Trekking through cities like Nashville, Chicago and Detroit, this series attempts to capture the essence of America’s east coast and midwest
“We walked the American city to time it up and tame its territory. We moved forward blindly, waiting to be surprised by the flip side of the map, by what lies behind its perfect, flat geometry. What under this aloof grid? I feel the landscape resist – it is too big. While we walk, it moves forward just slowly. The horizon stays flat and stable,” write Fanny Cardin in the preface for new zine There Is No One In The Streets, by French-born photographer Lucie Rox.
The duo took on the USA in an epic round trip across the continent where, aside from a two-week stint in Seattle when she was very young, Rox was going in blind – admitting that she had no idea what to expect. With no plans, except that she’d be “stupid” to not have her camera with her, she recalls, “I think I wasn’t expecting it to be that different to Europe somehow... Every tiny little thing was very familiar because you see it represented all the time in movies, but (it was) so different from the way Europe functions.”
Setting out to uncover the ‘essence’ of America, the duo opted for walking over travelling by car, giving them time to really feel the cities, and finding themselves almost entirely alone on the sidewalks, hence the zine’s title. “Fanny and I had been walking around for all the trip which is quite uncommon in America because everyone drives everywhere – unless you’re too poor to have a car. In all those enormous American cities, we just found ourselves being the only one on the pavement pretty much all the time. I think you can feel that emptiness and sort loneliness in the zine,” she says. So, after trekking through cities like New York, Baltimore, Dallas, Austin, Memphis, Nashville, Chicago and Detroit for close to a month, does Rox think she’s any closer to finding out what the essence of the States is? “I think these pictures capture me trying to understand the essence of America, but I’m not sure I really have my answer yet.”
There Is No One In The Streets is published by Snöar Press, available now