Stéphane Goin's Mad(e) in USA
15,000 miles on the road ... stopping off 11, 12, 13 times, heading off again as many times. Crossing 36, 37, 38 States, fingers trigger-happy, exhilarated at the idea of capturing the American dream... this year simply with my Fuji Instax 210. It is here, overwhelmed by the vastness of it all and, above all, mesmerised by the road so vividly conveyed by Kerouac, that colour, space, a sense of infinity, really came home to me. My subsequent chance encounters with the work of Stephen Shore, Jim Dow, William Eggleston, Robert Frank and countless others, inspired me to go off and follow in their footsteps. I wanted to see, after so many years, whether the places in their work still existed. I wanted to see for myself that particular light, experience that mood.
Cinema was naturally a huge influence, with Wim Wenders’ Paris Texas and Don’t Come Knocking leading the way. Gradually, my project took shape under the working title Mad(e) in USA. It matured over several years as the people and smiling faces I encountered allowed me to put my finger on the charm of this continent, to grasp the reasons for its legendary attraction. From the Lorraine Motel in Memphis to the hot rod races on the Great Salt Lake, I developed a fascination with these wild open spaces, this intensity and these distances... There are, without doubt, a few cultural differences, but for a European brought up to the sound of rock ‘n roll and fed on sitcoms such as “Happy Days”, touching down on American soil is far from being a cultural shock. For me, it was more of a revelation.