526 7th Street, RAPID CITY, SD.
Image © GOOGLE STREET VIEW © GOOGLE INC. 2008
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In 2009, I extensively cruised America on Google Street View. I checked endless miles of desert roads without ever seeing anything worth of interest. And then one day, unexpectedly, something happened within the boring Street View scenery: on the main street of a tranquil town in South Dakota, I encountered a man with a heavy assault weapon, flashing a glance to the camera lens of the passing Google car.
This anecdotal event became the pretext for me and my sister Elisabeth to launch an on-site photographic investigation. Flying to South Dakota to "investigate" a man with rifle seen on the Internet, the idea may seem weird. After all, what does it mean to be witness to an event on a digital platform like Google Street View? Is it not to give undue importance to a trivial navigation tool? In order to cope with the issue, we decided to make a detour via fiction. With Google Street View, a war- or crime-related picture had been sent out to the world: that was our conjecture for Dakotagate.
Our tour began on July 10, 2010 at 7th Street, Rapid City, at the exact location where the Google picture had been taken. In minutes, we solved the riddle of the man with machine gun. No big surprise: a gun supermarket is next door. Obviously, the man is a regular customer of the store. A citizen who, as we were told, is exercising his constitutional right to carry a firearm...
First Stop Guns, 501 7th Street, Rapid City, SD, 2010
This could have been the end of our inquiry. However, we decided it was not. We wanted to know more about that man walking the street with an assault weapon.
We started drawing a map of firearm related acts or crimes in the area of Rapid City. After compiling data from all kinds of archives (police, justice department, local press...), we patrolled the area within a radius of approximately 100 miles. We documented the sites mentioned in the reports with photos and notes, in order to construct a sort of narrative map.
Inevitably, we winded up in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home of the Lakota Sioux, about a hundred miles south of Rapid City, haunted by a series of unsolved deaths....
Catalogue published by Nei Liicht Art Center, Luxembourg, 2012
Text and images : Carine & Elisabeth Krecké / Preface : Julie Fabre (in French)
Mise en page: Bunkerpalace
Exhibition at Nei Liicht Art Center, Luxembourg, 2012
Curator: Danièle Igniti
Project supported by:
Aide à la publication, FOCUNA, Luxembourg
Bourse d'Aide à la Création, Centre National de l'Audiovisuel, 2012
Ville de Dudelange
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Forum: Exhibition, Publication
Images and concepts (unless specified otherwise)
© Carine and Elisabeth Krecké, 2010-2012