which reads like a book, a sheet of music, or a grid. She has had Conversations with thirty-one individuals. Using only two rolls of film, 35mm format, over only fifteen minutes and in natural light, she takes pictures while talking with the sitter. She asks: “Is there […]
“Do I Measure Up?..” Between 1997 and 2000, Gaudiani travelled the United States photographing the secretive world of professional and amateur body builders, with full press and backstage privileges. Gaudiani gained the trust and friendship of the body builders. Many told her their stories of struggles to look and be perfect since childhood and confessed awareness that they would never “measure up”. Their built bodies become both manifestations of the strength they seek and masks to hide the weaknesses they feel inside. These images seek to reveal what lies behind the mask. They give the body builders the license to […]
Tidal In Tidal, Gaudiani reflects on how the speed at which we move through life shapes who we become and on how slowing down and moving close reveals worlds that we miss. In a departure from other work, she meditated as she made the Tidal images…”I am walking along the shore of the Pacific Coast. The light is long and golden. Threading through dune grasses and flowers, I cross white sand. What has the tide carried in today? Arrayed by wind and water currents along the beach, wet kelp glistens in the sun, pungent and rich in color. Looking closely, I photograph […]