Houston, Texas, is my hometown. My wife and I recently purchased a renovated 90-year-old home in the city’s urban core, which currently is in the midst of a major revitalization movement. The area we now live in, Eado (a contraction of “East Downtown”), is in transition, where elements of the old are juxtaposed with the new.
I’m using a vintage Polaroid pack film camera to document this landscape. This is the first project I’ve used this camera for, and, given the fact that pack film no longer is being manufactured, I’ve had to exercise constraint in order to conserve film.
I’m further constrained by the film’s relatively slow speed and by the camera, itself, which only offers automatic exposure. I’ve welcomed these constraints, though. They’ve made me work a little harder and smarter, perhaps, as I’m getting to know these environs.
Within a 1-mile radius of my house, there’s a heavy-freight railroad spur that bisects a stretch of interstate highway. Less than 100 yards away from that intersection is an inner-city commuter bus station. Northeast of the bus station is a cemetery that was established in 1893. It has an old German corner, several public union sections and a growing number of burials that reflect Latin American and Hispanic heritage. Within the latter are gravesites belonging to children, many of which are regularly visited by parents and family members.
I photographed all of these sites on a single 10-print pack of Fujifilm FP-100c. (Five of those prints are represented here.) These images are meant to reflect the relationships that people, here, have with their environment, and to document movement and stasis as they coexist in this place, at this moment in time.
~ Michael C. Duke
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