I moved to Ellicott City (named nearly every year in Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Raise a Family” or “Best Places to Live”) from California in late 2001. Its an area of predominantly young, well educated, well-to-do, white collar families and only after being away from there for nearly 3 years did I begin to realize something: In all the time I’d lived there, there had been at least a dozen violent and very un-“Ellicott City” murders that no one ever really talked about. It was almost as if their reputation as a community preceded the importance of giving attention to these things. The police would do their jobs of course, finding and prosecuting the person who did it promptly, but it always seemed so hush-hush. You would hear about it only in a “hey remember when…?” two-or-three sentence conversation or snippet in the paper when the offender was sentenced. I’ve been thinking about it a lot more lately and am finding this collective ambivalent attitude increasingly interesting and nauseating. Its something I think needs to be confronted.
The idea for my final was sort of set into motion by way of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood via Alec Soth’s “Glass Jars” (stills seen below). Both pieces, although different in concept from my own, deal heavily with place. Its something I think will play a big part in what I’m making.