I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition and even some affection, but with Montana it is love.
These are the only words John Steinbeck used to describe Montana in his novel, travels with Charley (In search of America) published in 1960.
In 2003 a little before the US presidential elections I decided that I wanted to document the USA through one town. one small environment. George W. Bush was elected for the second time and fighting terrorism. This is the story of a small town, Hungry Horse, situated in the Montana Rocky Mountains just a few miles from Glacier National Park. Hungry Horse and its neighbouring area mostly depend on the summer tourist season.
Winters are quit and there is little work in the canyon. Glacier National Park provides many with work and keeps big parts of the canyon going. Over the years many local industries have disappeared or been relocated to other places. The recession of 2007 was hard on this area, as on so many other small towns through the US.
I have been documenting this area for over 10 years. I have seen people come and go from the canyon. My photographic documentation is not as much factual as emotional. The work itself is based on a state of mind through the people and the landscapes.
The film we produced through the year’s witch you also find in the book is based on interviews done with people who have been part of the project from almost the first beginning. I think it took me more then ten years years to understand this place and c beyond the clichés of the USA.
I have travelled and worked in the US over more then 15 years on numerous projects but I keep coming back to John Steinbeck’s quote. I’m in love with Montana.