Abandoned Buildings, DBQ, IA, 2023
Forty years ago this year I travelled to Dubuque, Iowa for a photography safari. I was born there, moved away just before turning eight, and subsequently returned to visit grandparents and a great uncle. In late 1977 I bought my first serious camera, and in 1983 I drove to Dubuque and spent a couple days shooting what would become my first solo exhibition, titled "Dubuque Revisited".
Over the course of these forty years I have created 18 portfolio series focused on Dubuque. Crazy? Maybe not. I could have travelled to different cities instead, but at heart I am lazy. Because of my emotional connection with Dubuque I require almost no energy to resonate with whatever's in my viewfinder. Plus I know my way around the city and, lastly, I enjoy the memory safari that always arises in the course of my visit.
Despite these many visits I still find new areas to shoot. This is fortunate as the city itself is at war with anything exhibiting decrepitude. In their view the tourist industry depends on the good old, and is harmed by the bad old. The city bureaucracy, including the police, often try to thwart my efforts. This has been especially true during this paranoid decade. - CPB, 01-10-2023
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