JoJo Whilden writes: “Skid Marks developed for several years as I tried to figure out how to photograph marks on the highway without getting hit by a car. It was exciting. The images were taken on road trips through Upstate New York, Long Island, Connecticut, and California. The skid marks were ubiquitous, and yet each one so unique. Each traumatic moment soiling a place on the highway represented an individual’s experience of fear and excitement, and possibly loss. The concept of rubber necking is about people wanting to know what happened at the trauma sight. They want to hear about fear. It seems to be a very human response to trauma.

“The project’s inception coincided with my desire to draw with charcoal. In a frustrated effort to command my hand’s movement on a piece of paper, I searched around for a different way to make drawings. These skid mark images were printed on a matte surface, which gives them the appearance of having been drawn. Though the subject matter may have a narrative or psychological value, the intent of the work is also formal in its attempt to honor the work of 20th century Modernist photographers and their aesthetic approach towards photography and nature. The framing and formality of the photographs, as well as the richness inherent in silver lining of black-and-white photography, suggest images of beauty, and at the same time, the marks represent something potentially more traumatic. Skid Marks as a project represents the fleeting and forgetful qualities of the new century and the obsession to look, but only for a second.”

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