Martin Hyers and William Mebane: EMPIRE
9 x 11 inches
Text by Karen Irvine, Editing and Design by : Martin Hyers, William Mebane, and Ursula Damm
Publisher: Daylight Community Arts Foundation in conjunction with the MoCP (2014)
Between 2004 and 2007, American photographers Martin Hyers and Will Mebane made a series of road trips through the American South, West and East to create a photographic archive of objects. The project, titled Empire, yielded more than 9,000 photographs captured in 25 states. Using two hand-held 4 x 5 view cameras, Hyers and Mebane ventured out into public places, met strangers and accompanied them back to their homes, offices and factories to photograph. Working in a deliberately forensic fashion, they photographed the objects they encountered - stoves, family photographs, computers, trophies and the like. Many of the objects included in their project are discomfiting because of their impending obsolescence: an overhead projector rests on a table, a typewriter sits on a desk, a set of encyclopedias waits well-organized on a yellow bookshelf.
A selection of of this work was presented as part of the exhibition Peripheral Views: States of America (July 13 - Sept. 30, 2012) at the MoCP.
Hyers and Mebane also created a limited edition fine print for the MoCP's Fine Print Program here.