downtown sunday morning
"downtown sunday morning" is a companion piece to "deep water run" a work completed in 2013. it is a hybrid of a documentary, a photographic study and a poetic reflection of downtown Tulsa on Sunday morning.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, once a small Indian village that became known as “the Oil Capital of the World”, at the beginning of the 20th century following the discovery of large deposits of oil beneath the surrounding area. The railways that enabled the land to be settled are virtually intact, but this land, once known as Indian Territory, only marginally resembles it’s original identity as a homeland for Native Americans. The growth of this city roughly parallels the emergence of oil as a source of energy; a form of fuel that accounts for approximately 42% of the global warming emissions of the United States.
In the early 1960’s, Tulsa’s downtown was separated from it’s oldest neighborhoods by the construction of the inner dispersal loop (IDL), a body of freeways that encircle the oldest part of the city. Within the IDL and throughout the city, pedestrian traffic is uncommon, and mainly limited to the homeless and the working poor; we are a citizenship bound not to place but to the use and exploitation of oil in our daily lives and as our communities’ primary economic engine.
Over the past ten years I have photographed the city; paradoxically, working from an automobile. This mobility allows me to connect with a larger portion of the city’s terrain and to view my surroundings from the perspective that most citizens have, as a traveler.
I travel without specific destination but rather am guided to render glimpses into the absence embedded within the present; and believe that it is this absence, from which our disassociation from place stems. This absence is in part the loss of collective memory which creates a sense of separation that unburdens us of the responsibility of stewardship for the land.